Strawberry, Pepper and Thyme Cordial


When strawberries are in season, this is my go to recipe for ensuring that nothing goes to waste. The resulting cordial is bright pink, and all natural, so it is a hit with both young and old. It is delicious with chilled water, or if you are feeling a little more fancy spruce it up with some soda water or sparkling mineral water, fresh thyme leaves and lemon segments. The cordial syrup is also amazing with greek yoghurt, and I imagine would also go down well with some pancakes.
 
Serves: Makes just under 1 litre of cordial
Cooking Time: Prepare the day before you want it, to allow flavours to develop. Requires approximately 30 minutes from start to bottling.

Ingredients

+ 500 g fresh strawberries, washed (remove the white centres if they are large strawberries)
+ 1/2 cup (100 g) raw sugar (you may wish to add extra if your strawberries are not overly ripe)
+ 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) water
+ 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (add more if you wish after tasting, I do!)
+ ~ 10 fresh thyme sprigs
+ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence

Method

Blend strawberries in a food processor until smooth. Alternatively, smoosh the strawberries until smooth with a fork.

Combine sugar, water, ground black pepper and thyme in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse and cool for 10 minutes. Strain mixture to remove thyme and most of the black pepper, add to the strawberry puree along with the vanilla essence and pulse to combine. Take care to not blend too much, or you will end up with a foam.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove most of the seeds, place into a sterilised glass jars and chill until required.

To serve spoon a little of the strawberry mixture, to taste, into glasses and top up with water, soda water or sparkling mineral water. Feel free to add any lemon wedges or fresh thyme as takes your fancy.

Any left over syrup will keep in the fridge for 7-10 days.

Original recipe sourced from the My Darling Lemon Thyme

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