Marie who runs The English Kitchen writes: Our soft fruit is going great guns in the garden at the moment. It all seems to be ripening at once. We have never gotten so many strawberries as the bumper crop we are enjoying this year! We moved them into large pots on the patio, which seems to have agreed with them. Trust me when I say that I am not complaining!
With so much coming at once however, it can be somewhat of a challenge to use it. At present I am drying strawberries, raspberries and black currants in our food dehydrator, and I have frozen bags of them as well. This weekend I decided to make a summer fruit cordial with some of them . . . something delicious for us to remember summer with in the colder months ahead. The nice ones that you can buy in the shops are so very expensive . . . I thought it would be nice to make some of our very own.
A Cordial is a thick syrupy fruit drink, very concentrated. It can be drunk on it’s own in small quantities, or mixed with sparkling water and poured over ice for a refreshing drink. You can also make an alcoholic cordial:
If you are familiar with the Anne of Green Gables story, you will remember that on a lovely October day Anne invited her friend Diana over for tea in the afternoon. Marilla had told her they could have the raspberry cordial that was leftover from the church social. Anne took the wrong bottle and the pair proceeded to get very drunk!
Karen Hammonds who runs revolutionarypie.com writes: “Pudding” was once a general term for dessert (and still is in Great Britain), but there were plenty of recipes in old cookbooks for “cake,” so why wasn’t this one of them? The answer seems to be that although it was a cake, this dish was served with a sauce that was poured over the top, resulting in a slightly mushy, pudding-like dessert. The cake itself was also very moist.
As for the term “cottage,” it probably identified this dish as simple and affordable — suitable for farmers or laborers who lived in modest cottages. (It is similar in that sense to cottage pie, an early name for shepherd’s pie.)
This red fruit pudding is a popular dessert in the North. It’s made from black and red currants, raspberries and sometimes strawberries or cherries, which are cooked in their juice and thickened with a little potato starch or cornflour. It’s served with cream, vanilla sauce or milk.
If you have berries in the house it is fun to play around with flavours that blends well – this is how new desserts are born. Eggnog is made from egg yolks and sugar. Mixed with whipped cream it is called “råkrem”.
This dessert is a variation on this, made with cream cheese instead of cream. Heavy, but served with strawberry sauce and combined with crunchy biscuit crumbs the taste becomes fresh, sweet, creamy and very nice. A proper creamy dessert!