Monin Blackcurrant Syrup
Blackcurrant is a versatile fruit which is rich, sweet and backed up with a hint of tartness. From sweet to savoury, to champagne to cheesecake, blackcurrant is a great enhancer for taking a large assortment of food and drink recipes to the next level.
It also pairs excellently with other fruits like strawberry, apple and raspberry. Its distinct, delicious flavour has been captured perfectly in Monin Blackcurrant Syrup, and this product allows you to instantly transform mochas, cocktails, and many other beverages.
Despite being native to countries such as France, Germany and Russia, blackcurrant is a fruit which has long been synonymous with Britain. The start of Britains blackcurrant cultivation is believed to have begun towards the end of the 17th century. However, the initial purpose behind this wasnt due to its edible qualities; the fruit was utilised for its perceived medicinal benefits.
The berries were made into syrups to help with cold and flu symptoms. They also helped with numerous intestinal ailments, mouth infections, typhoid fever, and other ailments.
It wasnt until World War II when Britain got a true taste for blackcurrant. During this time period, importing other fruits rich in vitamin C such as oranges became almost impossible due to the German U-boat campaign, which significantly restricted food produce from being brought into Britain.
This meant that the British had to rely more on home-grown produce, such as blackcurrant. Due to blackcurrant plants thriving in the UK climate, and the fruit boasting an abundance of vitamin C, the British Government pushed for a massive increase in their cultivation.
From 1942, nearly Britains entire blackcurrant crop was turned into blackcurrant syrup. The manufacture of the syrup was predominantly handled by HW Carter the original company behind Ribena. The syrup was purchased by the government, and distributed free of charge to the nations children. This set the wheels into motion for Britains love affair with blackcurrant, which continues to this day.
Other countries are less fond of the berry, and its not always entirely down to choice. For instance, the fruit was initially popular in the United States.
Yet when blackcurrant became considered a threat to the US logging industry in the early 1900s this was down to it being a potential vehicle for white pine blister rust its cultivation was banned in the country. The ban has been lifted in select states over the years, which has seen its growth make something of a comeback in New York, Connecticut and Vermont.
But the ban still exists in several other states, including Ohio, New Hampshire and Maine, meaning the fruit is still largely unknown in the US.
Simple Apple and Blackberry Pie with Blackcurrant Whipped Cream
It might be simple and easy to prepare, but this doesnt deviate from its scrumptious nature. The pie features a classic combination of apple and blackberry, and this is complemented by a lush, homemade, blackcurrant-flavoured whipped cream.
What you will need:
- Begin by preheating the oven to gas mark 5/190C. Grab a pie dish and dust it with flour.
- Take two-thirds of the shortcrust pastry and roll it out evenly until it is approximately 5mm thick. Line the pie dish with the pastry, ensuring theres a slight overhang on the sides. Now place in the fridge to chill for ten minutes.
- Use a fork to lightly prick the base. Line the pastry with baking paper, weigh it down with baking beans, and then place the dish in the oven for 20 minutes. As the pastry bakes, chop up the apples into thin discs. Remove the dish from the oven after 20 minutes, take out the baking paper/beans, and then fill the pastry base with the slices of apple. Place back in the oven for a further ten minutes.
- Thoroughly mix the cinnamon and caster sugar with the blackberries. When the ten minutes are up for the apples, bring the dish back out of the oven, and then pour the berry mixture over the top.
- With the remaining pastry, cut out strips and put them on the pie evenly, ensuring theres enough room to let the pastry puff up. Place back in the oven for 30 minutes. When done, remove the pie and allow it to cool for an hour.
- For the whipped cream, pour the fresh cream and Monin Blackcurrant Syrup into a whipped cream dispenser. Screw in a cream charger, ensure the dispenser is secured tight, and then shake for a number of seconds. Cut a slice of the pie, squirt on some of the fluffy blackcurrant whipped cream, and enjoy.