Hooray for Blackcurrant season! It is REALLY difficult to get blackcurrants in Ireland … so imagine my delight when they appeared in a Fruit n Veg Box from Dunworley Cottage!
Growing up, we had, what seemed to me, hundreds of Blackcurrant bushes in our fruit garden. I know because it was down to me to go out and pick the feckers all summer long! But there’s nothing quite like the scent that wafts from the leaves of the blackcurrant plant, and the sweet but tart bite of the pearlescent black and purple fruits.
I also have some Lemon Verbena growing in the garden – one of those old fashioned herbs that became the darling of chefs a few years back. Its wonderfully aromatic, and to eat it reminds me of Lemon Sherbet – like lemony popping candy – a pure delight! But what to do with it?
I decided to make a compote of the Blackcurrant scented with Lemon Verbena, and then I decided that the zingy lightness of the Lemon Verbena leant itself to a delightfully fluffy, and light as a feather, Summer Mousse. This is the recipe, and be quick: Blackcurrant season isn’t long, despite my childhood memories, and this year seems to be an exceptionally good year for them – so indulge as much as you can!
For the Compote
- 200 ml water
- 150 g white sugar
- 350 g blackcurrant
- 4 sprigs of lemon verbena (substitute for lemon zest)
For the Mousse
- 250 g double cream
- 3 medium egg whites
- Into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium-low heat, add water, sugar and lemon verbena sprigs, stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the blackcurrants and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully remove the sprigs of lemon verbena with tongs (it’ll be very hot!)
- Allow the compote to cool fully before making the mousse mix.
- When the compote is cooled, in one bowl whip the cream and in the other whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak.
- Take one spoonful of the egg white and fold into the cream gently. Repeat until all the egg white has been folded into the cream. Do this all as gently as possible so as not to loose any of the air out of the mix.
- Swirl two generous tablespoons of the compote into the mousse mix and very gently stir through so the compote ripples through the mousse.
- Into a serving glass, place an amount of compote in the bottom, followed by some of the mousse mixture and top with another spoon of the compote. Garnish with a sprig of fresh lemon verbena, take up your spoon and dig in with glee.
Organic Fruit & Veg Boxes available from Dunworley Cottage: https://dunworley.com/fruit-veg-boxes/