Bryher Stores is closing at the end of the month and the blackcurrant pies will be no more. And it feels like a chunk of our childhood is over. It was the first place I tried an ice cream on a stick (a Feast!). It was 40p and I thought it was the most amazing, modern invention ever. And I've eaten copious amounts of sweets from its shelves my favourites being fruit pastilles. Bryher Stores was the only place that seemed to sell blackcurrant fruit pastilles. There's nothing more likely to put me in a bad mood than buying standard fruit pastilles to find 6 greens, 4 yellows and one orange. But there they sold 11 blackcurrant pastilles the way it should be.
So imagine my excitement this week in Tesco when there, nestled between the Jelly Tots and the Opal Fruits (don't make me call them Starburst) I found a perfectly silver wrapped packet of blackcurrant pastilles.
But "fat girl in a wedding dress" popped into my head and I decided to make my own. "Much healthier" I decided jollily as i skipped down the aisles. "I have all those blackcurrants in the freezer I stole from my friends garden when I knew he was out. They will be even better and healthier."
So were they better? Find out at the end of the blog.....
Blackcurrant Pastilles (makes 30 or so).......
75g/3oz caster sugar
4 gelatine leaves
extra caster sugar
Boil the sugar and the fruit in a pan for a few minutes until soft and syrupy and the whole house smells like Ribena. (Don't worry if they have little stalks on.)Leave to cool then push through a sieve. Keep the juice and throw the pulp away. Soften the gelatine leaves in cold water until floppy. Stir the floppy leaves into the juice and stir until dissolved. Pour into a china baking tray. (So it's about 1-2cm thick).