Posts Tagged blackcurrants

Making Blackcurrant vodka liqueur

We have a bountiful crop of lovely blackcurrants this year, so apart from stewing them up and freezing them for pies and crumbles I decided this year to have a go at Blackcurrant vodka liqueur.  This is different from Cassis which we made last year with brandy as this uses vodka.

First pick your blackcurrants.  You need 750g prepared fruit for every bottle of 700ml vodka.

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You then have to pick it over and remove all the leaves and stalks and then wash them.

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Then gradually add these berries to a demi john.  You have to do this slowly and little by little or they go all over the place. Then add 750gm caster sugar.  I used  a funnel to tip mine in.

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After you’ve added the sugar, you add the bottle of vodka.  We only bought the cheap stuff not the well known brand as that’s all it needs.

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I actually made double the quantity so this is the 2nd bottle of vodka going into mine.

Then put a stopper in the top and give it all a vigorous shake.

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Shake daily for a week, then weekly for a month, until all the sugar is dissolved.  Leave for at least 3 months to mature, longer is better.  Should definitely we ready for Christmas if we can wait that long.

This is very similar to the way I made strawberry vodka earlier on. So basically

750gm prepared blackcurrants

750gm caster sugar

700ml bottle of vodka

are all the ingredients you need.

After at least 3 months strain off the fruit and you are left with delicious liqueur to bottle up.

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Our first peas and glorious fruit from the garden

We have had a week of lovely sunny weather here and it has done the garden good, bringing on the fruit and veggies after all the rain we have had.  Yesterday we picked our first peas.

Our first peas

They were lovely fat pods of really sweet peas.  We have never grown peas before so this is a definite success.

shelled peas

We had them last night with baked trout and our home grown potatoes – yummy, followed by home grown raspberries that have been so abundant this year we have been eating them daily.

Home grown raspberries

We have the raspberries served with meringues and squirty cream, an unbeatable combination.  Not only do we have raspberries but loganberries and for the first time tayberries, which are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, so quite dark in colour.

Also the blueberries have been plentiful.  I think all the rain made them swell up, we have never had so many big ones.

home grown blueberries

Our gooseberries are now ripe and I have been picking both green ones and red ones.  I made strawberry and gooseberry jam with some of the green ones and raspberry and red gooseberry jam with the others.

Green gooseberries

Red gooseberries

So what with the blackcurrants and strawberries we had earlier our fruit garden has been bountiful.  With regard to veggies as I said we have harvested peas and potatoes, our beans and cabbages are coming along OK and we have had several courgettes, but our sweetcorn doesn’t look up to much, got dashed down by the rain we had, and the seeds of our carrots, parsnips and beetroot have all come to nothing.  Also there are very few apples on the trees.  Our British weather has a lot to answer for, but we must be grateful for the fruits we do have!!

Our B&B guests will be enjoying freshly picked fruits with their breakfast.  www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Beautiful blackcurrants and making Cassis

We planted our blackcurrant bushes the first summer we were here, that is 2 years ago now but this is the first year we have had any significant berries off them.  With all this rain they are big and beautiful.  Easy enough to pick but what a pain they are to top and tail prior to stewing up!!

beautiful blackcurrants just picked

So I decided to look for what else I could make with them, without having to top and tail first and the first thing I came up with was making some blackcurrant liqueur or Cassis.  This is how I made the first batch. First remove all the stalks and leaves.  There is no quick way to do this, you just have to sit and painstakingly go through them all, but still quicker than topping and tailing.  Then weigh the fruit.  You need: 

600g blackcurrants

700ml brandy

400g sugar

6 fresh blackcurrant leaves

1 small stick of cinnamon

3 or 4 cloves 

Add the brandy to a demi john or similar large vessel.   Add the washed blackcurrants.  I did this with a small spoon. You then add the sugar, the cinnamon and cloves and a stopper and give it a good swish round, then leave for at least 2 months.  After that strain the fruit and you are left with a lovely liqueur which you can bottle up.  I have saved my brandy bottle for this reason.

 

 Today I made my first batch with one bottle of brandy, but I am going to get another and double up on the sugar and blackcurrants to make a larger quantity.  It will all fit into the demi john. 

I used the rest of my today’s blackcurrants to make blackcurrant and raspberry jam, using 200g blackcurrants to 620 g of raspberries and one packet of 1 kilo jam sugar.  Delicous and all ready now for my B&B guests for breakfast. visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Turning Blackcurrants into Cassis

Blackcurrants picked 29th July 2011

This is the first year we have grown any blackcurrants. I don’t like the bother of topping and tailing them, but I do like Cassis. So I borrowed a book off a friend with the recipe for Cassis and set about picking all my blackcurrants. Unfortunately it wasn’t that many and some were past their best, but if they are only going to soak in brandy I don’t think it matters too much.

I then assembled all the ingredients and tipped them into a demi john.  To go with our very few blackcurrants we only had a 20cl bottle of brandy, so I had to scale down the recipe as we are not going to make much cassis.

ingredients for cassis

Here is the recipe for Cassis.

Ingredients:

550g blackcurrants

1 x 3.5 cm pice of cinnamon stick

2 or 3 cloves

6 fresh blackcurrant leaves

600ml brandy

350g sugar

Method:

Put the blackcurrants in a basin and mash with a potato masher.  Put in a bottle with the spices and leaves.  Add the brandy and sugar.  cover tightly and leave in a warm place for 1 to 2 months.  Strain, squeezing out as much juice as possible, then pour into sterilized bottles and cork tightly.

So now we have to wait.  Still, with any luck we will have a glass each of Cassis for Christmas!

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Abundant fruit

The fruit bushes down in the paddock are bearing abundant fruit.  The strawberry plants we put in last year and got nothing from, have really come into their own, with enormous strawberries.  We’ve been eating them for breakfast and dinner for a week now.

The first of the strawberries and blackcurrants

The blackcurrant bushes that we got when someone was giving them away on freecycle, are also doing well. There are quite a few, enough for pudding for us two, but not masses, I expect we will get more as the bushes mature.

Our 2 red gooseberry bushes, given to us by a lady in Combe St Nicholas are also bearing plentiful fruit, this time enough for crumbles, and jam. And the raspberry canes, again planted last year when we got nothing from them, are now bearing fruit.  It is a rush to pick them before the birds get them, so we are trying to net them. When we finally get out large fruit cage net up it will save all the fruit hopefully, until then we are grateful for what we can pick.

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