What to do with all this produce…fruit liqueurs

There is only so much fruit that I can freeze – the new additional freezer we bought last year for the bumper crop of gooseberries, plums and pears was only half empty and this year’s bumper harvest of rhubarb, blackcurrants and redcurrants have filled it completely again. I am now faced with 5 full tub trugs of apples and a couple of tub trugs worth of damsons still on the trees! I am, however, not complaining and I will manage to find space in the other freezers for most of the produce.

It does however mean that I the liqueur making season is upon me ! People who know me always find it amusing that one of our cupboards is filled every year with an array of fruit liqueurs…amusing because I very rarely drink alcohol. There is little I enjoy more than being able to offer a tasty fruity tipple to accompany the food I make when visitors around.

The selection in the picture is my array of blackcurrant liqueurs – vodka, liqueur, cassis and gin. If you were to rummage in the cupboard you would also find: redcurrant cassis, rhubarb and orange liqueur, damson gin, sloe gin, gooseberry vodka and pear vodka.

All the fruit used, once strained from the liquid is put in to a pie or crumble – a deliciously warming dish that I call my drunk fruit desserts. Always a favourite with my husband šŸ™‚

I will put all my recipes on my blog over the next few weeks.

What to do with some much produce…apple, honey and rosemary jamĀ 

I first tasted this delicious combination at a friend’s house a couple of years ago. Whenever they visited some friends in France they would come back with a jar of loveliness called: Confiture de pommes au romarin et au miel de montagne. I acquired a recipe and then promptly forgot about it until recently. Recipe translated and tweaked resulted in 5 jars of apple, honey and rosemary jam in my kitchen yesterday. I resisted the urge to taste it until today to allow the rosemary to infuse the jam…delicious.

This is what I did:

Ingredients:

2kg of cooking apples – peeled, cored and chopped in to small pieces (pips saved)

100g sugar

250g honey – I used set

Juice of 3 lemons – keep pips

20 ml of water.

Rosemary sprigs – washed and dried

Method:

Put the sugar, water, lemon juice and honey in a large pan and bring to the boil – stirring frequently. Put the apple pieces in to the syrup mixture along with the apple and lemon pips wrapped in a piece of gauze. Bring back to the boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the apples are soft. Remove from heat and mash about half of the apple mixture down – I used a potato masher. Put back on the heat and simmer for anohter 5 – 10 mins.Ā  Put in to prepared jam jars and push a sprig of rosemary in to the mixture ahead of sealing the jar.

I have no idea how long this will storeĀ  – probably quite irrelevant as one jar has nearly gone already. I didn’t treat this like an ordinary jam, cheese or jelly in that a setting point wasn’t reached. The consistency is of a very, very thick sauce. Delicious on toast but I would imagine equally scrumptious with pork or game.

Blackcurrant ‘nice cream’ (gluten and dairy free)

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2 ingredients: blackcurrants and ripe bananas

Last years crop of blackcurrants are still in the freezer and my blackcurrant bushes are laden with ripening fruit. So operation empty the freezer is taking place!

This dish is a great way to use up the pitiful looking bananas that look at the bottom of the fruitbowl – turning brown.

Method:

Put some frozen blackcurrants in to a blender (needs strong blades) / or food processor.I rinse the blackcurrants to remove any excess ice.

Add 1 or 2 bananas (some people add frozen bananas at this point – I prefer to mix everything and the pop in the freezer for a couple of hours ahead of serving)

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Pulse until blackcurrants are broken down – I use the ‘ice setting’ on my blender

Then I switch the settings to ‘desert’ and blend until all the banana is incorporated.

 

I then spoon it into a plastic container and pop it in the freezer.