If you're a regular reader of The Kitchn then you've been with me for the last couple of weeks in my attempt to make your summer soirees a tad more tasty. I really do hope you've tried your hand at quick pickling. Because done just once, you'll surely be tempted to add this fearsome technique to your repertoire. Here's the last of the series, and this one's good not only with your summer cocktails, but in them as well: Quick Pickled Berries.
I've chosen gooseberries for this batch, but blueberries, cherries and even grapes (yes i know, not a berry) would be just as divine. Leave the strawberries to the cream and shortcake, quick pickling does not do that berry well.
I like my berries with fennel seed and black mustard, but feel free to switch up the spice. Cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, nutmeg, anise, all would work well here.
This sweet pickle pairs wonderfully with cheese, soft or potent, and if you are so inclined, charcuterie. As mentioned above, my favorite way to enjoy these pickled berries are at the bottom of a martini glass. I mean, I'm not about to kick a little cocktail onion out of a gimlet, but really, nothing says party in a glass quite like this.
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons light honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon black mustard seed, lightly crushed
1 pint mason jar
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil. Add berries and return to boil. Simmer until just soft, approximately one minute.
Remove berries with a slotted spoon and place in mason jar. Add remaining ingredients to the saucepan and simmer until syrupy - about five minutes.
Pour syrup into jar directly over berries. Cap jar immediately, let cool and place in fridge. Berries will be ready to eat in three days.
These berries will last for months in the fridge. Of course, that depends entirely on how many martinis you're planning to serve between now and then!
I hope you've enjoyed this quick series as much as I have. Happy pickling!
(Images: Hungry Tigress)