Monday, August 03, 2009

For my daughters

This is for the both of you.

At last, I promise I'll write down those recipes that both of you have been asking me to.

Can't work out how to do an index - so this'll have to do
January - soups
February - Starters
March - Salads
April - Meat
May - Fish
June - Puddings
July - Cakes
August - Preserving
September - Apero

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Recipe for creme de cassis - Blackcurrant liquer

Creme de Cassis is a delicious blackcurrant liquer. Most often it's used in Kir. Creme de Cassis topped up with white wine, or for KirRoyale with champagne.

It's relatively easy to make and this year we had a chance to make our own in Marcillac.

We picked the blackcurrants in Josette's garden and followed her recipe.

How to make creme de cassis

Mash the blackcurrants in a vegetable mill and put in a large container. For every 1 kl of blackcurrants add 1 litre red wine.

Leave the mixture for up to 5 days in a cool place.

Then strain the mixture through muslin laid in a colander into a cooking pot. Make sure you get every bit of juice out of the muslin by giving it a good squeeze. Add 1 kl of sugar per litre of juice you've extracted and bring the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat as soon as it reaches a boil. The smell in the kitchen at this point was wonderful.

At this stage you can bottle the liquid and what you'll have is blackcurrant syrup, which can be drunk diluted with water. If you want to make Creme de Cassis add a glass of tequila for every litre of blackcurrant syrup you've made. Tequila has very little flavour which is why it can be used. If you can get to a French supermarket you can buy 'Alcohol for Fruit' which is specially made for this kind of thing, and much cheaper.

We picked 3 and half kilos of blackcurrants and ended up with 2 bottles of syrup and 7 of blackcurrant liquer - Creme de Cassis. Apparently, it will be at its best in 3 years time!! Small chance of the bottles lasting that long.

Yemenite Charoset

Y and I celebrated Passover with his family in Israel this year. His brother made the charoset for the Seder plate. This is very different to the Charoset we used to have for Passover meals, more spicy and very delicious. Before eating the maror — usually horseradish or lettuce — you dip the maror into the charoset and then shake off the charoset before eating the maror. This action symbolises how hard the Israelites worked in Egypt, combining a food that brings tears to the eyes (the maror) with one that resembles the mortar used to build Egyptian cities and
storehouses (the charoset).

As well as its symbolism, the charoset is lovely spread on matzo.

300 gms dates
300 grms raisins
100 grms dry figs
100 grms almonds
100 grms walnuts
200 grms sesame seeds (dry roast first)
20 grms cumin
10 grms cinammon
10 grms ginger
the seeds of 3 cardomom
black pepper to taste

Grind all the ingredients finely - separate first and then together to make a paste. If it's too dry add a little sweet wine, or grape juice

Hag Semer

Recipe for Raspberry liquer - Creme de Framboise

Follow the recipe for creme de cassis below, but use white wine or rose when you are macerating the raspberries.