Ukrainian Fruit Vodka (Varenukha)
Prep time: 0:15 Overall time: 1 day
1 quarts scale / convert
1/2 cup dried apples
1/4 cup cherries, pitted
1/2 sm. pear, thickly sliced
2 to 3 plums, halved and pitted
1 qt. vodka
2/3 cup honey
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 bay leaf
Flour and water paste
Place each of the four fruits in a separate bowl. Cover the fruits with the vodka. Let them stand for five to six hours.
Pour the vodka and the fruits into a crock. Stir in the honey, spices and bay leaf. Cover the crock with its lid and seal the edges with flour and water paste. Bake in a 200°F oven for 10 to 12 hours. Strain the mixture through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth or muslin. Serve either hot or cold.
To make the flour and water paste, mix flour with just enough water to make it cohere. Adding a few drops of oil will keep the paste from becoming brittle when it dries.
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