The Next Meal’s persimmon, tamarillo & black pepper shrub

The Next Meal is Will Bowman and Jane Lyons – two hungry humans based in Auckland who are lovers of real food and are always thinking about the next meal.

They recently held an autumn breakfast popup with ceramicist Holly Houston and stylist Jess Hemmings, which included this zingy, spicy, tart, fruity drink.

Persimmon, tamarillo and black pepper shrub

2 cups tamarillo, roughly chopped
2 cups persimmon, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon black peppercorns
750ml white vinegar
½ cup raw sugar

Place tamarillo, persimmon and black peppercorns in a large sterilised jar and muddle gently with a wooden spoon to release juice.

Bring vinegar to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour over fruits in jar.

Leave vinegar to cool in the jar. Once cool, wipe the rim of the jar with a cloth or paper towel and seal.

You can leave your shrub vinegar to infuse anywhere from 24 hours to four weeks – the longer you leave it, the stronger the fruit infusion will be.

Once the shrub has reached your desired level of flavour, strain the fruit from the vinegar through a sieve or a cheesecloth into a medium-sized saucepan. The soaked fruit can be discarded or kept for pickling, chutneys or put straight onto a cheese platter.

Add the raw sugar to the saucepan with the fruit-infused vinegar and gently bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and taste your shrub – it should be tart, but pleasantly so.

Leave to cool before serving or pour into a sterilised jar until ready to use.

For our breakfast popup, we served glasses of the shrub with approx 45ml of syrup topped with ice, soda, freshly cracked pepper and a sprig of thyme.

Images: Gareth Hemmings

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