Makes: about 1/2 litres (1 pint)
Level: very easy
Preparation: 20 minutes (including 18 minutes of cooking) + time for the cooked berries to be strained and time for cooling
500g (1lb) blueberries or bilberries
150g (5 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
1. Rinse the berries, leave them on their stalks but remove any coarse stalks.
2. Put the berries in a saucepan and add 250 ml (1 cup) of water. Bring to the boil and let simmer until the berries have burst (about ten minutes).
3. Line a sieve with muslin (or use a stand) and strain the cooked berries.
4. Return the juice to the saucepan and add the sugar. Bring to boil and let simmer for 3 minutes. Remove any scum from the surface with a spoon.
5. Pour the hot liquid through a funnel into a sterilised bottle. (Sterilise by washing and then placing in an oven at 120°C (240°F, gas 1) for 5 minutes.)
– Look out in kitchen shops for a natty little stand for straining. They hold the muslin at the top and so it makes straining so much easier.
– Store bottles of cordial in a cupboard and, when opened, in your refrigerator.
– The quantities are easy to change: simply weigh the blueberries and then add 30 percent by weight of sugar.
– Dilute to taste with cold water, about 1 part cordial to 5 parts water.
– Dilute with boiling water for a delicious hot winter drink.
– Use in a salad dressing instead of honey.
– Gently heat some cordial and pour it over vanilla ice cream.
– Add to hot water and a shot of rum for a hot toddy if you have a cold.
– Add to sparkling water or sparkling wine to make a delightful summery drink.
This recipe is published courtesy of John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food.