We are in the middle of the lovely berry season and willbe able to enjoy soft fruits from ourgardens for a while yet. All depending on where you live and how the summer weather has beenso far, you will probably be picking the last of the strawberries and the first ripe red currants bynow. Most ofus have plenty of ideas on delicious recipes for the strawberries (that isif you don’t eat them all whilst picking them) but it can be a little bit more tricky to find inspiration on what to do with all the red currants.
Red currants can be used for jelly, relish or enjoyed in cordial. Baking with red currants makes juicy and delicious cakes, and you can even gently mash them with sugar (Rysteribs) and serve them with chicken or fish. Yes, there are plenty more ways to use red currants than you might immediately think of.
When you are going to plant berries in your garden, try to find a variety of plants that ripen indifferent stages. That way you can stretch the berry season as long as possible. You can plant strawberries both in your kitchen garden, in pots or plant boxes, or in your flowerbed. We have planted our strawberries in the Iron Planters, which comes in three sizes. The red currant bushes can be planted both bare-root and in containers. You don’t need many plants, one red currant bush will give an abundance of berries.
At the time of harvest, we recommend using a jug rather than a bowl. You can easily hold the jug with one hand so that the other oneis free to pick the berries. This Nordal enamel jug comes in white or dark blue, and there are also cups, bowls, plates and a coffee pot in the same series.
Use the last strawberries of the season and add some red currants to make a lovely homemade cordial. The sweet strawberries goes well together with the tangy red currants. The carafe from Nordal is perfect for mixing the cordial, and asit comes with a lid you can easily keep the cordial in the fridge to be enjoyed later. The carafe is dishwasher safe, and the lid can be rinsed at the sink.
Strawberry and red currant cordial
750 g red currants
750 g strawberries
½ vanilla pod
300 g cane sugar
2 liter water
If you wish, Atamon, which is a Danish preservative
Wash and clean all the berries. Use a fork to pull the red currants from their stalks, and cut thestrawberries into smaller pieces. Add all the berries into a big pot. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the pot together with the empty pod and the sugar. Finally add the water and bring it all to a boil. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes and keep removing the foam with a skimmer. Taste as you goto get it as sweet as you want it.
If you wish, add the preservative after the syrup has finished boiling. Find the dosage on the package.
Line a sieve with a muslin or put the berries through a strainer on a stand and mash them lightly to let the syrup drip through. Try not to squish the berries too much, as the cordial will then become cloudy. Make sure the bottles you will use are clean and have been sterilised with hot water and Atamon. Pour the cordial into the bottles, seal them and refrigerate.
Enjoy your homemade cordial by diluting itto taste with still or sparkling water. Serve it with plenty of ice and garnish with mint to make a delightful summery drink. Happy brewing!
Iron planter, H 51, 66, 81 cm
Carafe, 500 ml, 1000 ml
Glasses, H 10 cm
Enamel jug, H 12 cm