With the Blackberries and the Elderberries soon being in full swing I have been looking around for different recipes to try rather than the same familiar ones that I use year in year out. Cordials can be used for a drink with water or fizzy water or as a Kir type drink with the addition of some fizzy wine or a champagne (I am thinking Christmas here or any family celebration) and if you make a series of different fruit flavoured cordials you are giving yourself an awful lot of choice for now and over the winter months. Cordials can also be used as additions to a fruit salad or indeed poured over ice cream as a sauce or through yogurt or cream to create a ripple and then frozen in a mould, cut into slices and you have a ripple ice cream in its purest sense.
I have come across this recipe which will make use of whatever wild harvest of elderberries and blackberries and give a vitamin c boost especially if you have a cold. I have not made this recipe before but it will be made once the wild harvest is in full swing locally but I have found from past experience that elderberries can be a little tart for modern tastes although I think with the addition of the blackberries this will give a richer and sweeter cordial. Elderberry jelly is a good one to add to stews and gravies and I also use it in combination with other ingredients like home made Chinese Stir Fry sauce to make a sauce for racks of baby ribs. Yummy.
This recipe as do a lot of my cordial recipes use citric acid. I buy this from my local Asian shop in bulk when they have it in - it soon goes off the shelf again. and often I do not see it for a few weeks usually when I need it so I do tend to stockpile on this. Citric acid is also good at stopping fruits like pears and peaches oxidising and spoiling not good when you are trying to prepare a preserve like peach or pears in syrup as you want the fruit to look the best that it can in the jar as if it looks good you want to eat it. However I also hot water bath my cordials to make their shelf life a lot longer. I use a baby bottle steriliser for this purpose as it is ideal for processing smaller bottles (I use the Hex sauce bottles)
and I buy them in bulk from C Wynne Jones they sell a lot of goods and here is the main link http://cwynnejones.com/
for you to have a look around their site. They sell many other things besides including beekeeping equipment. Bear in mind that there is postage to go on top of this as well. Please note that I do not have any links with this company apart from purchasing said bottles and this is done freely of my own will.
Right back to the recipe:
When making this recipe please wear appropriate apron as the elderberry and the blackberry juice stains rather badly. So proceed carefully.
Makes about 1.5 litres (2 1/2 pints)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of citric acid (optional)
Place the berries into a pan with 5 fl oz of water/150ml and set over a low heat for 5 or so minutes which allows the juice to run from the berries. Cool and then mash with a potato masher or with the back of a spoon. Strain through a jelly bag or a sieve lined with muslin. Measure the juice and pop back into the pan adding an equal amount of sugar to the juice i.e. if 8 floz of juice then add 8 oz of sugar. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon stick and bring to a rolling boil, boiling for two minutes. Skim off any scum. Pour into warm sterilised bottles and seal. At this point I place my bottles into the baby steriliser bring to the boil and then process for about 15 to 20 minutes then switch off and allow the bottles to cool in the steriliser if at all possible. Otherwise fish them out with appropriate equipment let the steriliser cool a little before going on to the next batch of cordials or sauces.
Use liberally and enjoy.
Now that's another one for the pantry shelf.
Catch you soon.