Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Essence of Summer Cordial (24p)

Summer is on its way. As I write this the sun is shining, a gentle breeze dances through the air and the birds are singing. Ok, it may have been raining for the past hour, but summer is definitely coming. Even if it’s still snowing where you are, tasting this will make you believe summer is well on the way.

You Will Need (to make about 150ml):
200g summer fruits – I used strawberries
100g caster sugar (I’m sure you could use granulated)
200ml water
50ml lemon juice/a lemon
1)      Cover your sugar with your fruit and stir until your sugar turns pink. Then leave in the fridge for half an hour. When you retrieve it your strawberries should be covered in a thick pink syrup.

2)      Mush your strawberries, I used an end of a rolling pin. Leaving to marinate in the sugar will make it easier, but you won’t be able to pummel them to a pulp just yet. They should be slightly broken up but still obviously strawberries.
3)      In a large saucepan add your fruity-goop to the water and bring to the boil gently, then turn it down and simmer for 20minutes. After 10minutes, I gave it another gentle mush with the rolling pin. If you are going to do this please be very careful as it’s very hot.

4)      Your sugar should have dissolved and your cordial should reduce down to a syrupy consistency. Add your lemon juice bit by bit and stir it in, add more or less to taste.
5)      Pour your cordial into a jug – this will make your first sieve easier. Pour the cordial through a sieve, mushing the fruit with the back of the spoon. Empty the sieve and pouring the cordial back in the jug. You will be left with a fruity red syrup and a mushy pulp.

If you leave the cordial in the jug and cover in the fridge it will last a few days, but if you decant into sterilised bottles it will last for much longer. To serve, dilute with water, or lemonade, or gin… you could try all 3 as this recipe serves about 6.

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