Sunday, 3 July 2011

Spiced redcurrant Rum Tum Tugger

I have a Musical Theatre confession to make. I hate Cats. It terrifies me. I think it's the makeup. And the fact that it has Memory in it. Oh there are so many reasons. I could go on all day, but the opportunity to throw in a character name was too good to miss.

Last year, I randomly got a punnet of redcurrants in what I think was my last veg box before the move of doom. Much in the same way of last week's gooseberries, I had no idea what to do with them. I'm generally not a fan of meat and fruit on the same plate which were a lot of Google's suggestions. When I say not a fan, I actually mean slightly afeared and trepidatious. My foodie friends came up with some amazing suggestions, although I convinced myself that making jam required a sugar thermomenter so didn't try. Oh what a fool I was. What I did do though, was add them to alcohol! I know. I am contemplating this with all veg box leftovers from here on in. Swede sherry anyone?

Spiced redcurrant shrub

The recipe is called Currant Shrub, I just adapted it.
Stage one - to make the basic juice:
1kg redcurrants
400ml water
You don't have to top and tail the currants or even take them off their stalks. (Can you see why this recipe appealed to me?)
Wash them then put in the pan with the water and simmer until they are very soft and have released all their juices. This will take about 45minutes, I kept it on a low heat, but didn't stir.
Strain through a jelly bag (or muslin) for several hours, or overnight.

Stage two

300ml strained rudcurrant juice
600ml rum or brandy
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tbp grated nutmeg
300g granulated sugar

Mix the juice, rum/brandy, orange zest and nutmeg together in large widenecked jar. (I used a kilner)
You may find the mixture of acid and alcohol forms a gel. Don't worry the mixture will become liquid again when you add sugar.
Seal jar and leave for 7-10 days in cool, dark place. Surprisingly I used the pantry. I do have an admission to make. After moving (which was about 8 days after making this, I left it in the fridge for a while. A few months. Until this week)

Transfer the currant & alcohol mixture to a pan, add the sugar and heat gently to about 60oc. (I just brought it up to a gentle simmer stirring all the while so that I could feel when the sugar had dissolved.)
When sugar has dissolved strain the liqueur through the jelly bag or muslin. I fixed a muslin over the neck of a big kilner and let the mixture strain through that.
Decant the strained liquid into a sterilised bottle and seal. Store for several months in a cool dark place so the shrub can fully mature. Use within 2 years.


Anonymous said...

I must admit Penny, I don't like it! I watched the filmed version and got bored!

Penelope said...

It's odd as I love the poems it is based on, just terrified by human sized cats.


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