Gooseberry drink

Gooseberry Drink  500g     Slightly knackered gooseberries 15g        Green tea, steeped for half an hour in 200g tepid water 75g       Ginger/Turmeric root ‘bug’ (live starter)              A branch of Douglas Fir tree, dried 10g       Powdered sugar 60g      Organic cane sugar 1g         Wine yeast SN19 10g       Pine shoot infused honey  Cook the gooseberries, the powdered sugar, the pine shoot honey and the douglas fir in a vacuum sealed bag at 41°C (105.8°F) for four hours, squeezing the fruit inside the bag after two hours. Leave to infuse for twelve hours. Crush the fruit over a sieve and collect the gooey gooseberry concentrate. Simmer the skins, seeds, and fir needles in 250g water for half an hour. Cool and strain.   In a clean bowl, whisk together the gooseberry goo and stock, the cane sugar, the ginger and turmeric bug, the wine yeast and the cold-brewed tea. Add to a clean glass bottle. Add a cap of double layered cheesecloth held on with rubber bands.  Stick on a shelf, and wait for a while (time TBC)   

Gooseberry Drink

500g     Slightly knackered gooseberries
15g        Green tea, steeped for half an hour in 200g tepid water
75g       Ginger/Turmeric root ‘bug’ (live starter)
             A branch of Douglas Fir tree, dried
10g       Powdered sugar
60g      Organic cane sugar
1g         Wine yeast SN19
10g       Pine shoot infused honey

Cook the gooseberries, the powdered sugar, the pine shoot honey and the douglas fir in a vacuum sealed bag at 41°C (105.8°F) for four hours, squeezing the fruit inside the bag after two hours. Leave to infuse for twelve hours. Crush the fruit over a sieve and collect the gooey gooseberry concentrate. Simmer the skins, seeds, and fir needles in 250g water for half an hour. Cool and strain. 

In a clean bowl, whisk together the gooseberry goo and stock, the cane sugar, the ginger and turmeric bug, the wine yeast and the cold-brewed tea. Add to a clean glass bottle. Add a cap of double layered cheesecloth held on with rubber bands.

Stick on a shelf, and wait for a while (time TBC)

 

Berry Juices

The english fruit season has become bountiful after a fortnight of sun and strawberries and cherries have benefited hugely - deeply coloured and with intense sweetness. They smell and taste exactly as they should.

This fruit came from Perry Court Farm, who have a stall at Herne Hill Market. Since my interests are directed towards drinks at the moment, I wanted to take all the juice out of the fruit, without using a juicer. I set water bath set to 41°C, one degree below the temperature at which vegetables are considered ‘cooked’ as opposed to raw. The temperature (more or less equal to a hot bath) is sufficient to soften the cell walls and draw the juice out of the fruit. The fruit stays relatively intact, so the juice that results is not as cloudy as it would be if it were cooked any hotter. Cooking in a vacuum-sealed bag means keeping hold of aromas that would be lost in an open pan.

The gooseberries are a little bit more tired looking, perhaps I am a week late for their sweet spot. I added powdered sugar (caster sugar would be slow to melt at low temperature), honey infused with pine shoots, and a branch of dried douglas fir and its needles.

After two hours I squeezed the fruit inside the bags and then heated them for another two hours. The cherry juice is destined for kombucha, with some birch sap scoby and mother, demerara sugar and gunpowder green tea. I will also add the crushed cherry stones - the benzaldehyde in the kernels will add an almond taste. The strawberry will probably also be turned into kombucha, and the gooseberries will become a fizzy pop, given life by adding some of my turmeric root and ginger ‘bug’.