Help needed for making bottled fruit sauce

greatauntyof2, Jan 21, 8:08am
I am a newbie at making plum and apricot sauce to bottle. Why is it the recipes have so much vinegar it overpowers the flavor? is it because we are supposed to not eat it straight away and let the flavors settle? I made plum sauce last year and the vinegar taste was so strong it took me hourssss to adjust the flavors by adding mainly more plums in. I am now struggling with the same issue with the apricot sauce again surely the vinegar measurements cant be all incorrect. Should I just bottle it and forget about eating it for 6 months and hope the vinegar taste settles ? or keep trying to adjust the flavor to suit now? my plum sauce was lovely I had lots of compliments and it wasn't shelved for long.

Oh and do you sterilize the corks for bottles ?

greatauntyof2, Jan 21, 8:31am
Oh and is it ok to water it down with some water? no water in recipe.

fluffyb, Jan 21, 11:49am
MY YUMMY PLUM SAUCE recipe I've been making for decades and is loved by all! Always use white vinegar in all my pickles etc, not so strong.

4kg plums (big red ones best)
6lb (2.7kg) sugar
3 lg chopped onions
1 tbsp salt
1 pkt (25g) pickling spice in bag (cheesecloth/ muslin/ old tea bags tied at top)
½ tsp powdered ginger
Vinegar (I always use white)

Put all in large pot, barely cover with vinegar.
Boil 'til sloppy (2 ½ hrs).
Remove bag of spices .
Sieve,mouli, whizz or put thru colander.
I put it into large preserving jars with plastic screw on lids - no need to seal as keeps well.

Recipe makes 4 lg preserving jars + a bit.

whitehead., Jan 21, 8:18pm
if you nuke your plubs first then tip into pan you will get a lot of juice out of the plubs top up with vineger you can use while or any of the vinegers on the market . you should get less of the over powering teast of vineger . alison holst had a pickling book that used some thing else to pickle but my computer is too slow to find it .look her up and find out

rainrain1, Jan 21, 9:59pm
You definately need to try another recipe or two till you find the one you like, then never lose it

fifie, Jan 21, 10:51pm
Vinegar is used to preserve the fruit, sounds like you need to find another recipe. However to save what you have made they say chunk up a potato or two add to the sauce and re heat the sauce through to boiling taste and do again with another potato if needed, then remove and re bottle. potato is meant to take away the to much vinegar taste. Never tried it my self hope it works. Id do this then bottle and leave it in pantry sauces often improve with sitting and they keep well. i'm still using apricot/plum sauces from 2 years ago and they are fine, good luck hope you dont have to waste it.

greatauntyof2, Jan 21, 11:04pm
Thanks for all the advice I am not saying I don't like the recipes I am making but I find they all call for far too much vinegar. I have reduced the amount and it is still strong. I think the idea of using white vinegar might be better than using malt.

Can you add water?

greatauntyof2, Jan 22, 2:57am
Please can someone tell me can I use water to thin down the apricot sauce?

245sam, Jan 22, 3:17am
Are you using fresh apricots or dried apricots?
If using fresh apricots I would have thought that the vinegar + the natural juices of the apricots and any other ingredients such as onions, apples, etc. would be sufficient liquid without the addition of any water. In fact my concern would be that adding any water would make the sauce too thin. :-))

greatauntyof2, Jan 22, 3:38am
Fresh apricots I just thought by adding some water in it will help to dilute the vinegar taste. But if I ever make apricot/plum sauce again I will use white vinegar and FAR less than all the recipes say. I dont think I can wait 6 months to a year for the taste to mature so to speak lol. I am trying the potato trick now, I think I will just stick to jam making so much easier.

245sam, Jan 22, 4:33am
As a matter of interest how much vinegar does/do your recipe(s) state to use? I have in front of me Digby Law's recipe for Apricot Sauce, personally untried, but the recipe states 3 Kg apricots, 1 Kg onion, 4 large apples, 1 Kg brown sugar and 7 cups malt vinegar.
His Plum Sauce recipe has 3 Kg plums, 2 onions, 1.5 Kg sugar, 6 cups malt vinegar.
In both cases there are, of course, spices and seasonings as well as the above.

Just thought you might like to compare. :-))

greatauntyof2, Jan 22, 4:49am
I did 3-5kg apricots, 2 onions, 1 kg sugar, 2 apples put in to help take out vinegar , spices and seasonings and 5 cups of malt vinegar 1 cup less than the recipe

punkinthefirst, Jan 23, 11:35am
Be careful that you don't remove so much vinegar that the sauce becomes unsafe to eat. Vinegar makes the mix acid enough so that "bugs" don't thrive. If you do reduce the vinegar in your recipe, make sure that you bottle your sauce in sterile containers, with sterile lids. You probably should also process them further in a water-bath and keep the sauce refrigerated once opened

pickles7, Jan 23, 10:35pm
Like. punkinthefirst . it is unwise to add too much water for safety reasons.
I make all my own vinegars now and hope I may never need to buy any again. I squirrel away a few bottles every brew to keep me going till I reach near 200. lol. as if.

floralsun, Apr 25, 3:09am
Interesting pickles - would you share a recipe/s please, for your vinegar? Thanks.

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