Seasonal local food recipe No.284 – Hugh’s blackcurrant and orange salad with mint sugar Ⓥ

blackcurrants-camel csa

This recipe is taken from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book Fruit every day!  I’ve had pineapple with mint sugar and it is delicious – oranges will be added to the shopping list!

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

75g caster sugar
about 20 mint leaves
100g blackcurrants
4 oranges

Start by making the mint sugar.  Either put the sugar and mint into a food processor and blitz them together or, alternatively, finely chop the mint leaves then pound them together with the sugar using a pestle and mortar.  Either way you should end up with a crystalline green grainy mixture with a texture a little like damp green sand.  Set aside.

Slice all the peel and pith away from the oranges.  Now, working over a bowl, slice out the orange segments, letting them drop into the bowl.  Arrange the orange segments over individual plates.  Scatter over the blackcurrants, finish with a generous sprinkling of the minty green sugar and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No 102: Blackcurrant and almond cake

From Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. It makes a good pudding, she says, served warm with cream, crème fraîche or Greek yoghurt. You can make it in advance and reheat it gently, covered with a piece of foil.

Preparation and cooking: about 45 minutes

Serves 6-8

200g butter, plus a little more for the flan tin
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g blackcurrants, topped and tailed
icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Butter a 25cm loose-bottomed flan tin and line the base with a circle of baking parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor or with a hand beater until the mixture is pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and, after each addition, fold in some of the ground almonds and a few drops of vanilla extract. Put the mixture in the flan tin and scatter over the blackcurrants. Their flavour is intense, so don’t be tempted to use more fruit.

Cook for 30 minutes until golden and just firm and, before serving, sieve over some icing sugar.

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