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Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Make Raspberry Cordial

If you've ever read and/or watched Anne of Green Gables, you probably remember the part where Anne gives Diana currant wine instead of raspberry cordial. I've not tried the wine, but a non-alcoholic raspberry cordial is very good! It's fun to bottle, cork, and take to a party.

Raspberry Cordial
Adapted from The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook by Kate MacDonald
Yay for the off-brand.

2 (300 g) packages frozen raspberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 cups boiling water
1/3 cup lemon juice

1. Mix the raspberries and the sugar in a sauce pan. Turn the heat to medium or high (depending how much of a hurry you're in). Use a potato masher or other instrument to mash the berries so that all the juice gets out.

As you're mashing, the pan will be heating up so the berries will "melt" and you'll get a lot more juice.

2. Strain the berry syrup mixture. Cheesecloth would work good for this, but as you can see I used a thin piece of fabric and that worked as well. Warning: the syrup will stain, so don't use Grandma's heirloom wedding handkerchief.

You could use a kitchen cabinet knob to hang the bag, but a more efficient way I've found is to use a basket. Place a bowl inside the basket, then suspend the bag on the basket handle. Use a pencil to secure the rubber band/ hair  tie. It takes some ingenuity the first time.

This creates a self-contained unit that you can keep on the counter or move if need be. It also contains the mess.

3. Boil the water, then add to strained raspberry liquid. Add the lemon juice.

4. Bottle. I like reusing old wine bottles for a nice olden-day Anne-of-Green-Gablesish feel. Wash and/or sanitize the bottle thoroughly before pouring the cordial through a funnel.

Now time for corking! I use a small-scale corker. Like many other things, I wasn't professionally trained to use a corker and just kind of figured out how to make it work. I just guess on the cork size- it's kind of hard with used bottles. I keep three different widths on hand and pick the most suitable one. This is a good time to decide how far you want the cork to go down. In the picture below, I've got about a half inch on top and an inch in the bottle.

 Then I load the cork and pull down on the handles. This pushes the cork down into the bottle. I watch carefully to make sure the cork is an inch into the bottle, then wiggle the corker off the cork. If anyone knows a better way to do this, I would sure appreciate it. It usually takes me two or three tries to get it right.

And bam! You've got a nice bottle of cordial ready for  gift-giving or a party.

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