I am pretty certain that I could eat my body weight in nut butters (sometimes straight from the jar). The problem is that so many of them are made with palm oil. I do try really, really hard not to buy products that use palm […]
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 she would turn the sharp little beads of blackness into sticky, purple, blackcurrant jam which usually ended up on my brothers breakfast. Being from Cornwall though, I’m now inclined to think that the jam should have been turned into this!
It’s such a gloriously rich and creamy cheesecake, every bit as luxurious as it sounds. The soft velvety texture of the clotted cream is the perfect partner to the sharp, fruity blackcurrant jam.
200g digestive biscuits
400g cream cheese
125g clotted cream
125g blackcurrant jam
Make the base by crushing up the biscuits and melting the butter. Combine the two to form your base mixture. Press this mixture into the base of a lightly greased spring-form cake tin. Pop it in the fridge to firm up whilst you make the filling. Pre-heat your oven to 160°c.
Beat the cream cheese until it is nice and soft and then mix in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Briefly beat in the clotted cream, so that it is just blended in. Ripple 75% of the jam through the mixture. Take the chilled base from the fridge and pour the cheesecake mixture onto it. Add the remaining jam in blobs and swirl them in. Finally level off the top by giving the tin a couple of sharp taps on your kitchen counter.
Wrap the base of the tin securely in foil and then place it in a bain-marie. Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes. The middle should still have a bit of wobble to it. Turn off the oven and open the door a little but leave the cheesecake in there to cool to room temperature before putting it in the fridge to chill completely. Once it’s thoroughly chilled remove it from the tin and place it on your serving plate.
Today’s Colonial Cravings contribution from the Facebook community comes courtesy of Katy. This is a lovely summery sounding pickle recipe that her granny used to make, which makes it particularly appealing to me because in my world food and memory go hand in hand. Mr Colonial Cravings is often amused by my ability to navigate my way around big cities based solely on things that I might have once eaten there. “Oh I know where we are…that place makes awesome cookies!” is a direct quote. Anyway, enough about my taste buds, over to Katy.
This is my granny’s recipe and the smell of it cooking, as well as the finished pickle, takes me right back to being about six years old. This was a staple on the table for any kind of salad based meal, and also goes beautifully with chicken.
2 large onions
1 large green pepper
25 g salt
300ml cider vinegar
450 grams soft brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 level teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
Wash and dice cucumbers (do not peel), then peel and finely slice onions. Dice the green pepper, and add to a large mixing bowl, along with the cucumber and onion. Add the salt, then mix well, cover with a plate and leave for two hours. When the two hours has passed, rinse the vegetables thoroughly under cold running water, drain well and put in a large saucepan. Add the cider vinegar and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the sugar and spices and stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Once dissolved, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
Tip the mixture into a mixing bowl and set aside until cool. Meanwhile, sterilise jars ready to add the pickle. When cooled, add the pickle to the jars, leaving around 1cm gap at the top (I don’t always add all the liquid if it looks too runny). Leave for a month to let the flavours develop. Once opened, the pickle will last for a couple of months in the fridge.
Jam isn’t hard work. I think a lot of people assume that it is and are bit scared of making their own. It’s actually pretty quick and if you use homegrown or foraged fruit it’s pretty cheap too.
I’ve talked about my love of blackberry picking and my many fond memories of it before but I have to say that there aren’t many bushes local to me now so I had to use frozen fruit for this. The rosemary was homegrown if that redeems me at all…
Mr Colonial Cravings is pretty obsessed with tea and so my kitchen drawers are awash with various infusers. These are perfect for popping the rosemary in but if you don’t have one of these you can just tie it up in a little muslin bag.
Makes 2 jars
juice 1/2 lemon
3 sprigs fresh rosemary.
1-2 tbsp water
small knob butter
Put a small saucer in the freezer to chill, you’ll need this later to test for a setting point.
Simmer the fruit with the lemon juice and water for 5 minutes to release the juices. Strip the leaves from the rosemary stalks and tie them up in a muslin bag or put them in a tea infuser. Add this to the pan. Stir in the sugar and bring the mixture to a gentle rolling boil for 20-25 minutes.
Test for setting by dropping a teaspoon of the jam onto the chilled saucer. Let it cool and push your finger through it, if the surface wrinkles then it’s ready. If not let it boil for a few more minutes. Skim most of the scum off the surface of the jam and add a knob of butter to disperse any that remains. Carefully pour the jam into warm sterilized jars, seal, label and leave to cool. It’s as easy as that!