As berries “currantly” plump on stems all over New England, it’s time to print Shauna Joyal’s great-grand-mother’s recipe, one of the top ten in our Mother’s Day Contest this past spring. Shauna and her partner are owners of Tangerine, a company that makes beautiful cakes, pastries and pastel-tinted macarons flavored with local ingredients. The photos are Joyal’s.
I too come from a long line of women who never put on an apron (unless it was made from Liberty of London fabric) and never thought of themselves as “grandmothers.” My mother is a talented and innovative cook who’s meals are always served on the perfect antique dish from her collection. She loves to teach her grandchildren to cook and how to set a beautiful table making your own your place cards and finding flowers in the yard. As a kid, I often envied friends who’s mothers played board games and soccer out in the yard, but I came to understand that my mother showed her affection through cooking and teaching. It was in the kitchen that we would connect and I would feel that we were truly in synch.
The recipe that I am sharing is one of my mother’s favorites and one that she loves to show off in one of her fabulous glass dishes. It’s a fruit soup originally made with fresh currants from my great grandmother’s yard. My mother adapted it since fresh currants are not easy to find and because she often wanted to make this dish in the winter. She serves it with heavy cream, but I think a creme Anglaise made with fragrant cinnamon makes a nice addition.
Shauna Joyal’s Rote-Grutze (Red Grits)
3 cups cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries and/or currants or 10 oz. frozen raspberries (my mother usually uses frozen)
2 sticks cinnamon
1/4 cup minute tapioca
Bring cranberry juice, berries and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Take off heat, remove cinnamon sticks and strain through a foley strainer or food mill. Cool. Add the tapioca and gradually bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Cool again and pour in individual dishes or one large serving dish.