Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Time Is Now

le pavillon de la pomme 1

See that sign? We're not messing around. The time is now. This was the sign that greeted us at Le Pavillon de la Pomme on Monday, the one Michelle had noticed from a speeding car just one week earlier. As indicated, there were blackcurrants (cassis) and gooseberries (groseilles), but the place was absolutely teeming with blueberries (bleuets) and red currants (gadelles), both of which were at the peak of perfection. The bushes were so heavy with blueberries and red currants that you barely had to pick them. They were practically jumping into our buckets themselves. We spent about two hours and picked an absurd amount of berries--total cost: about $25. Keeping in mind that a thimbleful of red currants costs about $4 at the market, this was a very good deal.

How To Get To Le Pavillon de la Pomme From Montreal In 4 Easy Steps:
1. Take the Jacques Cartier Bridge to the 20
2. Follow the 20 east about 30 km to exit 115.
3. Drive south about 2 km to the 116.
4. Follow the 116 about .25 km east to Pavillon de la Pomme.

When we got there we rushed inside, picked up our buckets, and headed out back towards Mont-Saint-Hilaire.

le pavillon de la pomme 2

To get the good stuff, you've got to crawl under some netting from time to time,

le pavillon de la pomme 3

murray street

but that's a small price to pay for berries of this quality:

le pavillon de la pomme 4

How To Make Red Currant Jelly in 14 Easy Steps, According to Michelle
1. Place berries in a pot.
2. Add just enough to cover the bottom of the pot (Michelle recommends about 1/4").
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Pour the entire mixture in a jelly bag.
6. Let the contents drip into another pot overnight.
7. Measure the juice by volume.
8. Pour the same volume of sugar in a baking pan and place in a preheated oven at 200º F for 30 minutes.
9. For every cup of juice, have 1 teaspoon of lemon juice ready.
10. Bring your juice to a boil.
11. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir.
12. Let it simmer until it comes to a gel, about 1 minute.
13. Carefully skim the foam and discard.
14. Ladle into jars and seal using either a wet or dry canning method.

Excellent on buttered toast, divine with a nice cheese.

Drive, coerce some of your car-driving friends, hitchhike, hell, take a taxi. Do whatever it takes.

Once again: Le Pavillon de la Pomme, 1130 Boul. Laurier (rt. 116), Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC, J3G 4S6, (450) 464-2654.



lee said...

I can't believe the surge of jealousy that went through me when I read your post and realized that there are u-pick currant farms that I have no access to! In the past 2 weeks I have spent over $200 on fruit at market, mostly on black currants! Lucky for me, several farmers had them this year instead of just one and I got some for $3 pint instead of $3.99 for a half-pint. I just hope it's a few more years until the general public catches on to how fabulous these little gems are. The best thing I've made so far besides the requisite homemade cassis is black currant mascarpone ice cream. Best ice cream EVER! I'm glad I found your blog through Traveler's Lunchbox. Happy jamming...

Tanna said...

Would I love a jar of red currant jelly? Well, yes I would. I used to go picking with my aunt. She would drive all over looking for wild berries and currants, everything.
The currants look beautiful and what a lovely place to pick them.