Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Normal service resuming...

My apologies dedicated readers (all two of you,) but the squirrels and BT conspired to prevent my communications. I am now returned to the blogosphere, and hope to be a little more regular in my posting.

My return nicely coincides with the start of the summer "gluts" and having found many recipes last year, but not thought to share them before the produce in question was out of season, I thought I'd try again. One of the "problems" with growing your own is that everything arrives at once and there are suddenly kilos of berries getting rapidly over-ripe whilst you feel you can never quite look a tomato in the eye again.

Let's start off with my "problem" this week: some rather squishy raspberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants clogging up my tiny 'fridge. (No seriously, it is miniscule, the freezer is massive, the fridge... it leaves a lot to be desired, but you know, first world problems and all that.) "Aha" says you (yes, you,) "why not a lovely summer pudding, everyone loves a summer pudding!" Unfortunately, I do not love such a thing. Soggy bread?! Since when was very soggy bread an acceptable dessert?! "No, no," says I, "why not a nice cordial?"

Summer Berry Cordial:
Summer soft fruits, washed, but no need to hull/peel/de-stalk

Large pan
Jelly bag
Glass bottles or freezer proof tubs

1. Weigh your fruit and taking note of the weight, place into a pan. For every 500g of fruit, add 300ml of water.
2. Gently heat the fruit and water and cook over a low-medium heat until the fruit has disintegrated into mush. Give it an encouraging stir from time to time to help the fruit mush.
3. Strain through a jelly bag for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Keep the juice, compost the fruit mush.
4. Measure the juice and taking note of the volume, pour into a pan. For every 500ml of juice, add 250g of sugar.
5. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, once boiled, remove from the heat, skim off the froth (it looks hideous in bottles, like a weird, creepy, mould.
6. If you are bottling, then you will need to sterilise the bottles in the oven during step 5 and bottle the cordial whilst hot. If you are putting into freezer tubs, allow the cordial to cool thoroughly, before decanting into tubs, labelling and freezing.
7. Enjoy!

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