Soft fruits have been omnipresent in my life it seems, with visits to East Yonderton to pick strawberries, raspberries, and blackcurrants an annual occurrence since before I could walk. It was always jam that my Mum would make in those days, the light red of strawberry, purple blackcurrant, and my favourite, the deep blood red raspberry. The smell of jam cooking on the hob still transports me back to those days. However another abiding memory of summer holidays is being allowed a bottle of Quosh strawberry cordial. The bright red liquid packed with syrupy sweetness signaled the start of two weeks of fun somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. And after our first fruit picking visit of the season, it’s this which I’ve recreated.
500g strawberries – quartered
10-12 mint leaves
100g granulated sugar
- In a saucepan large enough to accommodate all the fruit add the strawberries, 6-8 mint leaves, and a splash of water. Heat over a low-medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have given up all their juice.
- Add the rest of the mint leaves and let stand and infuse for 10-15 minutes
- Strain into a jug, preferably through a muslin to give a clear juice.
- Measure the liquid and pour back into the pan, adding the sugar, roughly 1 g of sugar for every 3ml of liquid. Heat the strained juice until all the sugar has dissolved. Pour into a sterilized bottle and seal.
- Store in the fridge and dilute to taste for drinking
Tip: Add a couple of tablespoons to natural yoghurt, alongside nuts and seeds for a delicious breakfast.