Black currant will make a delicious liqueur. Liquor came to Norway in the 16th century. At that time, the pharmacies were responsible for the sale, under the label “medicine for everything”. Initially it was imported, but soon Norwegians learned to produce it by fermentation of grain or potatoes and distillation. Making liqueurs for Christmas is a long tradition in many Norwegian families, including my own.
This recipe is taken from the book “Drink from Østfold”, published by Østfold Associated Country Women in 2007. If you start now, the liqueur will be finished well in advance of Christmas.
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!
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.