My father in-law suggested parsnip wine and I took him up on this. On a cold February morning we picked the parsnips from his mother's cottage in the country. It seemed an unlikely ingredient but it makes for one of the better country wines. Mine was a sweet white wine with plenty of body. It keeps well. Mine is two years old and most of the bottles have been consumed.
Now for two of my favorite parsnip wine recipes
This wine is best made in February or march with parsnips which have remained in the ground all the winter. prepare your raisins ahead. That give them a brief wash in near boiling water to remove the waxy coat that the produces apply. Allow the raisins to cool enough to handle and then cut them up. Now simmer the raisins in just enough water to cover them (If in doubt add a touch more than enough. After simmering for about 5 minutes extract the juice from the raisins by means of a muslin cloth. The raisin juice is needed latter on. Scrub the parsnips well, but do not peel them: slice them thinly and put them in a large saucepan or preserving pan. pour in 1 gallon of could water, or; if you haven't a saucepan big enough, cook 1lb. of parsnips and half of a gallon of water at a time. cook the parsnips until they are tender, but not mashy. when they are cooked, strain the liquid off. after strain, throw away the parsnips and return the liquid to the pan. add the 3lb. of sugar, the raisin juice, and the lemon juice and rind, having removed the pith. simmer for three quarters of an hour, stirring occasionally. strain again into a plastic bucket, and then lukewarm add the pectic enzyme and a crushed campden tablet. leave for 24 hours, placing the bucket in warm room: then stir in the yeast and yeast nutrient. cover the bucket and leave in the warm for four days. the stir it well .
Strain into a fermentation demi-john. fit an airlock and ferment until dry, the rack and clear the wine before bottling. A little feeding with a tablespoonful or two of sugar may be helpful if fermentation seems slow. the wine will be drinkable in six months. but much better if you can leave it longer
Recipe 1 of 2
- 4 lb parsnips scrubbed and sliced
- 1 orange
- 0.5 oz root ginger (Optional)
- 2 lemons
- 1 gallon water
- 3 lb sugar
- sherry or burgundy yeast
Boil the parsnip, slice the bruised ginger (if used) and the thinly peel rinds of the lemons and orange in the water until the parsnips are just tender. Do not over boil. strain the liquid on to the sugar and stir well. When lukewarm add the previously activated yeast and the fruit juices. Leave for 24 hours, well covered in a warm place.
Pour into the fermentation jar, insert an airlock. leave to ferment to a finish in a warm place. remove jar to cooler place for a week or so before siphoning off into a clean storage jar. fill to just below cork. leave for 6 months, the syphon off into bottles.
Variation: For sugar beet wine substitute sugar beet for parsnips.
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