Saturday, July 22, 2017

Rhubarb, Blackcurrant and Orange Jam.

900g Blackcurrants, washed and stalks removed
675g Rhubarb, washed and sliced
Juice of 6 oranges, plus zest of 3
1.5kg Sugar
Place the fruit and orange zest in a large preserving pan.
Add the orange juice, making up quantity with water to make 425ml.
Bring to the boil and gently simmer until fruit is quite soft – about 20min.
Remove from heat.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
Remove any scum.
Poor into cooled, sterilised jars, seal and label.
Rhubarb, Blackcurrant and Orange Jam - Bay Tree Cottage Workshops:

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Marrow & ginger jam.

(Makes about 3 x 200g jars)
- Setting point is 104.5°C.
- A marrow is a cucurbit, which means it’s from the same family as the melon, cucumber, squash and courgette.
- Size matters - a huge marrow is best reserved for a horticultural competition.
Hunt out the smallest marrow you can find- it should be no bigger than your forearm.
Large marrows will taste bitter and have a watery consistency.
- Marrow is a blank canvas so works well with strong flavours- pile on citrus, chilli, garlic, bacon, spices and robust herbs like rosemary and thyme.

Prepare it:
Weigh the marrow/courgette first and adjust the recipe proportionately:
1 lemon and 30g unpeeled ginger to 40-45g vegetable.
The weight of sugar should be the same as unpeeled marrow/courgette.
The quantities below are those specified in the original recipe.

700g marrow or courgette (peeled, deseeded and in small dice)
700g white sugar
1.5 lemons
45g fresh root ginger (peeled and grated)

- Peel the marrow, remove the seeds and cut into small dice.
Place in a large saucepan.

- Remove the lemon zest using a zester, if available, or the large holes of a grater (being careful not to remove any white pith) and set aside.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze into a jug.
Place the empty lemon shells and pips into a small muslin bag (or foot section of a clean pair of tights).

- Add a small amount of the lemon juice to the pan, cover with a lid and gently cook the marrow until transparent.
If necessary add some more lemon juice to stop the marrow sticking.
Spoon the marrow and any collected liquids into a blender and liquidise until smooth.
Alternatively the mixture can be mashed for a slightly coarser texture or, providing the dice are very small, left as it is.

- Peel the ginger, grate using the large holes of the grater and add to the lemon zest.
Add the ginger peelings and any very fibrous pieces to the small bag with the leftover lemon pieces.

- Return the marrow mixture to the same pan, add the remaining lemon juice, the lemon and ginger.
Stir in and dissolve the sugar.
Knot the bag of bits and add it to the pan.

- Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn down to a rolling simmer.
Stir regularly, pressing down on the bag of bits occasionally and reduce until the mixture has reached setting point.
Test for a set by putting a half teaspoon of jam on a saucer from the freezer.
If, once it has cooled a little, it wrinkles when pushed with a finger, it should be ready to pot.
If not ready then leave for 5 minutes and try again. (This took about 25 minutes for two-thirds of the full amount above.)

- Put the jars in an oven set to 100C for 10 minutes.

- Remove the small bag of bits, scraping the jam from the outside and squeezing it with tongs and place it on a saucer.
Any extra juices that collect on the saucer should be stirred back into the jam before you start potting.

- Pot into the prepared jars.
Cool and label.

Based on:
- Marrow & ginger jam recipe | BBC Good Food:
- Surprise Lemon & Ginger Jam | Meanderings through my cookbook:

- A Green and Rosie Life: Marrow and Ginger Jam: "Recipe of the Week"
450g/1lb marrow (weighed after peeling) - peeled and cut into small cubes
450g/1lb sugar
1tsp ground ginger or 45-60g crystallized ginger, chopped finely
Juice 1 large lemon
1. Sprinkle the sugar over the marrow, cover and let it stand overnight in a cool place.
2. The next day put the sugar and marrow in a preserving or large pan and warm gently until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Add the ginger and lemon juice then boil steadily until the cubes look transparent and the syrup has set.*
4. Pour into hot, sterilised jam jars and cover at once.

* to check if the syrup has set place some thinly on a cold plate.
Allow it to cool and then push it gently with your finger.
if a skin has formed on the syrup that crinkles up slightly when you push it then setting point has been reached.
If not continue to boil until you do reach setting point.

Occasionally my syrup won't set.
Don't worry if this happens to you.
If this is the case simply call it marrow and ginger sauce and eat it with ice cream, pancakes etc.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Marrow and Ginger Jam.

Ingredients for making 4-5 x 340g jars

1.5Kg Marrows, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes
1.5Kg Jam sugar with added pectin
200g crystalized ginger – chopped
2 unwaxed lemons
Making your marrow and ginger jam

Put the marrow and the sugar into a non-metallic bowl in layers – so layer of marrow followed by a layer of sugar, and leave, covered, for a couple of hours or overnight if possible.
Put the mixture into the preserving pan along with the ginger, and the grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
Bring to simmer gently and keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and boil rapidly until setting point has been reached (usually about 4 minutes), remove from the heat immediately after the setting point has been reached.
Allow to cool for 5 mins and stir gently before potting into sterilised jars.
- Allotment Gardener - Marrow and Ginger Jam:

1.4kg large courgettes, or marrow, weighed after peeling, chopping into 1cm thick pieces and de-seeding
1.8 kg sugar
25 g ginger, grated
rind and juice of 2 lemons, thinly peeled
rind and juice of 1 oranges, thinly peeled

1. Place the courgettes in a large bowl and sprinkle over about 450g of the sugar. Leave overnight.

2. Place the grated ginger, lemon and orange rind on a piece of muslin and tie up the muslin over the mixture. Place the muslin bag in a preserving pan with the courgettes, orange and lemon juices.

3. Simmer for 30 minutes, add the remaining sugar and boil gently until setting point is reached and the courgettes look transparent.

4. Remove and discard the muslin bag. Pot the hot chutney into clean, warm, sterilised jars, cover with waxed paper discs, set aside to cool and cover in the usual way.
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Vegetable jam recipes by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall | Life and style | The Guardian

Vegetable jam recipes | Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall | Life and style | The Guardian:

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Blueberry Orange Ginger Jam.

8 cups fresh blueberries
4 1/2 cups jam sugar
Grated zest and juice of one large orange
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
- Working in batches if necessary, pulse blueberries in blender until coarsely crushed.
You should have about 6 cups.

- Measure 4 1/4 cups of sugar in one bowl.
In another bowl- remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

- Zest and juice orange.
You should have 1/2 cup juice.
If you don't, make up the difference with water.

- Combine blueberries, orange zest and juice, granted ginger, and ground ginger in large, heavy saucepan or stockpot.
Stir in jam sugar.
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

- Add remaining sugar all at once.
Stir in butter and return to a full rolling boil.
Boil for one minute.
Remove jam from heat and skim off any foam from surface.

- Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
Wipe rims of the jars, cover with lids, and screw bands on until just barely tight.
Place jars on rack in pot and cover completely with water.
Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat, uncover pot, and allow jars to rest in water for five minutes.
Remove jars from pot and allow them to rest undisturbed on countertop for six hours or overnight.

- Blueberry Orange Ginger Jam Recipe | Serious Eats:

- Blueberry Jam, 3 Ways | Love and Olive Oil:
Blueberry Lime:
Blueberry Blackberry:
Blueberry Honey Lavender:

- Blueberry Jam with Brown Sugar:
500g blueberries
1/3 cup brown sugar, light, packed
2 TBS lemon juice
Cook until jam thickens, about 20 minutes.
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Blueberry Jam.

6 cups of smashed blueberries (you’ll need 8-10 cups of unsquashed berries to equal this amount)
4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons classic pectin powder
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Prepare a canning pot and 3 pint jars.
Place 3 lids in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer.
Pour the smashed berries into a low, wide, non-reactive pot.
Measure out the sugar and whisk in the powdered pectin.
Add the sugar and pectin mixture to the fruit and stir to combine.
Once the sugar is mostly dissolved, place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil.
Cook at a controlled boil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fruit begins to look thick and any foaming has begun to subside.
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon zest and juice and let jam continue to cook until it passes the plate test, or until the drips hang off the spatula in thick, sticky rivulets.
Remove jam from heat and funnel into prepared jars.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
Once jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals.
Sealed jars can be stored on the pantry shelf for up to one year.
Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.

- Blueberry Jam - Food in Jars:

Small Batch Blueberry Ginger Jam
3 cups smashed blueberries (650g)
1 1/2 cups sugar
7-8cm ginger, sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
Prepare a small canning pot and two half pint jars.
Combine mashed blueberries, sugar and sliced ginger in a bowl or measuring cup.
Let sit for at least an hour and up to 24 hours to give the ginger time to infuse its flavor into the fruit.
If you’re going for a longer maceration time, pop the fruit into the fridge.
When you’re ready to make the jam, pour the fruit into a medium pot.
Bring to a boil and add the lemon zest and juice.
Cook for 10-20 minutes (time depends on moisture level in fruit, humidity, power of stove, etc.) until jam approaches Setting point is 104.5°C/220F and appears to pass the plate test.
When jam is finished cooking, remove pot from heat and stir in the candied ginger.
Pour into prepared jars.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Check seals when cool and store unopened jars in a cool, dark place.

- Urban Preserving: Blueberry Ginger Jam - Food in Jars:
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Blueberry Rhubarb Jam With Maple Syrup,

Blueberry Rhubarb Jam With Maple Syrup Recipe | Serious Eats:
1+1/2 cups jam sugar
3 cups chopped rhubarb/400 grams, diced (about 6 stalks)
200g blueberries
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1 cup pure maple syrup

1. Combine rhubarb and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer just until rhubarb breaks down, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree blueberries in a food processor or blender.
Wash rhubarb, top and tail then chop into evenly sized pieces (I usually run a knife down the middle of the stalks then chop into roughly 1cm sized pieces).
Place in a glass bowl and pour the sugar over the top.
Cover with a plate or cling film and leave overnight, by which time the sugar will have soaked up the juice from the rhubarb.

2. Measure 2 cups of stewed rhubarb (reserve any extra rhubarb for another use).
Return 2 cups of rhubarb and the pureed blueberries to the saucepan.
Add lemon juice, butter, cinnamon stick, star anise, and vanilla bean and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add maple syrup and jam sugar and return fruit mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
Boil hard for one minute.

4. Remove pot from heat and skim any foam from surface of the jam with a cold metal spoon.
Remove and discard star anise, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean.
Ladle jam into hot sterilized jars and process them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

- Growing and making jam with blueberries | Life and style | The Guardian: By Gloria Nicol

- Blueberry Jam, 3 Ways | Love and Olive Oil:

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The New Rule of Ratatouille: Forget the Rules.

- The New Rule of Ratatouille: Forget the Rules | Serious Eats:
Ratatouille typically includes a mix of eggplant, summer squash (i.e., zucchini, yellow squash, and other soft-skin types), onion, garlic, bell peppers, and tomatoes stewed in olive oil. Herbs vary, and some folks hold very strong opinions about which ones they should and should not be, but among the most ubiquitous are basil, parsley, and thyme.
- Cutting the Vegetables: Anywhere from 0.5cm to 1cm pieces is a good size.
- Pre-Salting: The salted eggplant and squash produced ratatouille with more depth and sweetness.
You can dice the eggplant and squash, then salt them and let them sit while you continue dicing the other vegetables.
- Single-Pot Versus Individually Cooked Vegetables: you do preserve the shape and flavor of each vegetable a little better by cooking them separately...but not absolutely essential - starting with the onion and garlic, then adding the bell peppers soon after, followed by the squash and eggplant, and finally the tomato.
- Fresh Diced Tomato Versus Tomato Purée: the diced fresh tomato maintained its shape to the end, while the puréed tomatoes acted as a sauce, coating everything in a red sheen and helping to bind it all together.
As you can imagine, the tomato flavor is more pervasive when added as purée, since it glazes every other vegetable in the dish.
I prefer the purée.
Canned whole tomatoes often provide some of the best quality you can get, but feel free to use a puree made from cooked fresh ones if they're good enough.
Ratatouille: Step by Step:
I start by salting the eggplant and squash and letting them stand in a strainer set over a bowl for between 15 and 30 minutes.
Whether doing the individually cooked or the one-pot approach, I then sweat onion and garlic in olive oil.
For the one-pot approach, the next step is to combine everything else in the pot and let it cook until done.
Once everything is in the pot, I set it over low heat and add the tomato.
I also add herbs at this point; here, it's a bundle of basil, parsley, and thyme.
Herb garnishes are up to you, too. In these photos, I've stirred in some chopped parsley, but you could use basil, another herb, or just leave it out altogether.
I'll often also stir in a bit more fresh olive oil for flavor at the end.
As good as ratatouille is hot, it's so, so much better when eaten slightly chilled or at room temperature the next day.

Provençal Ratatouille Recipe:
3 cups 0.6cm diced summer squash, such as zucchini and yellow squash (about 4 small or 2 medium squash)
3 cups 0.6cm diced Italian eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
3 cups 0.6cm diced yellow onion (about 3 medium onions)
6 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 cups 0.6cm diced red and yellow bell pepper (about 4 large peppers)
2 cups pureed canned whole tomatoes, with their juices, from 1 (800g) can
1 bouquet garni (herb bundle), made from fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley, and basil, tied together with butcher's twine
Chopped fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, for garnish (optional)

1. Place summer squash in a wire mesh strainer set over a bowl; place eggplant in a second wire mesh strainer and set over a second bowl.
Toss both with a liberal amount of kosher salt and let stand to drain at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Discard any liquid that collects in the bowls.

2. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add onion and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes.
Scrape onion and garlic onto a rimmed baking sheet and spread in an even layer to cool for 3 minutes.
Transfer onion and garlic to a large pot.

3. Meanwhile, add 3 more tablespoons olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add bell pepper, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes.
Scrape bell pepper onto the rimmed baking sheet in an even layer to cool for 3 minutes.
Transfer bell pepper to pot with onion.

4. Add 3 more tablespoons olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add summer squash and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes.
Scrape onto rimmed baking sheet in an even layer to cool for 3 minutes.
Transfer to pot with onion and bell pepper.

5. Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add eggplant and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes; add more olive oil as needed if skillet dries out while cooking eggplant.
Scrape eggplant into pot with other vegetables and stir to combine.

6. Set pot of vegetables over medium-high heat and stir in tomato puree and herb bundle; heat until ratatouille is gently bubbling, then lower heat to medium and cook, stirring, until tomato puree coats vegetables in a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.
Discard herb bundle.
Season with salt, stir in chopped parsley (if using), and drizzle with a small amount of fresh extra-virgin olive oil.
Serve right away, or chill and serve either reheated, slightly chilled, or at room temperature.
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Ratatouille from Mastering The Art of French Cooking.

serves 6-8
500g eggplant
500g zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
6-7 tablespoons olive oil, more if necessary
250g (about 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
500g firm red tomatoes, or 1 1/2 cups pulp
2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers
2 cloves mashed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 1cm thick, about 8cm long, and 2-3cm wide.
Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices.
Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt.
Let stand for 30 minutes.
Dry each slice in a towel.
One layer at a time, saute the eggplant, and then the zucchini in hot olive oil for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly.
Remove to a side dish.
In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned.
Stir in the garlic and season to tastes.
Slice the tomato pulp into 1cm strips.
Lay them over the onions and peppers.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice.
Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil off several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.
Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the casserole and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of parsley.
Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices.
Correct seasoning, if necessary.
Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil.
Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.
Set aside uncovered.
Reheat slowly at serving time or serve cold.

It's a method promoted by Julia Child:
- In the News | Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University: "Siting Julia"

Also: - Classic Ratatouille | Essential Pepin:
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Gooseberry and Elderflower Preserve.

900 g gooseberries
4 tablespoons elderflower cordial
a trace of butter
900 g granulated sugar

First of all take the large, heavy saucepan and smear the base with a butter paper as this will help prevent the preserve sticking at a high temperature.

Then top and tail the gooseberries into the pan and add 5fl oz (150 ml) water.
Next bring up to simmering point and simmer very gently until the fruit is tender – this will take about 15 minutes.

After that add the sugar and stir well, then, keeping the heat low, wait for the sugar to dissolve completely (about 15 minutes), testing the liquid with a wooden spoon to make sure that there are no little granules of sugar left.
Now turn the heat up to its very highest setting and let the preserve boil rapidly for 8 minutes, then take it off the heat to test for a set.

Spoon a little of the preserve on to one of the cold saucers from the fridge, and let it cool back in the fridge.
You can tell – when it has cooled – if you have a 'set' by pushing the mixture with your little finger: if it has a really crinkly skin, it is set.
If it is not set, boil for 5 more minutes and repeat until the preserve is set.

When set, stir in the elderflower cordial and allow it to settle for 15 minutes before pouring it into warmed sterilised jars.
Seal with waxed discs, put the lids on and label when cold.
- Gooseberry and Elderflower Preserve | Recipes | Delia Online:

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Video: jam-making.

- Video: Christine Ferber's Raspberry Jam | Martha Stewart:

- Gourmet Jams by Christine Ferber | Euromaxx - YouTube:

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Strawberry Jam.

This is a fantastic recipe taken from Pam Corbin's, 'Preserves' book.
It follows a golden jam rule my granny used, A pound of sugar for every pound of fruit.
As strawberries are low in pectin, adding some jam sugar helps attain a great setting point without affecting the strawberries delicious flavour.

Ikg strawberries, hulled, large ones, halved and quartered.
500g granulated sugar.
450g jam sugar with added pectin
150ml lemon juice

Put 200g of the strawnberries into your preserving pan alongside an equal amount of sugar and using a potato masher, cruish to a pulp.
Place the pan on a low heat and when the fruity mixture warms add the rest of your strawberries.
Gently bring this to simmering boil, using a spoon to agitate the bottom of the pan,this prevents the fruit from sticking.
Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes to allow the strawberries to soften a little.

Next add the remaining sugar and the jam sugar.
Stir the mixture gently to prevent the sugar sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan.
When the sugar has disolved add the lemon juice.
Turn up the heat and when the mixture reaches full boil, continue boiling for 8-9 minutes.
Then test for setting point.

Remove from the heat and, if the surface is scummy, stir gently until the scum has dispersed.
Pot and seal.
Use within 12 months.

Thane Prince: 'Best Ever Raspberry jam' .

- Thane Prince: 'There’s something quiet and proper about jam-making' - Telegraph:

In Perfect Preserves, Thane explains in jolly, practical prose the subtle differences between jams, jellies, butters, marmalades and chutneys.
Preserving is not just for harvest festival time, she says, it’s a year-round effort.
“It starts in the spring with marmalade – those oranges come in in February – and runs all the way through to December, when I make my cranberry vodka.
“With sugar, acid and pectin, you can set anything.
Best Ever Raspberry jam
This is probably my favourite recipe for jam.
I always make small batches as this jam is best eaten fresh Frozen berries work well allowing a taste of summer when snow is abundant.
500gm freshly picked or thawed frozen raspberries
500gm white sugar
Put 3-4 200ml washed and dried jam jars on a baking sheet then place in an over set to 150º C
Have a couple of small plates in the fridge or freezer
Place the berries and sugar into a heavy bottomed steel or enamelled pan and cook over a low heat until the fruit melts and the sugar is fully dissolved.
Bring the mixture up to boiling point and boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
Switch off the heat and test for a set. Drop a teaspoon of jam on a cold plate, wait about 30 seconds then push the edge of the puddle gently with your finger.
If you can see the surface wrinkling your jam is ready if not re-boil testing every 2 minutes, again using the timer to keep track.
Once you are happy with the set, pot the jam into the hot jars cover with lids and allow to cool
Check the lids are tightly on and label before storing in a cool dark larder or cupboard

Thane Prince's gooseberry and elderflower curd
”A curd is, basically, a set custard, a silky-soft luxury.”
500g gooseberries
Five eggs
125g salted butter
100ml elderflower cordial
200g white caster sugar
Place the washed gooseberries in a pan over a low heat, with just the water that clings to them, cover and cook until the fruit softens and boils.
Rub the mixture through a sieve into a round-bottomed pan.
Lightly whisk the eggs until smooth, and add to the pan, along with the butter cut into 1cm cubes, the elderflower cordial and sugar.
Put the pan on a very low heat and srir constantly with a wooden spoon, as though scrambling eggs.
Cook until the sugar has completely dissolved and the butter melted.
The mixture should not feel gritty when stirred, and there should be no signs of sugar on the back of your spoon.
Turn the heat up a notch to low, stirring constantly, cook the curd until it is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon.
Do not stop stirring or leave the pan; do not let the mixture bubble.
When the curd has thickened – remembering it will thicken more as it cools – take the pan from the heat.
Pot the curd into sterilised jars, using a jam funnel and a ladle.
Cover with the lids and leave to cool.
When the jars are cold, label them and check the lids are firmly screwed on.
Store in the fridge; unopened, it keeps for up to four weeks.

Blackberry ketchip
Yield approx. 1kg | Keeps 6 months
Ingredients1kg blackberries
350g red onions
30g garlic
1–2 fresh red chillies
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
500ml cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
400g white granulated sugar
Wash the berries in a colander and shake off as much water as possible.
Tip them into a large heavy-bottomed, non-reactive preserving pan.
Peel and finely chop the onions and the garlic.
Chop the chilli.
I leave the pith and seeds in, but for a milder flavour take these out.
Grind the seeds, berries and peppercorns finely, using a spice mill or a mortar and pestle.
Now put everything but the sugar into the pan with the blackberries. Place this over a moderate heat, and bring the mixture up to a simmer.
It should bubble gently.
Cover with the lid and cook gently for 30–40 minutes or until everything is very soft.
Remember to stir from time to time.
Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes, as blending the hot mixture can be explosive.
Once the ketchup has cooled a little, spoon it into the blender and whizz until smooth. It may be necessary to do this in batches.
You now need to sieve the ketchup to remove any unwanted lumps, skins etc. Place a sieve over a glass bowl and, using a wooden spoon, rub the mixture through the sieve until you have a dry, fibrous residue left in the sieve.
Discard this.
Place some clean bottles and/or jars and their lids on a baking tray and then into the oven preheated to 100 C/200 F/ Gas 2 for 20 minutes.
Return the ketchup to the washed saucepan and add the sugar, stirring it in well.
Put the pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Simmer the ketchup over a medium heat until thick, about 15 minutes, stirring often, as it has a tendency to stick to the pan at this stage.
Once it is as thick as you wish, remembering that it will thicken on cooling, remove the ketchup from the heat and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
Take the baking tray of bottles/jars from the oven at the same time.
Stir the ketchup once more, then pot into the hot jars or bottles, using a funnel, and leaving a headspace of about 2cm at the top of each bottle or 1cm at the top of each jar.
Screw the lids on loosely and allow to cool.
When cold, label the bottles or jars, and check the lids are tight. Store in a cool, dark place or the fridge.

- Thane Prince's Blog:
and -
and -

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Roast lamb with boulangère potatoes.

Start your boulangère potatoes first, then use them as a base to roast your lamb on.
1 lamb joint
Large potatoes equal in weight to the lamb
1 large onion
1 tbsp dried herbes de Provence
2 garlic cloves
50g/2oz butter

You can make this roast for two, using a small half shoulder, or as many as 12, with two legs of lamb.
Just remember you need the same weight of potatoes as meat.
Serve with redcurrant jelly rather than mint sauce.

Pre-heat the oven to 400F/200C/gas mark 6.
Peel the potatoes and slice thinly.
Rinse them and soak in cold water.
Peel, halve and finely chop the onion.
Peel the garlic.
Chop one garlic and thinly slice the other.
Mix onion, chopped garlic and herbs.
Use half the butter to grease a large earthenware gratin-type dish or roasting pan.
Fill with a third of the drained potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper and scatter half the onion mixture over the top.
Make another layer of potatoes and onion and finish with a layer of potatoes.
Smooth the surface of the potatoes and press down evenly with the flat of your hand.
Dot with butter.
Add enough boiling water to almost cover the potatoes.
Cook them in the oven for 30mins, then turn up to 450F/230C/gas mark 8 for another 15 minutes – until the liquid has been absorbed, the potatoes are tender and the top is nicely browned.
Meanwhile, trim excess fat from the lamb.
Make slashes in the meat and post the sliced garlic.
Calculate the cooking time, allowing between 15 and 25 minutes per pound, depending on how pink you like your lamb.
Now place the joint on top of the potatoes and cook for 15 mins before returning temperature to earlier level.
Turn meat at halfway point.
Then remove the joint, keep it warm and allow it to rest for 15 minutes or more, leaving the potatoes in the oven.
Carve at the table, giving everyone some of the meat juices and letting your guests help themselves to the potatoes (they’ll want more).

From: Roast lamb with boulangère potatoes - Saga:
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cherry clafoutis.

A baking dish 28 cm
Sweet cherry 1 kg
Butter 80g
Sugar 200g
Plain flour 150g
Egg 1
Yolks 3
Crème Fraîche 250g
Single cream 200 ml
Baking powder 4g
Salt 1/3 tea spoon
1. You can change the amount of sugar.
It all depends on your taste and ripeness of fruit.
2. Plain flour is completely replaceable for whole grains, for example.
Or, you can replace half of the specified portion of flour with corn.
3. The amount of liquid cream can vary.
Everything will depend on the type of flour chosen, on its moisture capacity.
Try to make your dough not very liquid, but not very thick. Ideal consistency - like for pancake.
1. In a saucepan, heat the butter on high heat.
Add half of the portion (100 g) of sugar and whole cherry.
Stirring, bring the cherry until caramelized.
Do not cook cherries.
As soon as the sugar has dissolved and covered the cherry, remove from heat and put them into baking dish.
Leave to cool slightly.
2. Turn on the oven: 180°C with convection.
3. Mix together the flour, the remaining sugar, salt and baking powder.
4. In a bowl with a mixture of dry ingredients, add yolks, egg, sour cream and half cream.
Stir everything with a spoon, do not knead!
We do not need a smooth dough.
Let it remain somewhat "cloddy".
If it is too thick, add the rest of the cream.
5. Pour dough in the form over cherry evenly.
Put in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
Clafoutis served cold, sprinkled with sugar.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cherry and ricotta tart.

Rachel Roddy’s recipe for cherry and ricotta tart | A kitchen in Rome | Life and style | The Guardian:
Cherry and ricotta tart by Rachel Roddy.
You will need a tart or flan tin 24cm in diameter and 3cm deep (those with a loose bottom being particularly good).

Serves 8–10
For the pastry
150g cold butter, diced
300g plain flour (ideally 00-grade)
A pinch of salt
60g sugar (optional)
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten

For the cherry layer
500g cherries, sweet or sour, pitted
Strips of zest from 1 unwaxed lemon
A glass of red wine
50 –100g sugar, depending on cherries, or 300g cherry or sour cherry jam

For the ricotta layer
500g ricotta
1 egg
75g sugar
Extra egg, for brushing

- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the salt and sugar (if using), then the eggs.
Mix into a soft pastry.
Wrap in greaseproof paper.
Chill for at least 1 hour.

- Put the cherries in a pan along with the zest, wine and sugar.
Bring to the boil, reduce to a lively simmer and cook until the cherries are tender and collapsing – but not mushy.
Use a slotted spoon to lift the cherries from the pan, raise the heat and reduce the liquor to a thick syrup that really coats the back of a spoon.
Take the pan from the heat, return the cherries to the syrup and leave to cool.

- Combine the ricotta, egg and sugar.
Set the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

- On a lightly floured surface, roll two-thirds of the pastry into a disc a little larger than your baking tin.
Drape the pastry over a rolling pin, unfurl it into the tin and press into the corners.
Trim the excess pastry away with a knife.

- Spoon the cherries into the shell.
Carefully spoon the ricotta mixture on top.
Roll the remaining pastry into a circle, then cut into strips to make a lattice, which you can lay as simply or as cleverly as you like.

- Brush the lattice with beaten egg.
Bake the tart in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the lattice is golden and the ricotta topping slightly puffed.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The science and magic of jam-making.

The science and magic of jam-making | Andy Connelly | Science | The Guardian:
"The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.
/Lewis Carroll/"
The recipe:
Jam recipes mostly comprise equal weights of fruit and sugar.
You can play with this 1:1 ratio as much as you want, but too much fruit and you may lose the preserving effects of the sugar; too much sugar and it may crystallise during storage.

The choice of fruit for jam-making is almost endless.
I always try to use seasonal fruit to get the best flavour for my jam.
Slightly unripe or "just ripe" fruit will form a jam more easily than very ripe fruit as it contains more pectin and is more acidic.
2 tablespoons of lemon juice is the equivalent to the juice of one lemon.

1kg fruit
1kg granulated sugar
Lemon juice and/or pectin (depending on the fruit you use)

* Some fruits are naturally high in acid but others are low so we need to compensate for this by adding acid at the start before we start cooking.

Start by removing any leaves and twigs, wash the fruit if you feel it necessary, and remove any stones.
Add the fruit to a pan big enough to ensure the fruit does not reach more than halfway up the side.

- Heating
Place your pan on a low heat.
As the fruit heats through, a glorious fresh, warm smell will fill the air.
Prolong this by heating slowly until a very gentle boil is reached.
Cook until tender – any longer and the fruit will lose its shape.
No sugar is added at this stage because a high sugar concentration can cause water to be removed through osmosis and result in hard, unappetising fruit.
You might need to add a little water though if your fruit is very dry.

Boiling is key to jam-making because it releases a long fibrous compound known as pectin.
Even though pectin only makes up 0.5-1% of the jam, you will have to learn to play it like a snake charmer or you will add your tears to your mixture.

The first handling of a jam the morning after making is full of trepidation.
The jam maker's nightmare is to find a wet, sloppy strawberry sauce, not the semi-rigid, elastic substance that chemists describe as a "gel": a liquid dispersed in a solid.
Pectin forms the solid that holds the liquid together.
Some fruits, including apples, blackberries and grapes, can do this alone as they contain sufficient pectin.
Some fruits are low in pectin, however, and so need a little more help, for example apricots, rhubarb and strawberries.

You can add commercial pectin, which is extracted from the white inner skin (the pith or "albedo") of citrus fruits or from apples.
You can also buy special jam sugars with added pectin.
But jam makers of yore discovered through trial and error that if they mixed low-pectin fruits with high-pectin fruit (often apple) they could create the perfect consistency.
Personally, I like to mix high and low pectin fruits to keep it "in the garden", for example I might add a cooking apple to my blackberry jam.

We add sugar, which binds to the water molecules and frees up the pectin chains to form their network.
The negative charges are reduced by acid naturally found in the fruit or added to the mixture.
The acid reduces the electrical charge on the pectin branches and so allows them to bond.
To increase acidity lemon juice can be added.
But be careful: if your mixture is too acidic, this will damage the pectin.

As a rough guide, the juice of a whole lemon (30-40ml) will be needed for very low acid fruit, whereas half a lemon will be enough for medium acid fruit, and you won't need any for the high acid fruits.
In general, fruit with high pectin will also have high acidity and vice versa.

- Adding the sugar:
To warm the sugar, put into a cool oven, Gas Mark 1 (140°C/275°F), for a few minutes before adding to the fruit.
Add the sugar and stand back as it starts to foam up the sides of the pan.
A sentimentality-inducing childhood smell of sweet fruit fills the air.
Allow the sugar to dissolve over a low heat then bring rapidly to the boil.
Avoid stirring at this point as you may break up the fruit or cause crystallisation.
A foamy scum may form on the surface of the jam; this is normal and can be removed by adding a little butter (about 20g) to break the surface tension or by skimming it off with a spoon while your mixture is cooling.

This is the exciting bit: the smell of jam fills the air and you're desperate to get it into jars and on to some toast, but patience is required.
However, you will normally have to wait around 5–20 minutes for the pectin network to form.
The time varies depending on the type of fruit, the type of pan etc.
A wide-mouthed pan is ideal as it allows water to escape, helping to bring our precious pectin molecules closer together.

- Time to pour:
There are many ways of telling when your pectin network has formed and you are ready to pour the jam out.
It normally forms at around 104-105C, when the sugar content is high enough to allow the pectin branches to join.
Unfortunately, temperature is not a reliable signal because it varies according to acidity, amount of pectin, etc.
My preferred method is direct measurement.
Pour a little blob of jam on to a cooled saucer, let the jam cool in the fridge and then push against the side of it with your finger.
If the surface wrinkles it means the pectin network has solidified, setting point has been reached, and you should take the mixture off the heat.
If you don't boil it long enough the pectin network will not form properly.
Boil it too long you risk not only losing the fresh flavour and colour of the jam but having a jam with the texture of set honey.

- Cooling and decanting into jars:
This is my favourite part, but I allow the jam to cool and thicken for about 10 minutes before pouring it into jars, to prevent the fruit from floating to the top.
Try not to leave the jam too long, however, as lukewarm jam is a great breeding ground for mildew spores which are present in the air.

To keep you busy while you are waiting, get your pre-sterilised jars ready.
You will need five or six of them.
My preferred method of sterilisation is to wash them in soap and hot water, rinse them with clean water to remove any detergent, and dry them in the oven at about 160C.

Jams can remind us of summers past, even summers several years gone.
It is the sugar and acid that makes this possible.
Jams usually contain about 60% sugar, which is enough to stop most microorganisms growing.
The high acidity also makes it an unpleasant place to breed.
However, some moulds can grow even in these harsh conditions and so it is important to take care when preparing and sterilising your jars.

The satisfying gurgle of jam being poured is music to the ears.
Each jar should be topped up to just less than a centimetre below the surface.

- Capping and storage:
I remember being puzzled why my parents always put a waxed paper disc on the surface of their homemade jam.
I now know that it prevents the condensation of water on the jam's surface.
Condensed water would dissolve sugar, producing an area of low sugar concentration and allowing mould growth.
I must confess that jam never sits in my cupboard long enough to worry about this.

Now that our jam-making is at an end, there is only one stage to go: eating.
I always struggle not to get overexcited and try my jam straight away before it has developed its "quiver".
I am torn; I feel I should wait until the autumn, when I can close my eyes and relive summer.
But I'm realistic.
I wait till the next day to spread the noble jam thickly on a delicious chunk of simple bread and butter.

- Jam and Jelly Making – Fruit, Acid, Sugar and Water:
Some fruits are naturally high in acid but others are low so we need to compensate for this by adding acid at the start before we start cooking.

- Thane Prince: 'There’s something quiet and proper about jam-making' - Telegraph:

- How to make perfect strawberry jam | Life and style | The Guardian:
Makes 4 x 200ml jars

2kg small ripe strawberries
1.7kg jam sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

1. Hull the strawberries and discard any rotten ones.
Set aside about 10 of the smallest berries, and then mash the rest up into a rough pulp.
Put into a wide, thick-bottomed pan, add the sugar and the lemon juice, and bring to the boil.
Add the remaining strawberries to the pan, and put a saucer in the freezer.

2. Boil the jam for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly checking the setting point every minute or so during the last 5 minutes.
To do this, take the cold saucer out of the freezer, put a little jam on it, and put it back in to cool for a minute.
If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, then it's done.
Strawberry jam is unlikely to set very solid though, so don't expect the same results as you would with a marmalade.

3. Take off the heat and skim off the pink scum.
Pour into sterilised jars and cover with a disc of waxed paper, seal and store.

- Strawberry jam | BBC Good Food:
1kg hulled strawberry
750g jam sugar
juice 1 lemon
small knob of butter (optional)

- Diana Henry: jam making, a guide:
There are purists who will continue to make it the old-fashioned way but Pam's loose-set raspberry jam contains 1.5kg fruit and only 750g sugar.
Plain apple jelly can be flavoured with lavender, thyme, even the scent of Earl Grey tea.
Lemon juice can be added to low-acid fruits to help the release of pectin and ‘brighten’ the flavour;
I often add it after the setting point is reached and before potting, to give a jam freshness.
I prefer a soft set and a fresher flavour.
Use granulated sugar, as large crystals dissolve quickly.
I often use sugar with added pectin, usually called jam sugar (not the same as preserving sugar) to help set jams with lower sugar or pectin.
Never use it with high-pectin fruit, or you'll get a very hard jam.
Setting point for jam is 104.5C/220F, though high-pectin fruits can set a couple of degrees lower.
In Sweden I found what I call ‘nearly’ jam: they just boiled fruit with lemon juice and sugar - lower in sugar than usual.
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Strawberry Apricot Jam.

makes about 3X250g Bonne-Maman jars

454g/2 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered
454g/2 lb apricots, pitted and cut in chunks
2.5 Tbsp lemon juice (1 small lemon)
2 cups sugar (1 with pectin)
1/8 cups apricot brandy (optional)
1/4 tsp unsalted butter
on the whole:
1 part strawberries x 1 part apricots x 1 part of sugar x juice 1 small lemon
OR: 500g x 500g x 500g x juice 1 small lemon

Sterilize canning jars and get your canning set-up ready - you’ll need to prepare a hot water bath to process the jars once you’ve filled them with jam.

Combine the fruit, lemon juice, brandy, and sugar in a large pot.
Let sit 30-60 minutes or over night, allowing the sugar to draw some liquid out of the fruit.
Break up some of the fruit with a potato masher, if you like.

Add butter to the pot (it helps reduce foaming) and place the pot over a medium-high flame.
Bring to a boil, stirring often.
When the jam comes to a rolling boil, turn heat down to medium, the cook, stirring occasionally, until it passes a jelly test.
Note: Setting point for jam is 105c (220F).

Remove from heat.
Ladle into clean jars leaving 0.5cm/1/4 inch head space.
Seal and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.
Cool jars, label, and store in a dark cool place.
Strawberry from our allotment.
Tesco Apricots 320G Only 49p!
- Strawberry Apricot Jam - Get the Good Stuff!: "2 lb"

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