Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Declicious Yogurt.

- Declicious Yogurt Recipe | Organic and Thrifty:
Matzoon is another milk ferment.
You can make your own Matzoon by adding two tablespoons of bakers yeast to half a litre of milk.
This is then stored at around a 37 °C temperature and left until curdled.
You have now your Matzoon starter.
For the new batch use 6 tablespoons of starter to half a litre of fresh milk.
After five or six times the taste of yeast will not be noticeable anymore.
The Matzoon is used like yoghurt and mixed with fruit or malt as well as for cooking.
Matzoon is kept in the refrigerator when fermentation is finished.
The culture itself survives in the refrigerator at around 4 °C for a long time.

- SW: Мацони: (RU)
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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Roasted fennel and sweet potato gratin.

How to Cook Sirloin Steak to Perfection.

- How to Cook Sirloin Steak to Perfection - Great British Chefs: "sirloin steak"

There are a few key points:
- the type of pan used, when to season, and perhaps most importantly, how long you cook it for being just a few factors.
The fat used to cook it in and the resting time also play a part in the end result.
- to make sure it comes to room temperature before it goes anywhere near the pan.
Removing from the fridge at least an hour before cooking means that the meat will cook much more evenly, resulting in a better finish.
- An optimum thickness for a steak is between 3cm and 4cm, any thinner than this proves tricky not to overcook.
- salting steaks.
Some say to do it 10 minutes before cooking, some say to season during cooking, and some even say 40 minutes before.
...simply season liberally with flaky sea salt.
- You want to get the pan very hot before the steak goes in, so much so that oil is almost smoking, and never cook more than two steaks in the pan at one time, as overcrowding the pan will result in a loss of heat.
- In terms of oil, it is best to use a flavourless oil with a high smoking point such as groundnut or vegetable oil.
the richness with butter, do so after you've flipped the steaks, and baste the steak with the gorgeous foaming butter as it cooks.
Try adding herbs such as rosemary or thyme and garlic when you add the butter for an extra flavour dimension.
- The length of time you cook your steak - a 3-4cm thick steak cooked from room temperature will take a minute or so on each side with a few minutes in the oven to warm through the middle – the most important thing is to get a good sear on the exterior without overcooking the inside.
- when cooking sirloin steak is the importance of resting time.
Resting for around 5 minutes ensures juicy steaks with no blood spilled on the plate.

vegetable oil, or groundnut oil
1 knob of butter
1/4 bunch of thyme
3 garlic cloves, bashed but unpeeled
flaky sea salt
black pepper
- Before you begin, remove the steaks from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature (for at least 1 hour)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
- Place a heavy-based frying pan or griddle pan over a high heat and add a good dash of oil.
Season the steaks liberally with flaky sea salt
- When the oil is hot, add the steaks and cook for 2 and a half minutes, or until beautifully golden on the underside
- Turn the steaks over and add a knob of butter, some thyme and a few garlic cloves.
Baste the steak with the butter and once golden on the underside, place in the oven for 2–3 minutes
- Remove the steaks from the pan and allow to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes before serving.
Season and serve
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Monday, 19 February 2018

Hainan Chicken Rice.

- Year of the dog : Manger:
(serves 6)
Chinese food is not complicated, it’s just about making sure to get a few steps right! Enjoy this delicious recipe, it’s my Asian comfort food, there are so many memories linked with this dish.
Growing up in Hong Kong, I would meet my best friends and we would often order this dish (especially the one at the Clipper Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, do they still serve it? I hope o!).
The chicken is blanched, dropped in an ice-bath, so it can retain its moisture.
I find this recipe beautiful to make, like an old-fashioned ritual.
And on top of everything, it’s such a healthy dish.

For the chicken and the broth
1.5 kg whole chicken
10 cloves of garlic, halved
A large piece (about the size of your palm) piece of ginger, sliced
1 large bunch of spring onions (scallions)
2 tablespoon Shao xing rice wine
2 tablespoon light soy
4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt and pepper

For the chicken and broth
Remove the chicken giblets.
Rinse the chicken inside and out.
Remove any leftover feathers and trim excess fat (you will need it for the rice, so set aside).
Rub both the inside and outside of the chicken really well with coarse salt to ‘exfoliate’ the skin on the chicken.
Rinse well and pat dry.
The chicken will be smooth and ready for cooking.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Boil a large pot of water and add a few spring onion stalks, slices of ginger and 5 cloves of peeled garlic.
Fill the chicken with a few more ginger slices, garlic cloves and spring onion.
Place the chicken into the large pot (neck-side down) and blanch for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and rinse under cold water.
Lower the heat and return the chicken to the pot, let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Turn the heat off, cover with a lid and leave the chicken to stand for 30 more minutes.
Place the chicken in an ice bowl for a few minutes, remove the ice cubes and leave aside to rest and cool for 20 minutes.
Drizzle some sesame oil and light soya sauce on the chicken.
This technique will make the chicken extra tender.

2) For the rice.
Wash the rice and soak for 20 mins.
Drain dry and set aside.

In a small pan, heat the chicken fat with 1 tablespoon water and cook until the fat has melted.
When the fat is hot, add a few slices of ginger and garlic, sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer all the ingredients including the oil into the rice cooker and mix in the washed rice.
Add enough chicken stock to cook the rice according to your favorite method.
I have a classic rice cooker, and it takes approx. 15-20 minutes to cook.

3) For the broth

Re-heat the chicken stock and add salt according to your taste.
I like to add a few tablespoons of Shao Xing wine for taste, but that is optional.
Garnish with coriander and sliced spring onion before serving.

4) For the sauce

1 large piece of ginger (about the size of half your palm), peeled and cut into small chunks
1 bunch of spring onion (scallions), chopped
2 teaspoon sea salt, or more if you prefer
150-200 ml/ about 2/3 cup peanut oil, add more if you want a looser sauce

Place the ginger in the food processor and process until the ginger is finely minced.
Transfer to a bowl.
Repeat the same with the spring onions (make sure they are lightly minced).
Add them to bowl with the ginger.
Season generously with salt.
Heat the peanut oil in a pan until it is very hot, the add the ginger and spring onions.
Stir quickly for a 5 seconds and transfer to a bowl.
Leave to cool and serve with chicken.

Chop the chicken into slices (with the skin on).
Drizzle with a little soya sauce and sesame oil.
Serve with a bowl of rice, a bowl of soup, the ginger sauce and garnish everything with fresh coriander, sliced cucumber, and don’t forget your favorite chilli sauce too!
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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Jewish penicillin from Jamie Oliver.

- Jewish penicillin | Jamie Oliver:
Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe – Otherwise known as “Jewish Penicillin”.
Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup is known for having a golden, clear broth with essential nutrients to revive you right out of your sick bed.
“I’m sure every Jewish family has its own version of this absolutely classic feel-better soup.
‘Schmaltz’ is the Yiddish word for chicken fat, which makes the matzo balls in the soup so special.
Traditionally the chicken fat would be rendered separately, but I think skimming the fat works just as well.
If someone around you is feeling a bit under the weather, make a big batch of this for them and you’ll be their favourite person.
You have to try this absolute classic comfort food dish – you just can’t beat a feel-better chicken soup recipe.
Heaven in a bowl.”

Making your own broth from scratch is very easy.
...not a rolling boil!!!
Simply place the whole chicken in the pot with root vegetables, fresh herbs, cover with water, and walk away from the stove for a few hours.
The traditional root vegetables that are added to the soup while cooking is carrots, celery, onion, and parsnips - try dry frying - fry the vegetables in a dry frying pan.
Dry Sautéing is best done in either a non-stick pan, or a very well-seasoned pan.
In Chinese cooking, it is called "dry frying."
It is done in a very hot wok, with very little oil.
If sticking does occur in the work, you can add a few drops of wine or broth.

Fresh parsley and dill with the stems on also add a great flavour to the broth during cooking.
- Ginger
- Saffron
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled

... dried egg noodles *Optional!
When the chicken is done cooking...
Pour the stock from the pot through a strainer into another large pot or large bowl.
Discard any remaining herbs, spices, and onion chunks.
This will give you a nice clear golden chicken broth.

- Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe (Jewish Penicillin):
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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Blood Orange Marmalade Small Batch - 500g of blood oranges.

Citrus needed a more specialized treatment.
You either need to cut away the tough, white pith or treat it in some way so that it tenderizes and loses its chewy bitterness.
This recipe uses an overnight soak to help break down the pith, providing a far superior product to the old blood orange marmalade recipe you’ll find on this site.
The fruit becomes tender and it fully suspended in a ruby-hued jelly.
Here’s how you do it:
- Take 500g of blood oranges (approximately 4-5 tennis ball-sized oranges) and wash them well.
Trim away both ends and slice the oranges in half.
Using a very sharp knife, trim away the core of the oranges and pluck out any seeds that you find.
Set the cores and the seeds aside.
Not all blood oranges have seeds, so don’t stress if you don’t find any.
Cut the orange halves into thin slices.
Go as thin as you can manage (I recommend sharping your knife before starting this project).
Finally, cut each sliced half in half again, so that you have a number of thin blood orange quarters.
Bundle up all those seeds and pithy cores in a length of cheesecloth and tie it tightly so that nothing can escape.
Put chopped oranges in a medium bowl and cover with 3 cups water.
Tuck the cheesecloth bundle into the bowl and cover the whole thing with a length of plastic wrap or a plate.
Refrigerate it overnight.

When you’re ready to cook your marmalade, remove the cheesecloth bundle.
Combine the soaked fruit and water with 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar.
If you happen to have a copper preserving pan, make sure to fully dissolve the sugar into the fruit before pouring it into the pan.

Bring the marmalade to a simmer and cook until it is reduced by more than half, reads 104C/220F on a thermometer and passes the plate/sauce/wrinkle test.
When it is finished cooking, pour marmalade into prepared jars.
Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

When all is done, you should have about 900ml (2x370g + 1x200) of the most vivid red blood orange marmalade.
I’m extraordinarily fond of this particular preserve on scones, stirred into yogurt or with crumbly homemade shortbread.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Rye and orange cookies.

Here the freshness of orange provides an excellent foil to the robustness of the rye flakes. This super-speedy dough needs no resting or kneading.

Makes about 35
50g butter
125g rye flakes
250g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
A pinch of salt

1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Melt the butter and mix it with the rye flakes in a bowl. Stir in the sugar and eggs. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, orange zest and salt. Stir this into the rye mix.

2 Use two teaspoons to drop small mounds of the mixture on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment, spacing them out well. (You may have to bake these in batches.)

3 Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, then leave to cool a little before using a palette knife to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. When cold, store in an airtight tin for up to three weeks.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

How to make Canelés (Cannelés) de Bordeaux from Serious Eats

- Sweet Technique: How to make Canelés (Cannelés) de Bordeaux | Serious Eats:
1. 3 days before baking:
In a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together the milk and the vanilla bean pod and seeds.
Bring the milk just barely to a boil; turn the heat off when the edges begin to bubble.
Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and place in the fridge (pod, and all) to steep overnight.

2. 2 days before baking:
Place the eggs and yolks in a bowl and break the yolks with a fork, do not whisk them.
Add the melted butter, stir gently with a fork just to incorporate, and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.
Place a strainer over the bowl, and pour the steeped milk through the strainer; discard the pod from the vanilla bean.
Press the egg mixture through the strainer with a rubber spatula, then add the rum to the bowl.
Gently mix the batter with a spatula; avoid incorporating air.
Wash and dry the strainer, then push the batter through the strainer with a rubber spatula.
Cover the batter and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

3. 3 hours before baking:
Set the oven to 176C/350°F and place the metal (either copper or aluminum) Canelé molds inside for 10 minutes.
While the molds are heating, place the beeswax in a plastic, microwave-safe container and microwave in 30-second increments, swirling each time, until the beeswax is fully liquified.
Add the butter and microwave until it has fully melted, then stir until you have a solution of butter and beeswax. (This may also be done on the stovetop in a saucepan, but cleaning beeswax from pots is an unsavory activity, using the microwave is highly recommended.)
Remove the molds from the oven and allow them to cool for one minute.
Set up a cooling rack with plastic wrap underneath. Grasp the molds one at a time with the tongs, coat the insides of the molds with the wax mixture using a pastry brush (silicone is recommended, you will need to boil the pastry brush to get the wax off later) then invert the molds on top of the cooling rack and allow the excess wax to drip off.
Once the wax has cooled back to opaque, place the molds in the freezer for two hours.

4. Once it's time to bake:
Set a baking stone on the bottom rack of the oven and place a sheet tray on top.
Preheat the oven to 260C/500°F.
When the oven is ready, remove the molds from the freezer and fill them almost to the top, leaving a centimeter of space at the top of the molds.
Remove the preheated sheet tray from the oven, line with parchment, and then place the filled molds on the heated tray, spacing them evenly and far apart.
Place the tray of molds onto the stone in the oven, and watch it carefully for the first 30 minutes of baking.
The canelé will start to bubble, then rise up out of the molds.
When they rise more than one centimeter above the rim of the mold, use tongs to remove the mold and allow the canelé to sink all the way back down into the mold, then return it to the oven.
You will need to do this for the first 30-45 minutes of baking, until you notice that the canelé have developed an outer skin and a space has formed between the mold and the canelé on all sides.

Once this has happened, drop the temperature of the oven to 200C/400°F and allow the canelé to finish baking, approximately 45 more minutes (there is no exact time, since the temperature has fluctuated so much with the oven being opened and closed and the canelé spending time, as needed, out of the oven).
Watch for the tops to completely turn a deep golden brown and bubble (this is the butter in the batter) around the edges and middle. When the desired color is achieved on the tops, remove one from the oven using the tongs to test.
Allow it to cool for several minutes, then invert the mold onto the cooling rack.
If you are pleased with the color of the canelé, then remove the rest from the oven and allow them to cool for several minutes before unmolding.
If you are not, return the canelé to its mold and bake the batch longer.
The canelé should cool on the rack for 30 minutes before eating, and are best if consumed no more than 5 hours after baking.
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Ginger roasted pumpkin + quinoa salad.

ginger roasted pumpkin + quinoa salad w/ mint, chilli + lime {gluten-free, vegan} – My Darling Lemon Thyme:

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Friday, 19 January 2018

Pam Corbin's Seville orange marmalade.

- Seville orange recipes | Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall | Food and drink | Life and style | The Guardian:
This is my friend Pam Corbin's recipe for classic marmalade from River Cottage Handbook No 2: Preserves. If you want to add whisky, brandy or Cointreau, stir in about 50ml just before putting the marmalade into jars. Makes five to six 450g jars.

1kg Seville oranges
75ml lemon juice
2kg demerara sugar

Scrub the oranges, remove the buttons at the top of the fruit, then cut them in half.
Squeeze out the juice and reserve.
With a sharp knife, slice the peel, pith and all, into thin, medium or chunky strips, depending on your preference. Gather up the seeds and tie them in a square of muslin.
Put the peel and pip bag into a bowl with the orange juice, cover with 2.5 litres of water and leave to soak overnight, or for up to 24 hours.

Transfer the lot to a preserving pan or large saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer slowly, partially covered, until the peel is tender – this should take about two hours, by which time the contents of the pan will have reduced by about a third. Remove and discard the bag of pips.

If you don't have a sugar thermometer, put a saucer in the freezer to chill.
Add the lemon juice and sugar to the pan, and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Raise the heat and bring to a rolling boil.
Boil rapidly until the setting point is reached, after about 25 minutes – a sugar thermometer should read 104C or a dollop of marmalade dropped on to the chilled saucer should wrinkle when pushed with your finger.
Remove from the heat, leave to cool for eight to 10 minutes (a little longer if the peel is very chunky), then stir gently to disperse any scum. Pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal immediately.
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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Seville oranges marmalade.

- about my father, seville oranges and making marmalade – rustica RETRO:
That said, as Nigel Slater wrote in the preface to his marmalade recipe for the Guardian, there must be hundreds of recipes out there, but it is the method that changes, not the ingredients.
This recipe is from Daphne Chanez at the Casa del Cibo.
Seville Orange Marmalade
about 20 bitter oranges
1 kg fine cane sugar (exact sugar quantity to be measured during preparation)
1 stick of vanilla

The whole process takes about 3 hours, less if you have another pair of hands or if you are not prone to distraction.
Sharp knives are essential.
- Wash the oranges well.
If they are urban fruit this means giving them a good scrub and possibly throwing in a teaspoon or two of bicarb.
Water will be like kids’ bath water.

- Peel the oranges making sure not to grab too much of the white with each peel.
Finely slice the peel – or cut it more roughly if you like a chunkier look.
3. Place the slices peel in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil.
Lower the flame and cook for about 30 mins.
Drain liquid and set peel aside.

- For the next stage – which is by far the most painstaking, a chopping board with a good groove to collect the juice is required.
Cut the white part from the whole oranges as if you were preparing a fruit salad.
Toss the skins.
Cut the oranges in half and remove the pips, placing them in a small saucepan along with the juice as it is collected.
The remaining flesh, which will be a bit worse for wear after having removed the pips, needs to be cut with a sharp knife into roughly 2cm cubes.
Remove any nasty tough pithy pits and collect flesh in a large bowl.

- Once you have all the flesh cut you can add the boiled rind strips to the bowl.
Measure the contents of the bowl, and this will give you a guide for the quantity of sugar.
This recipe calls for 50% fruit (flesh and peel), 50% sugar, so if you have 1kg of fruit mix you will need 1kg of sugar.

- Place the saucepan of pips and juice on a medium flame and bring to the boil.
Lower flame and cook for another 10 mins.
Cooking the pips and the juice allows the pectin – which is the all important setting agent for jams and jellies – to develop.
After cooking you will have a thick browny orange syrupy liquid which needs to be pushed through a fine sieve or hung and then squeezed through muslin.
Some marmalade recipes tell you to tie the pips in a muslin bag and let them cook with the mixture.
I liked Daphne’s method because if you have a great amount of pectin you can conserve or freeze some for future jam making.
Set drained syrup aside.

- Over a moderately high flame place the rind and flesh mixture in a good preserving saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, then lower the flame and cook for a further 20 mins.
Make sure the mixture doesn’t catch.

- Add the sugar, half a vanilla pod with a slip down the side and the pectin syrup and cook for a further 20 minutes over a low flame.
Stir regularly and make sure the mixture doesn’t catch.
The mixture should thicken but still have a runniness to it.
The color should be a beautiful translucent orange.
If the mixture seems to runny keep cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes but stand by – I have first hand experience that jam and marmalade can overcook or burn easily in the final stages.

- My mother’s setting test (she had to make it in here somewhere) is letting the marmalade drop from a wooden spoon onto a small plate to see how it has jelled.
Once happy with the consistency use a funnel and ladle the marmalade into sterilized jars with new lids.
Close accurately and leave them upside down until they have cooled completely.
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Seville Orange Marmalade from Waitrose.

- Seville Orange Marmalade:
1kg Seville oranges
1 unwaxed lemon
2kg Tate & Lyle Preserving Sugar
Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly, then dry them in a clean tea towel.
Pour 2 litres cold water into a large, wide pan or preserving pan.
Squeeze the oranges and lemon and add the juice to the water.
Reserve the pips and orange rind, but discard the squeezed lemon.
Cut the oranges in half again and, using a metal spoon, scrape the pith and pips into the centre of a large square of muslin.
Tie the muslin with kitchen string to form a bag.
Add to the pan and tie the ends of the string to the pan handle to make it easier to remove later.
Cut the orange peel into strips - chunky for coarse cut and thinner for a fine shred.
It is easier and quicker if you place 2 pieces on top of each other and slice with a sharp knife.
Add to the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, until the peel is very soft and the liquid reduced by about half.
Remove and discard the bag with the pips and pith, squeezing as much juice as possible back into the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.
Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until it has dissolved.
Increase the heat and boil rapidly until it reaches setting point.
This usually takes about 15 minutes.
To test, remove the pan from the heat and spoon a little marmalade onto a chilled saucer.
Allow to cool for a few seconds, then push with a finger.
If the surface wrinkles it is ready.
If not, boil for a further 5 minutes and test again.
Leave the marmalade to settle for 15 minutes, then skim off any scum from the surface with a slotted spoon.
Stir the mixture and pour into warm, clean jars, using a jug.
Place a waxed disk on top immediately.
Cover when cold, then label and date.

Cook's tips
Choose the Right Pan
- Use a large, wide pan to make marmalade.
The mixture should not come any higher than half way up the sides. A wide pan helps the liquid to evaporate more quickly and reduces the likelihood of the marmalade boiling over.

Prepare the Jars
At the end of paragraph 3 of the instructions, prepare the jars.
Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3.
Ensure the jars are clean and free from cracks and chips.
Place the jars on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the oven off leaving the jars inside until the marmalade is ready to pot.

Use Preserving Sugar
Preserving sugar has larger crystals which dissolve slowly.
This minimises scum and results in a bright, clear marmalade.

Ensure a Good Set

Much of the pectin which makes marmalade set is found in the pips and pith.
This is why it is wrapped in a muslin bag and boiled with the marmalade so that as much pectin as possible is extracted to ensure a good set.

Vary the Flavour
For a touch of spice, add 3 tbsp grated, fresh root ginger at the beginning of the cooking.
To make a darker, rich marmalade replace 100g of the sugar with dark muscovado sugar.
Make your marmalade extra special by stirring in 75ml whisky just before potting.

Where to Store Marmalade
Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct light which will fade the colour.
The marmalade will keep for up to one year.

is: at stage 2 , after cutting the fruit in half I put the halves in my pressure cooker and add just enough cold water to cover.
Slightly over half the amount suggested in the recipe.
You don't lose much by evaporation in pressure cooking so you end up with about 1.2L of liquid (water & juice) which is about right.
Bring the cooker up to pressure, which takes around 18mins then cook on high for 5 minutes, switch off the heat and allow to cool until you can release the lid easily.
When cool enough to handle scrape out the flesh & pips & shred the cooked peel.
If you like you can boil up the pith & pips in a muslin bag immersed in the liquid before adding the sugar but I have found it works fine without doing this.
The pressure cooking has extracted sufficient pectin to form a good set.
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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Seville orange marmalade.

Seville orange marmalade | BBC Good Food:
Seville oranges only have a very short season, make the most delicious homemade marmalade and don't let them go to waste. Their sharp tangy flavour makes the perfect marmalade for spreading on toast or for use in your baking.
4 Seville orange (about 500g/1lb 2oz in total), scrubbed
1.7l water
1kg granulated sugar
Halve the oranges and squeeze the juice into a large stainless-steel pan.
Scoop the pips and pulp into a sieve over the pan and squeeze out as much juice as possible, then tie the pulp and pips in the muslin.
Shred the remaining peel and pith, either by hand with a sharp knife or in a food processor (a food processor will give very fine flecks rather than strips of peel).
Add the shredded peel and muslin bag to the pan along with the water.
Leave to soak overnight.
This helps to extract the maximum amount of pectin from the fruit pulp, which will give a better set.
It also helps to soften the peel, which will reduce the amount of cooking needed.

Put the pan over a medium heat, then bring up to a simmer.
Cook, uncovered, for 1½-2 hrs, until the peel has become very soft. (The cooking time will be affected by how thickly you have cut the peel.)
To see if the peel is ready, pick out a thicker piece and press it between your thumb and finger.
It should look slightly see-through and feel soft when you rub it.
Carefully remove the muslin bag, allow to cool slightly, then, wearing the rubber gloves, squeeze out as much liquid as possible to extract the pectin from the fruit pulp.
Discard the bag and weigh the simmered peel mixture.
There should be between 775-800g; if less, then top up with water to 775g.
Put 4 small plates in the freezer, ready to use when testing for setting point.
Add the sugar to the pan, then put over a low heat.
Warm gently so that the sugar dissolves completely, stirring occasionally.
Do not boil, before the sugar is dissolved.
Increase the heat and bring up to the boil but do not stir while the marmalade is boiling.
After about 5 mins the marmalade will start to rise up the pan (it may drop back and then rise again) and larger bubbles will cover the surface.
After 8-10 mins boiling, test for setting point.
Times will vary according to the size of the pan – in a large pan this takes 7-8 mins, in other pans it may take 12-15 mins.
As setting point can be easily missed it’s better to test too early than too late.
To test the setting point: take the pan off the heat and allow the bubbles to subside.
Take a plate from the freezer and spoon a little liquid onto the plate, then return to the freezer for 1 min.
Push the marmalade along the plate with your finger.
If setting point has been reached then the marmalade surface will wrinkle slightly and the marmalade won’t run back straight away.
If it’s not at setting point, return to the heat and boil again for 2 mins before re-testing.
Repeat until setting point is reached.
If you have a sugar thermometer, setting point is reached at 105C, but it’s good to do the plate test as well.
Leave the marmalade to stand for 10 mins or until starting to thicken.
If there’s any scum on the surface, spoon it off.
Transfer the marmalade to sterilised jars.
Cover with a wax disc (wax side down) and seal.
When cold, label the jars and store in a cool, dark cupboard.
The marmalade should keep for up to a year.

Seville Orange Marmalade Recipe | Simply Recipes:
Seville Orange Marmalade | David Lebovitz:
Mandarin jam recipe | Souvlaki For The Soul:
Ardor, Zest.: January canning: Chile Mandarin Marmalade, with a spritz of Ginger {Giveaway}:
Nigel Slater finally shares his marmalade recipe | Life and style | The Observer:
Mandarin marmalade recipe - Telegraph: "...classic! "
- Classic Seville Orange Marmalade | Taste & Smile:
650 g oranges (Seville, preferably)
1.5 l water
1 kg Tate & Lyle Preserving Sugar

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Blood Orange, Rhubarb And Cardamon Marmalade by Gloria Nicol.

laundry etc:
Makes approx 1.3kg (3lbs)

0.4Kg (1lb) rhubarb
1kg (2.2lbs) sugar
juice of 1 lemon
seeds from 14 cardamom pods, crushed
800g (1.75 lb ) blood oranges

Rinse the rhubarb stems and chop into 1cm (1/2 in) evenly sized pieces, slicing thicker stems lengthwise to make the pieces uniform.
Place them in a bowl with the sugar and lemon juice.
Tie the crushed cardamom seeds, pods and all, in a piece of muslin and push them inbetween the rhubarb, then cover with baking paper or clingfilm and leave overnight or for up to 24 hours, so the juices ooze out of the rhubarb and turn the sugar to syrup.
Wash the blood oranges and remove the peel with a sharp knife or potato peeler, leaving as much of the pith on the fruit as possible.
Finely cut the peel into shreds.
Squeeze the fruits, collecting the juice and tie the remaining pulp, pith and pips together in a muslin bundle.
Place the shreds, juice and bundle in a pan, add 1.4ltr (2 1/2pt) water and simmer for 2 – 2 1/2 hours until the peel is cooked through and tender.
Remove the muslin bundle and, when cool enough to handle, squeeze the juice from it back into the pan, then discard.
Pour the peel through a sieve and collect and measure the liquid, adding more water if necessary to make it up to 1ltr (1 3/4 pts).
Prepare the jars and canner if you plan to hot water process the marmalade, otherwise, make sure your jars and lids are clean and place them in a warm oven to heat and sterilise.
Place the cooked shreds, cooking liquid and the contents of the rhubarb bowl in a preserving pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring to make sure all the sugar is dissolved.
Bring to a rolling boil and cook on a high heat until setting point is reached, that is when a small blob of the syrup on a cold plate quickly forms a skin when you run your finger across the surface.
It took me 20-25 minutes for the marmalade to reach setting point at a fast rolling boil, showing 104C (220F) on a thermometer.
Remove the cardamom bundle.
Fill the jars, leaving the appropriate amount of headroom for canning, and seal.
Hot water process for 10 minutes, then remove from the canner, leave till cold and test that the lids are sealed. Label and store.
Alternatively, without canning, top jars with sterilised lids or use traditional wax paper circles and cellophane with elastic bands to seal.
This marmalade should store safely without canning, but hot water processing will make doubly sure that your jam will keep and store without a hitch.
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Redcurrant, Strawberrry & Black Pepper Jam by Gloria Nicol

Preserving expert Gloria Nicol, author of 100 Jams, Jellies, Preserves and Pickles for some tips on jam making & her favourite jam recipe - Redcurrant, Strawberrry & Black Pepper Jam.
I’ve never made jam before.
Where do I start?

Take inspiration from a fresh seasonal ingredient, like succulent local strawberries, pink-stemmed rhubarb, or blackberries picked from the hedgerows for free.
Once you get into preserving, fruits in season begin to represent that time, like a ceremony to mark a particular time of year.

What makes a good jam?
The best jam captures the essence and character of the ingredients and shouldn’t be overpoweringly sweet.
Though cooked, it shouldn’t taste ‘stewed’ and should still possess a fresh flavour.

Why does jam have so much sugar in it?
Sugar is a preservative and jam needs to contain a certain percentage of sugar to fruit for it to keep.
Trading standards states the definition of jam as having 60% sugar content or over and most jam for sale is in the region of 65%.
The sweetness should slightly exaggerate and intensify the fruit flavour without overtaking it.

Can I use less sugar when making jam?
The great thing about making your own jam is that you can use less sugar to suit your own tastes.
If you do cut back on sugar you need to be aware that your jam may not keep as long and as sugar also plays a part in how the jam sets (along with the pectin content of the fruit), you may also have to settle for a softer set jam if you use less sugar.
Jam isn’t really a food generally eaten on its own!
It is the added extra; spread on a slice of toast with butter, or with cream on a scone.
So for the small amount consumed it doesn’t have to be a big deal how much sugar it contains, better to make it the best quality and most flavourful it can be and consume in moderation.

I don’t have any fancy canning equipment - can I still make jam?
For jam making you require a few basic pieces of equipment that you may already have in the kitchen; a large pan, a wooden spoon and some recycled glass jam jars are the basics.
There is an advantage to using the right kind of pan though, as a large shallow shape will help encourage fast evaporation when bringing your jam to setting point.
As this part of jam making seems to be what most people find tricky to begin with, it is worth buying or borrowing a proper jam pan, if you don’t already have something handy that will do the job.
I prefer to seal my jars with metal lids, but old fashioned traditional cellophane circles with elastic bands are still available and cheap to buy from hardware stores for sealing your jam and they work just fine.

Any other advice for people new to making jam?
When boiling your jam to reach setting point, never fill the pan over half full.
A rapid boil will make the syrupy mixture rise up and bubble in the pan and if the pan is too full you will be constantly having to turn the heat down to stop the jam from boiling over.
To reach a fast set you need a steely nerve and a full-on constant heat to maintain a rolling boil.
Sometimes people say to me that they had to boil their jam for hours!
That means there was something wrong.
I can usually bring jam to setting point in 5 – 20 minutes depending on the type of fruit.

What’s you favourite jam and how do you like to enjoy it?
My favourite jam is usually the one I’ve made most recently, like the rhubarb, lemon and English lavender jam, currently my jam of choice for topping a scone with a dollop of clotted cream.
Damsons are my favourite single fruit flavour, so I always look forward to making a batch of damson jam each year and the Seville marmalade season, in January, is something I look forward to as well as this marks the start of the preserving year.
If you are using local seasonal produce there may be only a few weeks availability to focus on an ingredient before moving onto the next.

People are often obsessed by how long preserves will keep for.
If you have a jam that you can proudly say has kept in the larder for a year or two, that says it wasn’t actually amazing enough to be eaten! I would rather run out of my favourite preserves and be looking forward to making more next year, than have a shelf full sitting there, that isn’t quite special enough to be eaten up with relish.

Perfect combinations are part of a preserver’s quest.
Combinations can marry flavours in a satisfying way but also mixing low and high pectin fruits is good too.
Pectin content is what helps jam to set and some fruits such as strawberries, rhubarb and cherries are relatively low in pectin.
If you combine them with a fruit with high pectin, such as sour apples or red and white currants, as well as building flavours you also help to make a jam with good consistency.
The following recipe mixes redcurrants and strawberries, so as well as an advantageous pectin boost it is a wonderful vibrant colour.

Redcurrant, Strawberry And Black Pepper Jam.
Makes approx 1.75Kg jam
750g strawberries, hulled
1.1Kg sugar
juice from 1 lemon
1Kg redcurrants, removed from stems
7 whole black peppercorns, roughly ground

- Cut large strawberries into 3 and leave small ones whole, then place the strawberries in a bowl with 600g of sugar and the juice from the lemon.
Stir to combine, cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight.

- Place the redcurrants in a pan with 150ml water and bring to a simmer for 5-10 minutes, by which time the currants will have popped and released their juice.
Pour the currants into a sieve and collect the juice that drains through, then with the back of a spoon, push the fruit through leaving skins and pips behind.
Scrape the redcurrant puree from the underside of the sieve and add it to the juice and discard the skins and pips.

- Pour the contents of the strawberry bowl into a pan and warm it through stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Pour through a sieve, collecting the juice and leaving the strawberries to one side.

- In a preserving pan combine the redcurrant and strawberry juice and add the remaining sugar.
Heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved then up the heat and bring to a rolling boil until setting point is reached (a blob of the syrup on a cold plate will quickly form a skin that wrinkles when you push your finger across it.)

- Add the strawberries and the ground black peppercorns and bring back to a boil and maintain for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat, skim off any foam if necessary and pour into hot sterilised jars. (To do this, I place clean jars on their sides in a low oven, on a shelf lined with a tea towel, for 15 minutes)

- Place a wax paper circle on the surface of the jam and seal.
Leave till cold and label your jars.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Gloria Nicol's Poached Seville oranges - Seville marmalade.

Lady Marmalade | Life and style | The Guardian:
The first sign of fresh Seville oranges for sale heralds the start of the preserving year and usually lasts until late February.
But be warned: recent reports that sales of manufactured marmalade have taken a nose dive and that the homemade version is on the up may mean fruit is harder to find than usual.
Best get started early.

There are two basic methods of making marmalade: paring the uncooked oranges and shredding the peel; or poaching the oranges whole before scooping out the innards and shredding the cooked peel.
I favour the latter method.
Whichever route you choose to take, the peel requires at least a couple of hours of slow cooking to get right.

According to Jane Hasell-McCosh, founder and organiser of the Marmalade Awards, undercooked peel is what lets most people down.
Last year, the festival received more than 650 entries from amateur makers, a third from men, and a further 150 entries from artisan jam makers, sent in from as far afield as Japan.
Every entry is marked for taste and appearance and every entrant receives their scorecard feedback in the post after the event.
The 2011 Marmalade Festival takes place on the 12th & 13th February (you need to get your entries in by the 6th).

It isn't necessary that your marmalade be award-winning.
It can still be delicious.
Here is my tried and tested recipe for this classic breakfast preserve.

Seville marmalade
(makes 2kg)
1 kg Seville oranges
1 lemon
1.5 kg sugar
1.25 litres water

Wash the whole fruits and place in a heavy lidded casserole or a preserving pan that will fit in the oven.
Pour in the water and bring to simmering point on the hob.
Cover or if using a preserving pan make a lid to cover the top with tin foil before placing in a 180 C, Mk4 oven.
Poach the fruit for two-and-a-half to three hours, by which time the skins will be softened.

Using a spoon, lift the fruit out of the liquid into a colander over a bowl and leave to drain.
When the fruit is cool enough to handle, cut each in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon to leave just the peel, placing all the flesh, pith and pips in a muslin bag or a large piece of muslin over a bowl which you can gather into a bag.
Collect all the juice as you go and add it to the poaching liquid.

Measure the poaching liquid and make up to 1 litre with water if necessary.
Place the muslin bag in a preserving pan with the poaching liquid and bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Leave till cool enough to handle then squeeze the bag to get as much of the liquid as possible from the pulp.
Discard the bag and its contents.

Chop the peel into thin strips and add to the preserving liquid.
Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the liquid is clear.
Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil until it reaches setting point. (Setting point is when a dollop of the syrup on a cold plate, readily forms a skin when you push your finger across the surface. This takes me around 20 to 30 minutes.)

Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 15 minutes then stir to distribute the peel.
Pour into hot, clean sterilised jars, put waxed paper circles wax side down on each one and seal immediately.
Label when cool and store in the larder.

This marmalade takes a lot longer to get to the setting point ...reckons that marmalade sets between 104 and 105.5C, and that if it gets any hotter than this, then you're in trouble.
I end up with a tawny amber jelly, with a complex bittersweet flavour, although the set is less firm.
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Jewish Honey cake by Claudia Roden.

- Jewish new year recipes | Claudia Roden | Life and style | The Guardian:
Honey cake has been a favourite Jewish cake since the early Middle Ages. It is mentioned in 12th-century records in Germany, when it was the custom for young boys attending heder (Jewish school) to bring a piece on the first day.

It is the traditional cake of Rosh Hashanah, symbolising the hope that the new year will be sweet. This version is moist and delicious with a great richness of flavour. It should be made at least three days before you want to eat it.

Makes 1 cake
large eggs 2
sugar 200g
light vegetable oil 125ml
dark liquid honey 250g
rum or brandy 2 tbsp
warm strong black coffee 125ml
baking powder 2 tsp
baking soda ½tsp
salt a pinch
ground cinnamon 1 tsp
ground cloves ¼ tsp
orange grated zest of 1
plain flour 300g, plus extra to dust the dried fruit and nuts
sultanas 40g
walnuts or slivered almonds 50g, coarsely chopped

Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and creamy.
Then beat in the oil, honey, rum and coffee.

Mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and orange zest with the flour.
Add gradually to the egg and honey mixture, beating vigorously to a smooth batter.

Dust the sultanas and the walnuts or almonds with flour to prevent them from dropping to the bottom of the cake and stir them into the batter.

Line a 24cm cake tin with greaseproof paper or with foil, brushed with oil and dusted with flour, and pour in the batter.
Or divide between two 24cm x 13cm loaf tins.

Bake the large cake in a preheated oven 180C/gas mark 4 for 1¼ hours, or longer, until firm and brown on top, and the smaller ones for 1 hour.

- majestic and moist honey cake – smitten kitchen:

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