BOTTLED BLACKBERRY JUICE
This recipe solves the problem of what to do with the avalanche of blackberries that we have at the end of every July. We don’t eat a lot of jam so this is perfect for us. In the 1970’s, my mother used to make a foamy mousse made out of jelly and evaporated milk. We have now got enough bottled blackberry juice to make over 100 portions. It is packed with vitamin C and the gelatine is apparently very good for bones and reduces osteoporosis.
Blackberries are now in full flow and although I’ve been making blackberry mousse every couple of days and blackberry jam, I thought it would be a good idea to find a way of making a blackberry syrup that could store and that could be mixed with whipped evaporated milk at a later stage. That way, we could summon up summer at any time in the future.
I prefer to remove the seeds from the blackberries and so use a stick blender to blitz up the blackberries and then pass them through a mouli-légumes. I then weigh the juice and calculate the quantities of sugar and glycerine based on this.
The basic quantities are 750g blackberry juice, 15g glycerine and 50g sugar. In percentage terms this amounts to 2% glycerine and 6.7% sugar.
These are the quantities for 750ml of blackberry juice and 330ml evaporated milk.
- 750ml blackberry juice
- 15g powdered gelatine
- 50g sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
- Run some very hot water in the sink and thoroughly clean the jars and lids.
- Leave to drain on a tea-towel while you prepare the syrup.
- Pour the blackberry juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, combine the water, sugar and gelatine in a small saucepan.
- Gently heat through, stirring all the while until the gelatine has melted.
- Add a couple of ladlefuls of the hot juice mixture to the gelatine mixture and stir well.
- Pour the gelatine mix back into the juice pan and bring to the boil.
- Fill the jars with the juice.
- Close the jars firmly and place upside down for 30 minutes or so.
- Turn the right way up and leave to cool.
To make up the mousse, use 330ml evaporated milk for 750ml blackberry juice. Whisk the evaporated milk until thick and you can see trace on the surface. Combine the juice and milk and mix well. Put in the fridge to set overnight.
The year 2020 was THE year for blackberries. We cut the bushes back at the beginning of the year and once they started producing, they didn’t stop. The challenge now was what to do with them so we started experimenting with everything from dried blackberries for the muesli, to blackberry jam and blackberry cordial to mix with gaseosa (the Spanish version of a slightly sweetened soda water or not-so-sweet lemonade) as a non-alcoholic summer drink, but possibly my favourite was blackberry mousse. John told me about the mousse his mum used to make with jelly and evaporated milk so by trial and error I worked out the quantities for this delicious mousse recipe.
I prefer to make the mousse by blitzing the berries first with a stick blender and then passing the liquid through a Moulinex food mill or mouli-légumes to remove the seeds but it is entirely up to you whether you blitz or not. I’ve found that heating the mixture before combining with the evaporated milk results in a stable mousse that doesn’t ferment in the fridge after a couple of days.
The quantities of gelatine and sugar will vary according to the amount of juice you get from the berries. The quantities shown below are based on 750g blackberry juice (without the seeds).
- 750g blackberry juice
- 15g powdered gelatine
- 50g granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
- 330ml evaporated milk
- Blitz the blackberries with a stick blender and then put through the food mill or mouli-légumes to remove the seeds.
- Heat the blackberry juice in a pan and boil for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the water, gelatine and sugar in a saucepan.
- Heat gently until the mixture has dissolved, stirring all the time.
- Add several ladlefuls of the juice mixture to the gelatine pan and stir well.
- Return the gelatine mixture to the juice pan and stir well.
- Remove from the heat.
- Leave to cool for 20 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk the evaporated milk until a trace is left.
- Spoon some of the berry juice into the evaporated milk and continue to whisk.
- Gradually add the rest of the berry juice and continue to whisk until the mousse is thoroughly mixed.
- Leave to cool in the fridge overnight.
Ricotta berry mousse
I made this with some summer berries (blackberries and raspberries) and some of the first ricotta that I made this year from milking the neighbour’s goats.
250g ricotta cheese
125ml single cream
sugar to taste
Save some berries back for decoration. Blend the remaining berries.
Combine the ricotta, cream and sugar in a bowl and mix well.Swirl the berry mixture through the cheese and cream and decorate with the berries.
Chill before serving.