When I came across a hundred-year-old recipe for making vinegar from apple peels and cores, I had to give it a try. I put the apple cores and peels, molasses, and water in a bowl, covered with cheesecloth, set on the kitchen counter, and viola – a month later I had vinegar. The use of molasses in this recipe results in a delightful dark robust vinegar.
Here is the original recipe:
And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Homemade Vinegar Made from Apple Peels and Cores
This recipe makes about 3 cups vinegar. It can be doubled, tripled, etc.
approximately 2 quarts apple peels and cores
1 quart water
1/4 cup molasses
Put the apple peels and cores in a large bowl or crock (or the peels can be put in quart canning jars).
In a separate bowl stir together the water and molasses. Pour over the apple peels until covered. (The peels may float. If they do weight them down with a plate.) Cover with cheese cloth, and tie with a string to hold in place.
Set in a warm spot, and wait one month. (I stirred weekly to help ensure that the peels are under the liquid; then re-covered – but I don’t think that it is necessary. Over the course of the month some white “mother” will develop as the vinegar ferments.)
After a month, strain at least three times. First strain to remove the large pieces of peels, then restrain to remove smaller pieces of pulp. Next line the strainer with cheese cloth and strain a third time.
Put vinegar in bottles or jars. This vinegar will get stronger over time. Once it reaches the desired strength, store in the refrigerator to slow any additional fermentation.