Wednesday, 6 July 2011
Blackcurrant Cordial - A Taste of Summer
I love this time of year. Hedgerows and allotments are beginning to burst with berries.
And if there's one fruit that reminds me of the allotment of my childhood more than any other, it is the blackcurrant.
So to celebrate the arrival of these little vitamin C packed globes, I thought I would make a cordial, something like this, the drink of our childhoods.
This is a really easy recipe. No need to remove the stalks or top and tail them, just a quick shake under the tap and then into the pan!
And the result is a thick, syrupy mixture that can be bottled and mixed with water, lemonade, or you can pretend it's creme de cassis and mix it with something a little stronger.....
Recipe adapted from The British Larder, with a bit of input from the Allotments 4 All Forum, and The Independent (don't judge - I found it via google!)
Makes about 500 ml cordial
500 g blackcurrants
250 g sugar (any except the very darkest brown sugar will work)
250 ml water
One lemon, cut in half
Rinse the blackcurrants. Don't bother to remove the stalks - the mixture will be strained later.
Place them in a large pan with the water and sugar, and stir over a low heat for a few minutes. Once the sugar has dissolved, add both of the lemon halves, squeezing the juice out of each into the pan as you do. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Sterilise a glass bottle by washing it, immersing it in boiling water, and then placing in an oven set at 140°C for 10 minutes.
Pass the cordial through a sieve or straining cloth into a jug, pressing the mixture with a ladle or large spoon to ensure all the juice is collected.
Pour the cordial into the sterilised bottle and seal.
Once cooled, the cordial can be kept in the fridge.
Dilute the cordial to taste, or about 5:1. It is delicious mixed with iced water, sparkling water, lemonade, or white wine.
And - as if that wasn't enough, you can make raspberry or blackberry cordial in exactly the same way!