Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Apparently we have blackcurrant bushes in the garden.
I wasn't aware of this fact until my brother and sister proudly brandished a large bowl of the things in my face this morning.
Despite my obviously marvellous and astounding talent of being able to eat a lime like an orange, I find blackurrants too sour, so whatever we decided to make with the haul, it had to involve copious amounts of sugar. (And so it did! A whole kilogram, in fact.)

After one initial boiling with just a bit of water, we strained them to remove all the skins and tiny stalks and possibly insects. The thicker stuff that came out was mixed with sugar and combined with cream to make a delightful fool.

The rest was boiled again with sugar and a few pieces of ginger. Whilst skimming, I took the time to enjoy the pyschadelic swirls of colour in the pot.

Okay, so it doesn't look too impressive, but trust me, it was.
Kind of. I'm clearly very easily amused.
Anyway, after the syrup was boiled I squeezed in one lime to make a blackurrant, ginger and lime cordial. It's scarily addictive in its un-watered down form - tart and sweet, slightly hot and tantalising from the ginger, and fragrant with lime. I needed a bigger lime hit however, so I trickled some cordial into the squeezed out lime and sucked it all back out. I love lime, did you know that? My teeth were squeaky and my stomach hurt after repeating this process many times, but it was worth it.

I think I also might have invented my own cocktail. This cordial + gin + tonic water = a good drink? I know nothing about cocktails, but the family seemed appreciative. (The kiddies, of course, got an alcohol free version.) Can I ™ that? I'm going to ™ that.

That's the non-alcoholic version. It was pretty cool the way this foamed right over the top of the glass, and it does make a beautiful - and entirely natural - colour. The parents christened this a Bloody Sophie, which they found hilarious. I most certainly did not, and would love and suggestions for an alternate name before that one sticks..

The last blackurrant related item were some cupcakes with blackcurranty icing. My sister is having a sleepover as I type and apparently children these days require sugary treats at ridiculous hours of the night. We ran out of cupcake cases, so I hedged my bets with some petits fours cases - adorable, but labour intensive. What would have been 12 normal cakes turned into roughly 45 mini ones.

Icing them was not fun, let me tell you. Here is a 10-year-old brother's hand to illustrate the size:

Cute, but annoying.


  1. I'm hungry now. Have you tried to make jam out of them yet? That's good too.

    I dig the name Bloody Sophie, but it conotates tomato juice here, and a curse word there so maybe something else. If you used Bombay Sapphire gin, you could call it a Ruby Sapphire or a Sapphire Ruby. I'm going to post that before I overthink it and decide it's too queer.

  2. We contemplated that but realised no-one really liked it in jam form! I do love making jam, though, even though I do not enjoy eating it.

    That's exactly what I told them. I think that's a great name! It was 'Gordon's' gin. I scurried to the cupboard to check.

  3. Who the eff cares? Use it anyway.

    And what the hell? Who doesn't like jam? I would eat it by the spoonful if it didn't make me feel a little dirty afterward.