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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Making Verjuice/Verjus

Today we had to drop a little fruit from our Sangiovese vines so I took the opportunity to make a quick batch of verjuice. It really is simple to make, finding the grapes may be less so!

You will need 1.5kg of green (unripened) grapes picked just before veraison (the stage at which the colour turns - generally 2 months before harvest).

Remove the berries from the storks, wash and drain them thoroughly.
Whiz in batches in a food processor then press through a fine sieve to remove the pulp and seeds. Pour extracted juice into a jug and fill ice-cube trays.

Try to get them into the freezer quickly to avoid oxidization. Defrost and use as required.

Yield: 700ml = 40 cubes

I mainly use verjuice to deglaze the pan after cooking fish or chicken or as an alternative to lemon juice but it has many other uses. It is both acidic and tart without being harsh and when heated it gets very sticky -great for an instant sheen! Verjuice is available commercially but it is fun to make your own if green grapes are available.

If you have ice-ball trays try freezing verjuice in those instead of cubes and use them as a garnish in Ajo Blanco (White Gazpacho). Do not serve ice-balls to children.
(recipe to be published under Soups)

Learn more about verjuice from Maggie Beer's facinating book: Cooking with Verjuice

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