Archive | Preserves RSS feed for this section

Oh! What a Lovely Jam

5 Oct

Victoria Plum Jam

Whoever invented jam was a very clever person. Plum season is coming to a close, but if you make this jam now then you can be eating plums for weeks to come. Lovely indeed!

Stewing Plums for Jam

Plum Jam Recipe

Ingredients
350g victoria plums, halved and stones removed
350g granulated sugar
50ml water
Juice of half a lemon

Method
Place the plums and water into a saucepan and simmer on a low heat for about 30 mins until the fruit has collapsed. Add the sugar and continue to cook slowly for a further 10 mins until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice, then turn up the heat to high and rapidly boil the sugar and fruit for about another 10 minutes, maybe less. At this point, test if your jam has set.

To test for a setting point have a chilled plate ready. Spoon a little jam onto the chilled plate, push the jam with a spoon or finger and if the skin wrinkles then its set. If not boil for a further 5 minutes.

Leave to sit for 10 minutes, then decant into sterilised jam jars. This quantity made 1x 450g/1lb jar, and a mini jar (a perfect gift for your Dart 10k hosts…) and can easily be scaled to the amount of fruit you have.

Advertisements

Green and Hairy cupcakes

14 Aug

Gooseberry Elderflower Cupcake

The wonderful thing about preserves is, well, that you can preserve your garden goodies for a later date. Gooseberry season is almost over, so get them now while you can – do you really want to wait until next summer before you can eat them again? Once you’ve made a perfect batch of gooseberry jam, you’re one step closer to these beauties – Gooseberry and Elderflower cupcakes. The delicate flavour of elderflower and the tangy sharpness of gooseberries is a match made in heaven. They happen to be in season at the same time, it’s almost like there was a plan…

gooseberry cupcake batter

gooseberry cupcake batter in tin

baked gooseberry cupcakes

iced gooseberry cupcakes

Gooseberry Elderflower Cupcakes
makes 12

Ingredients
For the cupcakes –
125g butter
180g caster sugar
2 large eggs
250g self-raising flour
125ml milk
3 tbsp gooseberry jam
2 tsp elderflower cordial

For the buttercream –
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
2 tsp elderflower cordial

Method
1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan and line a muffin pan with muffin cases (this is infinitely better than a bun tray, cupcakes should be BIG)

2. Cream the very soft butter and sugar until smooth, and then beat in the eggs. I did all this by hand, but feel free to use an electric whisk or food processor.

3. Mix in half the flour until fully combined, then half the milk. Repeat.

4. Mix the gooseberry jam and the elderflower cordial together and then fold through the sponge mixture. Don’t mix in completely – you want to be able to see the jam streaking through the sponge.

5. Divide between the cake cases and bake for 25 mins

6. To make the buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar together. Once combined mix in the cordial. When the cupcakes have completely cooled ice with the buttercream and add decoration of your choice.

Gooseberry Elderflower Cupcakes

Green and Hairy Jam

12 Jul

Gooseberry Jam in Kilner Jar

When I was little I had a paperback called The Green and Hairy Joke Book, full of jokes exclusively about gooseberries. My favourite? What’s green and hairy on the inside and white and squishy on the outside? An inside out gooseberry. Ha-ha!

Gooseberry jam is so easy to do, it virtually makes itself. This is no joke, it’s because the gooseberries are naturally high in pectin which is the natural gelling agent essential for a succesful jam.

fresh goosberries

boiling gooseberries

gooseberry jam

Rude health loaf with gooseberry jam

Gooseberry Jam Recipe

Ingredients
300g topped & tailed gooseberries
300g granulated sugar
50ml water

Method
Place the gooseberries and water into a saucepan and simmer on a low heat for about 15 mins until the fruit is tender. Add the sugar and continue to cook slowly for a further 15 mins until all the sugar has dissolved. Then turn up the heat to high and rapidly boil the sugar and fruit for about another 10 minutes, maybe less. At this point, test if your jam has set (although its gooseberry, it will have set, I promise you!)

To test for a setting point have a chilled plate ready. Spoon a little jam onto the chilled plate, push the jam with a spoon or finger and if the skin wrinkles then its set. If not boil for a further 5 minutes.

Leave to sit for 10 minutes, then decant into sterilised jam jars. This quantity makes 1x 450g/1lb jar and can easily be scaled to the amount of fruit you have. Use equal quantities of fruit & sugar, with 10ml water per 60g fruit. Spread liberally on, say, your home-made Rude Health loaf and scoff quickly.

Sweet! Corn relish

14 Feb

20120214-215522.jpg

This is the third instalment from the kitchen of big sis Cakes. She’s been a busy bee over the last few weeks making preserves. I asked her to fill 80 jars for me, so far we’ve got Damson chutney, marmalade, rhubarb and strawberry jam. And now! Sweetcorn relish. I’m dreaming of home-made burgers to put this on. I could eat one RIGHT NOW please. Doesn’t it look good?

20120214-215813.jpg

What would you eat it with?

Roobarb and Strawbs

6 Feb

rhubarb and strawberry jam

She’s been at it again, that sister o’mine. Preserving I mean – this time Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam, c/o Jam, Jelly & Relish by Ghillie James.  I can tell it’s going to be a fantastic combination, strawberry-rhubarb pie is all the rage over the pond so why not here?  One day soon I’m going to force myself to try this one by baking goddess Smitten Kitchen. And did you know, if you add a couple of tablespoons of strawberry jam to your rhubarb tart, it’ll taste like pineapple? (according to the Flavour Thesaurus)  You could just make a pineapple tart, but where is the fun in that?

How do you do this rhubarb and strawberry jam then?

Strawberries for jam

Chop up your strawbs

Rhubarb for jam

and your rhubarb, and guess what next?

strawberry rhubarb mascerate

MASCERATE!!!!! (we learnt this word last week in the marmalade session)

strawberry rhubarb jam boiling

boil boil boil….

test for jam setting point

Chill a plate, put some jam on it, test for setting point by seeing if it will wrinkle when you squish it. And look at the zebra! Nice plate sis. Then put into you sterilised jars, or straight on your freshly baked scones like Louise did. Nom nom nom. Can’t wait to try some myself.

Lady Marmalade

1 Feb

Oranges and Lemons

I’m not the only one in the Cakes dynasty with a gift for the sweet stuff. My big sis, Louise Cakes is a dab hand in the kitchen too. Believe me, you should taste her Pavlova – to die for! So, imagine my delight when she was totally and utterly up for making a me 1, or 2, or 80 jars of preserves.

Yesterday, the marmalade making began. It all started with a text…

“Just about to start macerating the oranges to make Seville marmalade 2moro, never done it before so wish me luck!” Errrr mascer-what-ing now? Goodness me. “Good luck!” I replied, after asking what on earth mascerating means.  If you really must know, it means softening or breaking into pieces using a liquid. So now you know!

So yesterday, the mascerating began, and looked like this…

mascerating

This is step one – squeeze out all the juice from your oranges, then chop up the peel. Use a food processor if you’re clever like big sis! Soak the peel & juice together with some water overnight.

mascerated

The following morning you should wake up to a bowl full of mascerated goodness! Boil this lot up for a couple of hours til the peel is tender, then add loads and loads and loads of sugar, and a wee bit of lemon juice

sugar and lemon

Stir until your sugar dissolves and then boil rapidly until your marmalade reaches the holy grail – setting point.

boiling marmalade

To check put some marmalade on a chilled plate and squish it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. Beware though…molten hot sugar and fingies don’t alway like one another….

setting point

When it’s ready, pour into sterilised jars….

marmalade jars

And put a lid on quick sharpish!

finished marmalade

Et voila! Perfect Seville orange marmalade. It’s been given the seal of approval by Big Bro in Law, and fellow blogger Dave of Dave Johnson’s Photography, so it must be good.

By now you must have noticed that I have a bit of a soft spot for Hugh Fearnley-Whttingstall (actually I prefer his 3 hungry boys at the moment, but that’s between me and you…) Here’s his version of Seville orange marmalade. It’s Seville orange season, so get out there and get some and get making some marmalade. Yum! Thanks sis.