Redcurrant ice cream

Home-made redcurrant ice cream | H is for Home

This week, Justin spent a few hours on our allotment picking kilos of redcurrants. When he got home, they immediately got decanted into plastic tubs and put into the freezer until I decided what I was going to do with them. In past years, our redcurrant haul has been turned into tarts, jelly, cordial and relish.

Redcurrant juice concentrate being added to caster sugar | H is for Home

Seeing as the UK is in the midst of a mini-heatwave, there was only one thing for it – redcurrant ice cream.

Whipped cream and redcurrant juice | H is for Home

Redcurrants make the most bright, beautiful pink swirly ripple ice cream with a sweet, tangy taste.

Home-made redcurrant ice cream before putting it into the freezer | H is for Home

And best of all, you don’t need an ice cream maker and it’s only 3 ingredients! If you don’t have access to redcurrants, most other berries can be used in their place – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants… or a mixture of all of the above. The recipe below makes about 1 litre.

Redcurrant ice cream
Ingredients
  1. 500g/17½oz redcurrants
  2. 100g/3½oz caster sugar
  3. 300ml/10½fl oz whipping creamHome-made redcurrant ice cream ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Pre-chill a clean, dry plastic container in the freezer
  2. Put the redcurrants in a colander/strainer, rinse under water and pat dry
  3. In a medium-sized saucepan on a medium heat, cook the redcurrants until they have burst (about 5-10 minutes)
  4. Strain the redcurrants through a fine sieve and combine with sugar to taste. Refrigerate
  5. Whisk the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks
  6. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cooled redcurrant concentrate trying not to loose too much of the air
  7. Pour into the pre-chilled container, cover and freeze until firm
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Adapted from Allrecipies
Adapted from Allrecipies
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Redcurrant cordial

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Bottle and glass of home-made redcurrant cordial | H is for Home

Our bumper crop of redcurrants from the allotment has so far gone into jelly and a tart.

bowl or redcurrants and jar of granulated sugar

Today I made a bottle of redcurrant cordial or vinbärssaft in Swedish (although when I ran the word through Google Translate it came up with ‘coleslaw’! 😀

redcurrants and granulated sugar in a jam pan

A kilo of fruit only made about 600ml of cordial. It felt like a bit of a waste disposing of all that fruit pulp.

cooked and mashed redcurrants in a jam pan

But once I had that first taste I felt that the profligacy was worth it.

straining cooked and mashed redcurrants in through a jelly bag

It was fruity, tart and sweet, all at the same time – almost like cranberry juice but not at all dry. It’s delicious simply mixed with iced sparkling water, but can also be incorporated into cocktail recipes… and a dash in a glass of champagne is wonderful too!

Prune and almond fruit cake
Serves 8
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 115g butter, softened
  2. 115g soft brown sugar
  3. 2 eggs, whisked slightly
  4. 175g self-raising flour
  5. ¼tsp almond extract
  6. 200g pitted prunes
  7. 1tbsp flaked almondsHome-made prune and almond fruit cake ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas mark 3
  2. Grease a deep 18cm/7-in spring-form or loose-bottomed round cake tin and line base & sides with baking parchment
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy
  4. Pour the eggs over the mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a tablespoonful of the flour between each addition to help prevent the mixture curdling
  5. Mix in the almond extract
  6. Fold in the rest of the self-raising flour and combine well
  7. Gently fold the prunes, stirring with a wooden spoon until well distributed through the mixture
  8. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level off the top with the back of the spoon
  9. Sprinkle the top with the flaked almonds
  10. Bake for 1&frac;12 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes away clean
  11. Once done, remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in its tin
Notes
  1. Store in an airtight lidded cake tin or plastic tub
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Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant mazarin tart

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Half-eaten slice of redcurrant mazarin tart | H is for Home

Last week, you’ll remember that I set aside a small bowlful of redcurrants while I made the rest into jelly.

redcurrant mazarin tart ingredients

pastry ingredients for redcurrant mazarin tart base

What I had in mind for this extra was to make a redcurrant mazarin tart using a recipe I found in Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.

ball of pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

ball of almond pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart

It’s bit of a long-winded recipe to follow – the base, the almond paste (shop bought marzipan is much too hard) and the filling. But do give it a try, it’s worth the effort!

rolling pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

redcurrant mazarin filling ingredients

The amount of almond paste that is produced is slightly over what is needed. I plan on rolling the leftovers into little balls and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate; perfect little after-dinner petits fours!

uncooked redcurrant mazarin tart

redcurrant mazarin tart

The original recipe doesn’t call for leaving the tart in the oven while it cools, but I found mine needed a bit of a longer cook and it also helped stop the centre from sinking under the weight of all that fruit.

detail of a redcurrant mazarin tart

slice of redcurrant mazarin tart

The sweetness of the almond paste was a lovely match for the sourness of the redcurrants, balancing each other out. A little dollop of fraîche on the side is all you need to serve with it.

Pin the recipe here to try later!

Redcurrant mazarin tart
For the pastry base
  1. 200g/7oz spelt (or plain) flour
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz caster sugar
  4. 1 egg
For the almond paste
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the filling
  1. 340g/12oz almond paste
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter, softened
  3. 100g • 3½ oz plain flour (or cornflour)
  4. 6 tbsp caster sugar
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 300g/11oz redcurrants, rinsed and de-stalked
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For the pastry
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together, or mix by hand in a large bowl, until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add in the sugar and then the egg, and continue to combine until the dough comes together
  3. Cover the pastry with cling film and shape into a disc about 1cm/½ in thick
  4. Put into the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Make the almond paste while you wait for the pastry to chill
For the almond paste
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
  2. Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until you're ready to make the filling
  3. Any unused paste will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
For the pastry pt II
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm/⅛ in thick (or as thin as you can roll it before it starts to crack) and about 30cm/12in in diameter
  3. Lift the rolled pastry into a 23cm/9in pie dish, cake tin or tart case (about 3cm-4cm/1¼ in-1½ in deep) and gently press into the sides and edges
  4. Trim any excess pastry from the rim. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, and blind bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Prepare the filling while you wait for the pastry case to cool
For the filling
  1. Put all the filling ingredients apart from the redcurrants in a food mixer
  2. Combine until the mazarin is smooth and even, and all the ingredients have been fully incorporated
  3. Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  4. Pour the mazarin filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully sprinkle the redcurrants over the top, gently pushing some of them into the mazarin mixture
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
  6. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow the tart to cool slowly in the oven
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Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking... Scandilicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Redcurrant jelly

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Jars of home-made redcurrant jelly | H is for Home

July sees the start of our food harvesting and preserving season. Last week we made a delicious elderflower ice cream with our home-made elderflower cordial.

colander full of redcurrants picked on our allotment

This week, we’ve made some redcurrant jelly using a recipe from Cordon Bleu Preserving.

Washed redcurrants put into glass jars

We inherited half a dozen or so redcurrant bushes when we took on our allotment last year. On our last trip down there this week, the bushes were heaving with little red jewels.

Redcurrants cooked in lidded jars in the oven

It took the pair of us about two hours to pick about half of them. When we got home, we gave them a rinse – they barely filled our small colander!

Weighing sugar to make redcurrant jelly

Despite this, we kept back a couple of cupfuls (to go into a pie) before making rest into jelly… it actually made 8 jars.

Straining cooked redcurrants through a jelly bag

We know that redcurrant jelly is usually matched with lamb or game and a dollop or two can go into a gravy for extra flavour. We’ll have to look for some other good flavour matches…any ideas?

Redcurrant jelly
Ingredients
  1. Redcurrants
  2. 800g granulated or preserving sugar to each litre of juice made
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Instructions
  1. Gently rinse the redcurrants in a colander before carefully removing the stems and putting the fruit into Kilner jars
  2. Firmly cover the jars with lids before putting them in to an oven at 300ºF/Gas mark 2 until the juice has run well
  3. Remove from the oven carefully remove the lids and turn out the fruit into a jelly bag or muslin overnight
  4. Measure the juice and take the correct proportion of sugar
  5. Add the sugar to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or jam pan and warm on a low heat
  6. In a separate pan, heat the juice to boiling point (but don't allow to boil)
  7. Add the juice carefully to the warm sugar stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved
  8. Pour jelly at once into sterilised jars
  9. Allow to cool before screwing the lids on firmly
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Adapted from Cordon Bleu Preserving
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish

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Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish ingredients

Last week we brought you a sweet, baked redcurrant recipe. This week, some more of our redcurrants are being used in a savoury preserve – spiced redcurrant & red onion relish. We’ve slightly altered a recipe we found on the BBC Good Food website.

We’ve not tried out our relish yet – we’re giving the flavours some time to steep. It’s meant to be really good teamed with a creamy goat’s cheese or charcuterie.

Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: makes 1 x 450ml jarful

Spiced redcurrant & red onion relish

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red onions, peeled & sliced into ½cm square pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed chillies
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 small knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 200ml red wine vinegar (I used some of our home-made blackberry vinegar)
  • 140g muscovado sugar
  • 1tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200g redcurrants, de-stalked
  •  

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed frying pan, cook the onions and dried crushed chillies in the olive oil over a medium heat until softened
  2. Remove from the pan and set aside
  3. Without washing out the pan, add the garlic and ginger with half the vinegar, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the cooked onion & chilli mix, sugar, Chinese five spice, salt and the remainder of the vinegar
  5. Bring back up to the boil then simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened
  6. Add the redcurrants and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until some of them have burst and the liquid has become syrupy
  7. Remove and pour into a sterilised, 450ml heatproof jar
  8. Screw the lid on tightly while still hot. Once opened, it keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks
http://hisforhomeblog.com/food/spiced-redcurrant-red-onion-relish/

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

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Redcurrant muffin with a cup of tea | H is for Home

So far on our allotment, the only things that have come to fruition are the currant bushes that we inherited. The last time we were there we did a little bit of weeding but we spent the vast majority of our time picking shiny, jewel-like blackcurrants and redcurrants. We harvested almost a kilo of the latter – that’s over £10-worth from a supermarket! 125 grams of it was put towards making a batch of redcurrant muffins.

We acquired a silicon muffin tray in a boxed lot at an auction many moons ago that we surprisingly, have never used. Fished out, dusted down and washed; it turned out 6 big, beautiful muffin specimens! Silicon is a revelation – baked goods ease out of it with no cajoling whatsoever! If you’ve not tried it before, Lakeland does a good range of affordable silicon baking tins, pans and trays.

The redcurrant muffin recipe used here was found on the Abel & Cole website. The rest of the redcurrants have been put into the freezer temporarily, waiting to be turned into jam, jelly and relish; so keep a watch out for some more redcurrant recipes to follow!

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: makes 12 small or 6 large muffins

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant muffins

Ingredients

  • 60g Stork or butter
  • 175g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 120ml milk
  • 125g fresh redcurrants
  •  
  •  

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan (We have a 6-hole silicone muffin pan that makes lovely large, tall muffins!) or insert paper muffin cases
  3. Put the Stork/butter into a microwave-proof bowl or measuring jug and heat on a low setting for 20 seconds. Set aside to cool
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  5. Add all but 2 tbsp of the caster sugar - this is being reserved to sprinkle over the muffin tops prior to going into the oven
  6. In a small measuring jug, beat the egg a few times until the yolk & white is just combined
  7. Whisk in the milk and melted Stork/butter
  8. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring quickly and gently until flour is just dampened
  9. Gently fold in the redcurrants, being careful not to burst too many of them
  10. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin , filling each slightly more than half full
  11. Sprinkle the 2tbsp of reserved sugar over each muffin
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes away clean
  13. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes prior to serving
  14. Keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days
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