All posts filed under: Jams

The Great British Remainalade

Don’t believe for a single moment that Brexiteers own the rights to British patriotism and identity. I am a British patriot and I am one hundred per cent behind Britain remaining in the EU. If May talks about a red, white and blue Brexit we fight back with a traditional, British Remainalade. I love my country for its long history of openness, tolerance and desire to trade with the world. I love my country’s cliff-walks, right-of-ways for ramblers, the sound of leather balls hitting a cricket bat on lazy summer afternoon, I am proud of Pimms with mint, cucumber and strawberries, I love British pies, camping in Cornwall, walking in Snowdonia and hiking in the Lake District. I love it that Manchester had a club scene in the 1990’s, that it is a country which produced Train Spotting 1 (and now 2) and that it is a land full of eccentric writers, musicians and muses. No other country I can think of has come up with anything comparable to The Sex Pistols or The Cure. I …

Quince Cheese

“For the colour will be as diaphanous as an oriental ruby” Before beginning on quince cheese be aware that this recipe requires some individual love and attention. A good meat stew takes time but not the cook’s time. A good quince cheese, on the other hand, requires both time and the cook’s attention. Especially on the second day when the quinces have cooled and need to be turned from a purée into a paste. If you decide to have a bash at this do not plan anything other than spending at least an hour in the kitchen close to the kitchen hob making sure the cheese does not burn as the moisture evaporates over a medium to high heat. The trick is to make sure that before you spread the cheese out in your chosen container the quince purée forms a paste strong enough to knead with the hand. Finally, as with most preserves many recipes – both traditional and new – suggest an equal weight of sugar to fruit. It is, however, possible to make this …

Cycling this way and that through Westphalia

For various reasons I found myself for three whole weeks away from the family this September in Westphalia. The weather was glorious and I managed quite a few three to four hour bike rides through the flat, fertile soils of my ancestors. Being the proverbial “army brat” my childhood was more gypsy than person of settled abode. Before the age of 26 I had lived in something like 20 different addresses. It was a strange experience for me to spend so much time in this part of Germany – but very inspiring. Voltaire famously set the opening scenes of Candide in Westphalia: The Baron was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia, for his castle had not only a gate, but even windows, and his great hall was hung with tapestry.  Even in Voltaire’s day Westphalia had a reputation for sustaining fat diary cows, plentiful crops and sweet fruit (as well as slightly dippy students of philosophy!) Napoleon’s brother became King of Westphalia for a short period. The flat, empty roads are lined with all sorts of …

Red Currant Jelly

The tangy-sour sweetness of red currants makes this jelly a hit. Better still it has a beautiful ruby-rich colour. It is a great accompaniment to meaty stews and roasts in the autumn or a fatty lamb stew. Many recipes call for the berries to be stewed together with the stalks until they have softened. I find that the stalks add an extra dimension to the flavour of the final jelly which I’m not a big fan of. Instead I remove the ruby-red berries from the stem and  press the tiny berries through a food mill without cooking them. The raw juice is then boiled for only one minute. Ingredients 1 kg of red currants removed from the stem will make approx. three , 300ml jars. 1 kg of fresh red currants (July), 200 ml of water, 300 gr of light cane sugar or honey, Pectin and citric acid added according to instructions on the leaflet. Marmello 1 or Pomona Universal Pectin. Directions Pull the currants off the stem. Before placing them in the food mill crush them lightly with a potato …

Summer Recipes

Too hot to cook! Too hot to stand in the kitchen! Below are some seriously cool ideas on how to eat in the heat. From Greek-style burgers to simple tomato salads, from two different types of potato salad to marinated pork ribs here you’ll find some great traditional, nourishing home-made food.

Apricot Jam

1 kg of apricots (with stone removed) will make aprox. five, 300ml jars. Ingredients 1 kg of freash seasonal apricots (July-August). 300 gr of raw cane sugar or honey. The juice of half a lemon. Pectin and citric acid added according to instructions on the leaflet. Marmello 1 or Pomona Universal Pectin Directions Clean, stone and cut the apricots into three to four pieces. Put the cleaned, cut and stoned apricots into a pot and add aprox. two to three centimetres of water. Add the lemon juice. Heat the apricots up and cook until softened – no longer than five to ten minutes. Mix the pectin, citric acid and sugar in a baking tray and heat up in the oven for five to ten minutes. If using honey heat the powdered pectin and citric acid in a pot. When the apricots are soft add the heated sugar or honey, pectin and citric acid and stir until it has all melted evenly in the jam. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil – do not be tempted to stir at this point – it will just …

Cherry Jam

  1 kg of cherries (pipped) will make aprox. five, 300ml jars. Ingredients 1 kg of freash seasonal cherries (June-July). 300 gr of raw cane sugar or honey. The juice of half a lemon. Pectin and citric acid added according to instructions on the leaflet. Marmello 1 or Pomona Universal Pectin Directions Clean, stone and cut the cherries into two. Put the cleaned, cut and stoned cherries into a pot. Add aprox. two to three centimetres of water. Add the lemon juice. Heat the cherries up and cook until softened – no longer than five to ten minutes. Mix the pectin, citric acid and sugar in a baking tray and heat up in the oven for five to ten minutes. If using honey heat the powdered pectin and citric acid in a pot. When the cherries are soft add the heated sugar or honey, pectin and citric acid and stir until it has all melted evenly in the jam. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil – do not be tempted to stir at this point – it will …

Raspberry Jam

1 1kg of raspberries will make approx. three, 300ml jars. Ingredients 1 kg of freash seasonal raspberries (July-September). 300 gr of raw cane sugar or honey. 200 ml.water The juice of half a lemon. Pectin and citric acid added according to instructions on the leaflet. Marmello 1 or Pomona Universal Pectin Directions Clean, the raspberries and place them in a blender. Blitz them for 10-15 seconds so they turn into a liquid pulp. Press the blended raspberries through a food-mill. This will prevent most of the pips (of which there are many in raspberries!) from proliferating the jam. Mix the pectin, citric acid and sugar in a baking tray and heat up in the oven until warm (five minutes or so). The heated sweetener will prevent the jam from caramalising and will help retain the fresh colour of the raspberries. If using honey heat the powdered pectin and citric acid in a pot. Add the lemon juice to the squeezed raspberry juice and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. When the juice has reached a rolling boil add the heated sugar (or …

Strawberry Jam

  1 1kg of strawberries will make aprox. five, 300ml jars. Ingredients 1 kg of freash seasonal strawberries (June-July). 300 gr of raw cane sugar or honey. The juice of half a lemon. Pectin and citric acid added according to instructions on the leaflet. Marmello 1 or Pomona Universal Pectin Directions Clean, hull and cut the strawberries into two. Crush the strawberries with a masher until they begin to release all their juices – aim for 90% juice and 10% pieces of strawberries. Alternatively push the strawberries through a food-mill. Add the lemon juice. Heat the strawberries and lemon up and cook until softened – no longer than five minutes. Mix the pectin, citric acid and sugar in a baking tray and heat up in the oven for five to ten minutes. If using honey heat the powdered pectin and citric acid in a pot. When the strawberries are soft add the heated sugar or honey, pectin and citric acid and stir until it has all melted evenly in the jam. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil …

Raspberry Coulis

The beauty of a coulis is that the juice of the berry is consumed raw meaning that all of the berry’s fabled nutrients, especially it’s high vitamin C content, are retained. The only difference between a coulis and a jam is that the fruit is not boiled and there is no added pectin to help the juice set. The easiest way for the home cook to preserve summer coulis is by freezing it in a freezer bag and desfrosting it during  the long, dark days of winter when fresh vitamin C is in short supply. Ingredients Fresh raspberries. Honey – or maple syrup – or light cane sugar. Directions Thoroughly wash the freshly picked raspberries under cold water. Place them in a blender and blitz until they have turned into a liquidy pulp – no more than 10-15 seconds. Pour the juice into a food-mill and squeeze as much of the juice out as possible so that only the pips remain behind in the food mill. If you want a juice completely free of any pips you …