Sunday 25 July 2010

More preserving

Yesterday I spent the day at home, preserving some more of the glut of soft fruits. I tried three recipes which I adapted a little (see below). I also tied up the garlic and hung it in the kitchen and plan to do the same with onions. Tonight I will make a bit more pesto with the basil, but for now I am off to the plot, as I have to sow sow sow before I run into a hungry gap.

Redcurrant liqueur

9oz/255g redcurrants, stripped from stems
9oz/255g brown sugar crystals
3 star anise
2 small pieces of fresh mint
1 ½ pints/750ml white rum

Put all the ingredients in a jar with a good seal. Shake every day for a fortnight, by which time the sugar should have dissolved completely. Strain into a bottle.

Raspberry icecream

568ml carton double cream
300ml whole milk
½ vanilla pod, split
6 large egg yolks
50g caster sugar (it could do with a bit more)
300g raspberries
Icing sugar to taste

Put the cream, milk and vanilla pod in a heavy-based pan and heat until just below boiling point. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until thick and creamy. Remove the vanilla pod from the hot cream mixture. Pour the cream mixture on to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and heat very gently, stirring, until the custard thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon - this should take 10-12 minutes. Strain the custard into a clean bowl and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, purée the raspberries in a blender. Sieve to remove the pips. Cover and freeze overnight or until firm.

Redcurrant jelly

2 lb (900 g) redcurrants
2 lb (900 g) sugar 

As soon as the fruit is cooked (about 10 minutes), add the sugar, stir until absolutely dissolved, then bring the mixture up to a rapid boil, and boil for 8 minutes. Strain through a muslin or sieve and bottle hot.

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