Currant bushes grow very well in Sweden, especially in the north where they often grow in the wild. They thrive in the cool climate and will grow into really big bushes (as much as 5 m across). They even grow on rocky ground provided they are in full sun.
Most Swedish gardens have at least a couple of redcurrant bushes. Originally they were probably grown to be turned into saft (cordial/syrup) or rårörda vinbär (an uncooked jam) which provided a source of vitamin C to keep children healthy during the long hard winters in the days before freezers.
These days many Swedes still make a few bottle of vinbärssaft (currant cordial/syrup), some rårörda rödvinbär (stirred redcurrants) for the freezer and use any leftovers to make a refreshing sorbet.
This sorbet has some orange liqueur added to give it more flavour, but also to prevent it freezing too hard. It makes a refreshing and attractive dessert that is well worth keeping in your freezer. John Duxbury
• Serve in small shot glasses as a palate cleanser for posh dinners or serve on a tray of ice as part of a party buffet. (Chill the glasses in advance.)
• Any orange liqueur will do. (Cointreau came out slightly better than Grand Marnier in tests.)
• If you haven’t got any orange liqueur try vodka. The alcohol should prevent the sorbet from becoming too hard, although the flavour may not be quite as good.
|600 g||(5 cups)||redcurrants|
|400 g||(1¾ cups)||caster (superfine) sugar|
|1||medium orange (zest and 4 tablespoons of juice)|
|4 tbsp||orange liqueur|
1. Pick over the redcurrants to remove any leaves or bruised currants, rinse them and then tip them, stalks and all, into a bowl and add the sugar, zest of a small orange and 4 tablespoons of orange juice. Give the mixture a good stir then pop it in the fridge for a least 12 hours, giving it a stir every now and again.
2. When the sugar has largely dissolved, purée the mixture in a blender or food processor and push the mixture through a sieve.
3. Stir in the orange liqueur with a fork.
4. With the paddle running, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker* and leave to churn until it freezes (normally about 20 minutes, but check the instructions).
5. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the freezer until required.
6. Serve straight from the freezer and garnish with redcurrants and some orange zest if desired.
*Without an ice cream maker
Skip stage 4 and pour the mixture straight into a container, cover the surface with clingfilm and freeze. Remove the mixture from the freezer every half hour or so, fork it through thoroughly and return to the freezer. Repeat every 30 minutes until the mixture is frozen, which will normally take 2 or 3 hours.
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