Last year it was cakes and buns, this year its cordials!
In our quest to avoid the aspartame (see the post here on our reasons why) I’ve scoured the books looking for ways to make some of our produce into cordials. This week I brought home a few blackcurrants from Callan community garden and made this delicious summer juice in just 15 minutes.
The refreshing recipe below (published in The Guardian recently) doesn’t make a huge amount – 400g of blackcurrants makes about 750ml concentrate cordial, but it reminded me of childhood summers and drinks as they used to taste before they became chemical cocktails. If you’re growing blackcurrants, know anyone with a blackcurrant bush or spot any in your local farmers market, it’s well worth trying and a lovely way to use the fruit.
Just a quick word of warning if you’re growing these sharp little fruit that are packed full of vitamin C in your garden or allotment, they’re prone to attack from a little caterpillar that’s the larvae of the gooseberry sawfly so do keep an eye out or you could lose them all in a couple of days.
500g (5 cups) blackcurrants
275g (1 1/8 cups) caster sugar
250ml (1 cup) water
½ tsp citric acid
Simmer the sugar, blackcurrants and water in a heavy based pan gently for 5 minutes.
Using a potato masher, break up the fruit to release as much juice as possible. Add the citric acid and simmer for another 2 minutes.
Strain the liquid through a piece of muslin and pour it into a sterilised bottle and keep it in the fridge. If you can’t find muslin anywhere, a fine sieve will strain the largest of the remaining pulp but the liquid wont be as clear.
The remaining pulp can be saved and used to flavour natural yoghurt.
If the strawberry cordial is anything to go by, I’m looking forward to trying this blackcurrant juice as a mixer in something sparkly soon…