Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Home-made Blackberry Liqueur - Happy Apero O'Clock

homemade blackberry liqueur at De Tout Coeur Limousin
blackberry picking at De Tout Coeur Limousin
what's your favourite blackberry recipe?
This is our first Autumn in the Limousin and I am loving the gradual change of seasons.  The weather is still beautifully warm but the leaves are starting to drop and it is harvest time.  Which means plenty of ripe blackberries and time for some garden and hedgerow foraging.  

Blackberry picking on a long sunny September day is a lovely way to pass the time.  So with wellies and protective clothing I went into the deepest depths of the garden.  Unfortunately the biggest and ripest blackberries were the ones that were through knee high bramble thorns.  However with persistence and a few scratches here and there I managed to gather enough for this recipe.

My blackberry recipe is inspired by the many home-made liqueurs and preserves my Polish grandmother used to make throughout the year.  From pickled cucumbers to rose hip syrups she was always in the kitchen concocting something that was either good for you or tasted delicious, or both. I remember her home-made cherry brandy with much fondness.  Unfortunately the birds got all the cherries from our tree so I will not be making that this year!

Apart from being delicious, blackberries are also a superfood and packed with vitamin C, fibre and polyphenols - which studies have shown can reduce cognitive decline (not sure if this is the case when mixed with wine and vodka however!).  

This blackberry liqueur is lovely served cold and neat or mixed in a cocktail. An interesting and tasty aperitif in keeping with la vie Francaise.  I'll definitely be trying it out with some sparkling wine or champagne at Christmas time for a blackberry Kir Royale.  It would make a great festive homemade Christmas gift - if you still have any left...

This recipe is adapted from one for apricot liqueur in Diana Henry's Salt, Sugar, Smoke - a book I highly recommend.  So many simple and delicious recipes which will inspire you to get sterilizing those preserving jars!  

Enjoy and happy apero o'clock!  

ingredients:

500g blackberries - washed and checked for any stray bugs

450g sugar
300ml vodka
750ml dry white wine 

variations:
add a bit of spice to your mix - try adding a couple of crushed cardamon pods or star anise at step 1. 

method:

  1. add the sugar, wine and blackberries to a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil to dissolve the sugar then simmer on a low heat for about 5 minutes - crushing the blackberries gently to extract the juice (I used a potato masher).  
  2. remove from the heat and add the vodka
  3. pour into a sterilized jar, seal and leave to infuse for week
  4. strain through a muslin-lined sieve into a sterilized bottle and leave for a further month before drinking. 

What are your favourite ways of eating blackberries?  Do get in touch and say bonjour in the comments below or at De Tout Coeur Limousin

My homemade blackberry liqueur is featured this month on:  

no-waste-food-badge

No waste food challenge hosted by Chef Mireille's East West Realm





You can check out some of my other seasonal recipes here:

baked courgettes with feta, tomato, mint & marjoram

roasted apricots with lemon thyme & rosewater

Imam bayildi (Middle Eastern inspired aubergine & tomato)
homemade blackberry liqueur on Punk Domestics


TamingTwins


8 comments:

  1. this looks so lovely! What a great way to use up blackberries. Thank you for sharing with the no waste food challenge!

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    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth - I look forward to trying it - in a whole month!!! Love the no waste food challenge too - always full of inspiring recipes :-)

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  2. My mouth is watering. Just out of hospital, can't face food and now craving your jam on fresh bread! Yum

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    1. Hope you are feeling better - and thanks for your comments :-)

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  3. I really think that somehow, picking the fruit yourself makes everything taste sweeter doesn't it? Like you've worked that bit harder for it?! Will certainly add this to my list of booze to make ;) Thanks for linking to #festivefoodfriday.

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    1. I agree - always tastes better when you've put the effort in yourself. I hope you give it a go. Do you have any other festive drink recipes? Love to try new recipes :)

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  4. Another recipe I have to try, I love Kir Royale.
    #festivefoodfridays

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    1. Still not tried this batch with some fizz - looking forward to it :-)

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Thanks for stopping by. Your comments are always appreciated.