Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More joys of Blackcurrants

Having made lots of blackcurrant jam and jelly, there were still quite a few berries on the bushes. Rosie and I went out to pick them and we ended up with about a bowl full. There are still a few berries left to pick, but I think they can be left for the blackbirds.

I decided to make some cordial (syrup) which can be used for drinks or to pour on ice cream. It is something that we do not normally make, but as we are up to our eyeballs in jam and crumbles, it seemed a good option.
Take 460g of blackcurrants and add 260g of sugar and 260ml of water. Simmer in a pan for about 5-10 minutes on a moderate heat. Add the juice and zest of one lemon and simmer for a few more minutes. Sterilise a 750ml bottle. (I could only find a 1 litre bottle)
Strain into another clean pan using a fine sieve. I suppose you should use a muslin strainer bag, but I find this method does the job for me.

Blackcurrants are one of my favourite fruits. it is Ribes that gives its name to Ribena, a major refreshment during my childhood. I am convinced that my home made version is better. It will last months in the 'fridge.

The challenge now is what to do with the remaining 300g of berries that are still in the dish. Perhaps I will add them to some cereal or grill a few on toast with some sardines. They will go well in an apple pudding or a trifle. Life is full of these hard decisions. With a bit of luck, Rosie will have a good use for them before I make up my mind.....

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