Sunday, October 4, 2009
Back in July I put a jar of blackcurrants and grain alcohol. Yesterday, I got the jar out of the cupboard to do the last steps to make it crème de cassis, with the help of my devoted assistant, Aldara.
This summer, Jessica made some jelly from the other currants we harvested—redcurrants and gooseberry. She ordered a jelly strainer on-line so I set it up to strain the currant-infused grain alcohol into a pot:
Assistant Aldara enthusiastically spooned out the first few scoops of currants, dropping only a small handful into the pot. I then poured the rest of the mixture into the strainer and we waited a half hour or so for it to strain out all the alcohol:
I ended up with a little over 2 cups. Most of the recipes I found on-line call for an equal amount of water and an enormous amount of sugar: over a pound for 4 cups of liquid. I decided to underdo both other quantities so I added a cup and a half of water and started with 8 oz. of sugar. I brought it to a boil and cooked the mixture for 2 minutes (I don't know how rigorous a timing that is in terms of sterilization, but after all there's a hell of a lot of booze in there!). I let it cool and after tasting it, decided it was a little too bitter. Not bad, but the crème's role is partly as sweetener after all. I added another 4 oz. or so of sugar and heated the pot enough to melt it.
I poured it (once more through a strainer (and funnel, of course)) into this pretty bottle I have that used to contain Los Danzantes mezcal (there's also some in a less pretty bottle):
Since our household is awaiting a second baby there's not a lot of drinking going on these days, but I think I'll hazard a little kir for me and th'wife at lunch today.