It’s always nice to preserve some of the summer flavours for future days that perhaps aren’t so sunny and jam is a great way to use up a glut of fruit (or when you’ve found a special offer that you just couldn’t resist!) If I’m […]
Last weeks high winds seem to have brought down most of the remaining apples from the tree in my garden, at least the ones that our resident squirrel hasn’t already nibbled. He’s very picky and won’t touch them once they’ve hit the ground!
This is a great way of making sure that those windfalls don’t go to waste as you can simply cut away any bruised parts of the fruit. It’s also a great way of using a few of my home-grown chilis. I’m not sure what variety they are but they’re mighty fierce! This calms them down a lot and it’s a great condiment to serve with fish, seafood and cheese – I especially like it with Galician tetilla cheese and fresh bread.
This recipe is more about ratios than weights but I’ve included them as a guide anyway.
makes 2 jars
1.5 pints of water
500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid
100ml cider vinegar
2-3 red and green chilis (deseeded if you don’t want it too hot!)
Wash the apples and roughly chop them, peel, cores and all. Place them in a large pan with the water, bring to the boil and then cook until the fruit becomes pulpy.
Strain the fruit through a jelly bag into a large clean bowl. Don’t squeeze the bag (as tempting as it might be) or you will make the jelly cloudy. I like to leave my fruit to strain overnight so that I can be sure I’ve got every last drop of liquid out of it. You can discard the remaining pulp.
Place a saucer in your freezer to chill so that you can test for setting point later. Add the vinegar to the juice and use 500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid that you have. Combine them in a pan and let them bubble away for 20 minutes. Drop a teaspoon of the jam onto the chilled plate, leave it for a minute and then push your finger through it, if it wrinkles then you’ve reached setting point. If not then continue to cook the jam for a few minutes more and re-test it.
Once setting point has been reached remove the pan from the heat. Finely chop the chilis and divide them evenly between sterilised jars. Carefully pour the jam into the jars and leave to cool. You’ll need to stir the jam every now and then as it cools and sets in order to make sure that the chili is evenly distributed. Seal and label the jars and store in a dark place.
If anyone can think of a catchier name for this then I would love to hear it. It is a bit of a mouthful, no pun intended. I’ve met quite a few Americans who find the fact that we Brits often refer to dessert as […]
When I was little a battle would be waged every summer in our garden between my mum and the resident blackbirds over who was going to get to the blackcurrants first once they reached peak ripeness. On the occasions when my mum won the war […]
I’ve told you before about how much I love cherries. I’ve probably mentioned the tears that ensued when I swallowed a cherry stone as a child and my dad told me a cherry tree would grow out of my head.
Ordinarily cherries are far too expensive to buy too often. It seems that this year though cherry growing conditions in the UK have been pretty perfect and we have quite a glut! In other circumstances cherry jam would seem like such an extravagant thing to make but I was given a sackful (an actual sackful!) last time we visited Mr Colonial Cravings family.
Turning the fruit into jam not only means that I’ve preserved all that cherry joy to enjoy for a little bit longer but it also gives me some scope for a few more cherry based recipes. Watch this space…
makes about 2 medium jars
850g sour cherries, pitted
600g jam sugar (sugar with added pectin)
juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
knob of butter (optional)
Put a small saucer in the freezer to test the jam later for setting point.
Stir together the fruit and sugar in a very, very large pan. Add the cinnamon stick and set it over a moderate heat. Bring the mixture to a gentle rolling boil and leave it to bubble for around 30 minutes. If you have a jam/sugar thermometer then you want the mixture to reach around 105°c.
Test the jam to see if it’s reached setting point by dropping a spoonful of it onto the saucer that you put in the freezer earlier. Leave it to cool for a moment then push your finger through it, if the surface wrinkles then it’s ready. If it’s not quite there then let it bubble for a little longer. Once it has reached setting point turn off the heat, remove the cinnamon and stir in the lemon juice. If the jam has a lot of foam on the surface then stir in a knob of butter to disperse it.
Pour the jam into warm sterilised jars, label, seal and leave to cool.
‘What’s a Cornish split?’ I hear you ask. Splits are a wonderfully soft, sweetened roll made from an enriched dough, a little bit like an iced bun. It’s also the most traditional way of serving a Cornish cream tea. Yup, that’s right, splits not scones. They’re slightly more dense than something like brioche and make a nice change to serving scones with your afternoon indulgence.
Obviously I’m an advocate for topping them with jam and clotted cream (and yes, in that order, they are Cornish splits after all) but they are equally delicious smothered in chocolate spread or just butter and good jam. (Full disclosure: There is also a chance that I ate the last one stuffed with a scoop of cranachan ice cream – it was really good!)
This recipe only makes six splits because they really are best eaten on the day they’re baked, but you can easily double it up if you want to make more.
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
115ml warm milk
40g butter (melted)
200g bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
In a small bowl mix together the yeast, sugar and 25ml of the milk, this will give the yeast a bit of a head start. Combine the flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Mix the melted butter with 50ml of the milk and add this into the flour. Next, mix in the yeast blend and enough of the remaining milk to bring everything together to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead this dough for five minutes or so by hand until it becomes soft and springy.
Wash and dry the mixing bowl so that it is nice and warm and then lightly grease it. Pop the dough in it, cover it and leave it in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Gently knock back the dough and give it a very brief knead. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and roll each into a nice round ball. Put the rolls onto a lightly greased baking sheet, spaced a little apart (you want them to join up when they have re-risen but not lose they’re shape) and cover them with a piece of oiled cling film. Put it back in its warm place for a further hour. Pre-heat your oven to 220°c.
Once the rolls have risen for a second time uncover them and bake them for 15 minutes. You want them to be a little golden but still have a soft exterior. To keep the crust soft you need to wrap the splits up in a clean tea towel as soon as they come out of the oven and leave them to cool like that.
Splits are best eaten on the day they are baked, preferably smothered in jam and clotted cream.