Stone Free (A Plum Jam Recipe)

Plum jam. It was the first jam that I made. It was a steep learning curve, too, as Phil’s blog entries at the time suggest:

24 June 2008
That’ll Teach Me…
Hail… to open my big mouth.  Just a couple of hours after the previous post, a savage hailstorm rolled up the valley and back down again. Some of the hailstones were walnut-sized. The noise was incredible. Thankfully the car was in the garage (I often leave it outside but had put it in so it didn’t get too hot!) otherwise I’m sure it would have suffered damage.

The only real damage is to our (and everybody else’s) fruit crops – the plums, figs, cherries, apricots currently in season will have taken a battering, as will the apples, pears and olives still in their younger stages.

26 June 2008
We’re Jammin’
Sue is currently full-time in the kitchen, making jams and preserves from the damaged and fallen fruit. Just to add a final insult, the weather has turned the wick back up, and this afternoon the readout on the farmacia in the village was reading 46C – just the weather to be slaving over a hot stove!

We have actually escaped quite lightly; the biggest loss was our plums, of which Sue has collected about 40lbs to convert.

I forget the exact amount of plum jam that I made that year. I stopped counting after 60 kilos. It also became clear that I had to adapt the recipe that I was using. The original recipe called for the stones from the plums to be ‘removed with a slotted spoon’ at the end of the jam making process. This proved to be a very dangerous process. I could only imagine that it would be like trying to pick out pieces of rock from molten lava (I can only imagine this, having never been that close to an active volcano) and I quickly decided that I had to find a better way – the blisters that I was getting from the scalding jam were too much and I wasn’t getting 100% of the stones out.
I have now (pretty much) perfected the recipe and, as this year’s crop of plums are now ready to pick, I thought I’d share it with you.

What you’ll need:
Two very large saucepans (if you have preserving pans, better)
Scales
Colander
2.7 kg (6 lb) plums – washed
900 ml (1.5 pints) water
2.7 kg (6 lb) sugar
knob of butter (optional)

Put the plums and water in one of the pans and simmer gently for about 30 minutes – until the fruit is really soft and the contents of the pan are well reduced. Stir from time to time to prevent the fruit sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When the fruit is really soft, remove from the heat and leave to stand for a few moments. Pass the contents of the pan through the colander, to remove the stones from the plums, into the second pan (use a wooden spoon to squish it through).
Add the sugar, stirring until it is all dissolved.
Add the knob of butter (if you want).
Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil.
Boil rapidly for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Test for a set* and, when setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon.
Leave to stand for 15 minutes before potting and covering. 

Yield: 4.5 kg (10 lb)
* – How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!

I couldn’t end without posting this, now, could I?


Disclaimer: The content of this blog are the views and observations of the writer and may differ from those of the reader. If you find any of the content to be wrong or inaccurate please advise the writer by posting in the comment section, but remember to be nice! The writer takes no responsibility for your lack of sense of humour. The writer cannot guarantee that your attempts at the recipes will be successful and is not responsible for any culinary-related accidents that you may experience. The content of any external links used which may, at any time, change are not the responsibility of the writer of this blog.

Bursting Bubbles

“So, What happens with the balloons?” – A little teaser I used to finish my previous post.
The short (and correct, in my ever-so-humble opinion) answer is: Throw them in the bin. Here’s why:
After the success of my chocolate cups, I developed an over-inflated air of confidence in my ability to do fiddly things in the kitchen. I had the idea that using balloons to make chocolate bowls, from which I could eat my Bootleg-Baileys ice cream, would be as simple as this:

It isn’t.

Here’s a little story about how not to be creative in the kitchen – Don’t worry, it does have a happy ending.
On the same day that I made the Bootleg Baileys Chocolate Shots, I thought I’d have a go at making ice cream with the Bootleg Baileys and cute little chocolate bowls that I could use to serve the ice cream. I was under the illusion that I could simply freeze the Bootleg Baileys and that it would make a creamy and delicious ice cream – it didn’t. I should mention, at this point, that we do not own a freezer, all we have is the ice box in the fridge.
Having made the Bootleg Baileys for the chocolate shot glasses, I poured some of the mixture into a silicone mould, placed the mould on a tin tray and put the tray in the ice box of the fridge
NB: Have you ever tried lifting one of those super bendy moulds and not lose the contents down your sleeve?
You haven’t?
It must just be me that always ends up with messy sleeves, then!

A quick reminder of how to melt the chocolate:
Break the cooking chocolate into chunks and place in the mixing bowl.
Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively melt the chocolate in a microwave oven, follow the instructions on the bar of chocolate).
Inflate each balloon to approximately 15cm (6 inches).
Dip each balloon in the chocolate.
Hint: Do not let the balloon touch the hot bowl – Yup, as I found out, an exploding balloon will splatter molten chocolate over everything within a metre of the bowl.
Place the balloon on a sheet of grease-proof paper/silicone sheet/baking paper.
Put to one side to allow the chocolate to set (or in the fridge, if there is room).

All going great, isn’t it?
Wrong!
At this stage, I had visions of the ice cream freezing and the chocolate setting in sufficient time for us to have as a dessert that evening.
The ice cream didn’t freeze – it may have been my fault. You may remember the part of the Bootleg Baileys recipe that stated “1 – 2 wine glasses Irish whisky” – well – when I was making it, there was a teeny-weeny bit of whisky left in the bottle (OK – about 100ml) which I decided to throw into the mixture. Anyone remember that bit in the science lab back in school about alcohol not freezing? I think you know where this is going.
After three days, the ice cream was still in semi-liquid form and the balloons had deflated; with the chocolate stuck firmly to the balloons.
After checking the ice box every morning for a week – I ate the semi-frozen, mousse-like, mush …………….. for breakfast!
I was not (yet) defeated, however, and decided to make a ‘proper’ ice cream – from a ‘proper’ recipe – forget the alcohol (for the moment) I just wanted to make something that would freeze. I also wanted to get the balloon-thingy right.
Recipe Alert! Coffee Ice Cream
What you will need:
Saucepan.
Measuring jar.
Mixing bowls.
Freezer container.
Set your freezer to ‘maximum’ or ‘fast freeze’ one hour before starting.

Ingredients:
300 ml (half a pint) milk.
150 ml (quarter of a pint) strong, cold coffee (or 2 tspn coffee granules).
3 egg yolks.
50-75 gm sugar (caster is best – but whatever you can get your hands on!).
300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream.

Pour the milk into the saucepan and heat until warm – do not boil.
In the mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until well blended.
Stir the warm milk into the egg mixture.
Cook the custard by placing the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and stirring until it thickens slightly.
Do not let the custard boil – it will curdle.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan and leave the custard to cool.
Whisk the coffee (or granules) and cream into the cold custard.

Freeze the ice cream mixture – if you have an ice cream machine, follow the instructions as given with the machine – if not……..
Pour the mixture into a shallow, non-metal,  freezer container.
Cover and freeze for about three hours – until frozen all over (it will have a mushy consistency).
Spoon into a bowl and mash with a fork to break down the ice crystals.
(You’ll need to work quickly – so the ice cream doesn’t melt)
Return the mixture to the container and freeze again for two hours.
Mash the ice cream as before.
Return to the freezer and freeze for about three hours (or until firm).
Transfer to room temperature about 20 – 30 minutes before serving.

Of course, now we have three egg whites left over………. Only one thing for it – Meringues!
What you will need:
Mixing bowl & Whisk (or food processor).
Baking sheets & non-stick baking parchment.
Ingredients:
3 egg whites.
175 gm (6 oz) caster sugar (I used granulated & it worked just fine).

Line the baking sheets with the non-stick baking parchment.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff (the egg whites, that is, not until your arm goes stiff).
Gradually whisk in half of the sugar – whisk well after each addition.
Fold in the remaining sugar with a metal spoon.
The recipe at this stage instructs that one spoons the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle and pipe small rounds on to the prepared baking sheets

I don’t have a piping bag – so I dolloped the mixture, by the spoonful, onto the baking sheet
Bake in the oven at 110°C (225°F) for two and a half to three hours until firm and crisp, but still white.
If they begin to brown, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
NB: My oven has no thermostat – I baked my meringues for about two hours, during most of which the door was propped open with a wooden spoon.

While the ice cream was freezing, and the meringues were cooking, I made a multifrontal assault on the chocolate balloon/bowl situation.
I tried dusting the balloons with (a) flour (b) cocoa powder and (c) icing sugar to try and form a barrier between the chocolate and the balloon – result: fail!
I tried using (a) olive oil and (b) sunflower oil to try and create a thin film between the chocolate and the balloon – result: fail!
I tried tying off the balloon with a twist-tie instead of a knot to try and deflate the balloon gently, whilst easing the chocolate away from the balloon – result: fail!
I tried putting a funnel in the open end of the balloon and adding a few droplets of tepid water, in the hope of melting it just enough to release the balloon from the chocolate – result: fail!
I gave up.
I was left with a container of broken chocolate pieces, meringues, coffee ice cream and a depleted bottle of thick bootleg baileys.
I had an idea.
I had heard of a popular dessert that is served in England that goes by the name of Eton Mess – which, I have concluded, was conceived by someone attempting to make a Pavlova and having as much success as I was, trying to make f’ing chocolate bowls with balloons. I, therefore, present my own take on this summertime dessert. Ladies & gentlemen, boys and girls, I present: One Hell of a Mess:
What you will need:
All of the chocolate from your culinary cock-ups attempts at making chocolate bowls with balloons
Coffee ice cream (because the Baileys wouldn’t freeze).
Meringues (because you had left over egg whites).
Bootleg Baileys (I’m as surprised as you, that there is any left by now).
What you need to do:
Place a scoop of coffee ice cream in a bowl.
Break the meringues into pieces and scatter over the ice cream.
Break the chocolate into pieces and throw over the ice cream & meringue.
Cover with Bootleg Baileys.
Eat.
So, you see, what could (and probably should) have been an experience that deflated my ego confidence, turned out alright in the end. (I told you it had a happy ending)

Disclaimer: The content of this blog are the views and observations of the writer and may differ from those of the reader. If you find any of the content to be wrong or inaccurate please advise the writer by posting in the comment section, but remember to be nice! The writer takes no responsibility for your lack of sense of humour. The writer cannot guarantee that your attempts at the recipes will be successful and is not responsible for any culinary-related accidents that you may experience. The content of any external links used which may, at any time, change are not the responsibility of the writer of this blog.

 

 

 

Bootleg Baileys Chocolate Shots

A few weeks ago I posted this to my Facebook timeline:

I didn’t really know what was going to happen, but I knew it was going to be a lot of fun! Last year, I shared with you my recipe for Bootleg Baileys – Here is a variation on that recipe – and a novel serving suggestion:
What you will need:
A Whisk (or food mixer would be better)
Mixing bowl (heatproof)
Saucepan
Disposable plastic cups
Ingredients:
For the Baileys –
2 teaspoons instant coffee
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 tin sweet condensed milk
A few drops of vanilla essence
400 ml double or whipping cream
1 – 2 wine glasses Irish whisky
For the chocolate cups –
1 bar of cooking chocolate (250 gm)

Break the cooking chocolate into chunks and place in the mixing bowl.
Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. (Alternatively melt the chocolate in a microwave oven, follow the instructions on the bar of chocolate).
Using a spoon, coat the inside of the plastic cups with the melted chocolate – make sure that it is well covered.
Put to one side to allow the chocolate to set – If you have room in the fridge, put them in there.

Whilst the chocolate cups are setting – make the Baileys mixture.
Put the coffee powder, cocoa and vanilla essence into the mixing bowl and mix until the powder has dissolved.
Add the whipping cream and mix until firm.
Add the condensed milk and whisky.
Mix thoroughly (beat the hell out of it)   until the mixture is thick and creamy.
Transfer the mixture to a jug (or bottle) and refrigerate.

When the chocolate has set, carefully remove the plastic cup – I make four cuts in the top of the cup and ‘peel’ it away from the chocolate.
Pour some of the Baileys mixture into each cup.
Serve.

I used slightly less cream in this recipe to make the Baileys mixture a little thicker – making it more of a dessert than a drink. Please feel free to play with adapt this recipe to suit your own tastes.
“So, What happens with the balloons?” I hear you ask – I’ll tell you about them in my next post……


Disclaimer: The content of this blog are the views and observations of the writer and may differ from those of the reader. If you find any of the content to be wrong or inaccurate please advise the writer by posting in the comment section, but remember to be nice! The writer takes no responsibility for your lack of sense of humour. The writer cannot guarantee that your attempts at the recipes will be successful and is not responsible for any culinary-related accidents that you may experience. The content of any external links used which may, at any time, change are not the responsibility of the writer of this blog.

 

Beasties

Ah, Summer! At last it’s arrived – as I sit watching the rain battering against the windows.
The long, warm, evenings (after the rain has gone) spent sitting on the terrace can, however, be quite uncomfortable – and I’m not just talking about the high temperatures we get here. Mosquitoes. Mozzies/flying teeth/bichos – call them what you will, they can be a real nuisance. There are many insect repellents available, but I have yet to find one that doesn’t smell awful and, once applied, doesn’t leave a foul taste in your mouth (let’s face it, once you’ve applied it, you’re still going to end up with it on your fingers and, therefore, on everything that you eat). It is also the contents of such products that trouble me. Whilst I appreciate that insects are annoying and can leave nasty bites, I don’t think that poisoning them is the best option. They have many natural predators: bats, birds and geckos – to name but a few. Is it right that we are polluting their food? A couple of years ago I found a recipe for a ‘natural’ repellent on the internet that is both easy to make, and not as damaging to the environment as many products that you can buy.
What you’ll need:
12 cloves
100 ml alcohol (the kind you buy in the chemist – not gin!!)
200 ml baby oil
a plastic pot
a spray bottle (I keep & recycle such items)

What you need to do:
Place the cloves in the plastic pot, add the alcohol and cover. Shake/agitate the pot 2-3 times a day for a week, then remove and discard the cloves and put the alcohol solution in the spray bottle. Pour the baby oil into the bottle and shake.
I have been using this for quite some time with good results. It may not deter all the bug-life, but it has substantially reduced the amount of bites that I get. It also doesn’t smell or taste as foul as the shop-bought products.
Things to bear in mind:
It contains oil – Please take care when applying, especially on tiled floors.
It may not work for you.
Do not use if you think you may be allergic to any of the ingredients used.
I do still suffer the occasional bite. When I do, I apply some neat alcohol with a paper towel to the bite. Yes, it stings, but it stops the bite from itching and leaves less of a mark.
Do you have any home remedies? Let me know about them in the comments section.

This post was inspired by a Facebook status from a fellow expat, also living in Extremadura, who was suffering from mozzie bites. You can follow Tanya’s adventures on her new blog: Life in the Extreme – pop over & say “Hi” – tell her I sent you!

CSI: Extremadura

That’s Cherry Spatter Indicator, by the way, nothing to do with crime scenes; although you must admit, the photos would seem to indicate the latter. Cherry season is in full swing all over Spain and although I adore all varieties of this delicious fruit, I’m always going to ‘big-up’ anything that is local to this region – especially the Picota Cherry. I’ve already posted one or two recipes using these cherries – here’s another:
Cherry Jam
What you’ll definitely need:
A very large saucepan (if you have a preserving pan, better)
Scales
1.8 kg (4 lb) cherries – washed, halved and stoned (I was using Picotas)
juice of 3 lemons
1.4 kg (3 lb) sugar
knob of butter (optional)
What I recommend you’ll need: coveralls, latex gloves, eye protection.
What you’ll probably also need: bleach, white paint.

Most of the spatter takes place when the cherries are being stoned. If you want to reduce the amount of mess created, you can always use a cherry stoner or a sharp knife to half the fruit and remove the stones. I (naturally) cause the maximum amount of mess and chaos by halving the cherries and removing the stones with my thumb nail.
Put the cherries and lemon juice in the pan and simmer, very gently, for about 45 minutes – until the fruit is really soft. Stir from time to time to prevent the fruit sticking to the bottom of the pan. 45 minutes is ample time to wipe the walls with bleach and apply a first coat of paint.

When the fruit is really soft, remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until it is all dissolved. Add the knob of butter (if you want). Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. 30 minutes? Time for a second coat of paint, if you ask me!

Test for a set* and, when setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon. Leave to stand for 15 minutes before potting and covering. 15 minutes should be plenty of time to get a final coat of paint on the wall – thus removing all evidence of CSI.
Yield: 2.3 kg (5 lb) – Cherries are low in pectin which means that this jam will only have a light set.


I have, so far, adapted this recipe to include either:
(1) 25 g (1 oz) grated root ginger added at the start – because ginger is good with everything, right?
or
(2)  2 bird-eye chilies, finely chopped (with seeds), at the start – tastes as good as it sounds
or
(3) 75 ml (5 tbsp) cherry brandy stirred in just before potting gives it a little extra bite.
Any other suggestions are, as always, gratefully received in the comments section.

* – How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!

Apricot Jam

We’ve had our apricot tree for about four years, now. It blossoms every year, but this is the first year that we’ve had enough fruit from it for me to make apricot jam:

What you’ll need:
a very large saucepan (if you have a preserving pan, better)
scales
a nutcracker
1.8 Kg (4 lb) fresh apricots – washed, halved and stoned
450 ml (3/4 pint) water
juice of 1 lemon
1.8 kg (4 lb) sugar
knob of butter (optional)

Crack a few of the apricot stones with a nutcracker (or a weight, or hammer). If you don’t want pieces of apricot shell flying all over the kitchen, I suggest you do as I do and wrap the nutcracker with a tea towel when doing this.
Take out the kernels and blanch in boiling water for one minute.

Place the apricots, water, lemon juice and kernels in a preserving pan and simmer for about 15 minutes until they are soft and the contents of the pan are well reduced.
Remove from the heat.
At this stage you can decide whether your jam will ‘have bits in’ or be smooth.
For a smooth jam, use a hand blender to remove all the lumps.

Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved, then add the knob of butter (if you want)
Return to the heat.
Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes – or until a temperature of between 96°-104°C (205°-220°F) is reached – stirring frequently.

Test for a set* and, when setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum that may have accumulated on the surface with a slotted spoon.
Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Pot and cover.
Yield: 3 Kg (6 1/2 lb) approx.

* – How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!

 

“Life is just a bowl of cherries”

I finally gave in this morning. I bought my first punnet (this season) of Picota Cherries from the fruteria in the village. They were still hellish expensive (nearly €3 a kilo), but I could no longer resist my favourite fruit. The only problem I have right now is this: Do I sit here & eat the lot? Or do I go & make something with them, so I can take photos & share a recipe?
Decisions……………
………………..Time passes……………………….
OK! You win! Here is a recipe that you may want to try:
Brandied Cherries
What you will need:
Medium-sized saucepan
Measuring Jar
Small (preserving) jar(s)
Needle (or small skewer)
Bowl(s)
Ingredients:
450g (1lb) cherries (washed)
225g (8oz) sugar
1 cinnamon stick
150ml (1/4 pint) brandy (approx)

Prick the cherries all over with a needle (or small skewer)
Make a light syrup by dissolving 100g (4oz) of the sugar in 300ml (1/2 pint) water
Add the cherries & cinnamon stick and poach gently for 4 to 5 minutes
Remove the pan from the heat and drain the cherries – reserving the syrup in a bowl – remove the cinnamon stick
Wait for the fruit to cool – then arrange in small jars
Return  the reserved syrup to the pan
Add the remaining sugar and dissolve it slowly
Bring to the boil and boil to 110°C (230°F), then allow to cool
Measure the syrup and add an equal quantity of brandy
Pour over the cherries
Seal the jar(s)
Serve as an accompaniment to any dessert – I, personally, like popping a couple on top of a cherry cheesecake.
Bonus Bi-product: Cherry brandy to accompany your dessert.
If you would like to improve your Spanish, you can get some more cherry recipes by clicking here.

La Señora de las Mermeladas

How I imagine the conversation went:
“You know the one I mean, the foreigner”
“Who? The German?”
“I don’t think she’s German”
“She must be – blue eyes, blonde hair – speaks Spanish with a weird accent”
“Always has that stupid grin on her face”
“Oh! Her! – I know the one you mean: La Señora de las Mermeladas

'Dr.Watson' - Well, it is a lemon tree

‘Dr.Watson’ – Well, it is a lemon tree

Long story short, I’m getting quite a reputation around the village and (for once) it’s the kind of reputation that I’m proud of. I quite often get stopped on my weekly shopping trip and questioned about the jams and marmalades that I make. The people who stop me want to know how I make them taste so different to the shop-bought ones.
The British associate the word marmalade with oranges (and other citrus fruits) although its origins are derived from the quince – membrillo in Spanish – (the same genus as apple & pear) whereas Mermelada is the Spanish word for jam – and for marmalade – there is no distinction between the two. There are many varieties of orange, so, not wishing to contravene any PDO (DO in Spain) I shall not be referring to my marmalades as any kind of ‘Seville’ Orange this-or-that. They shall be known as ‘The Smooth One’, ‘The Stringy One’ and ‘The Lumpy One’. Here is the recipe for The Smooth One (click on the names of the other ones to go to that page)

The Smooth One
Ingredients:
900g (2lb) oranges, washed
Juice of 2 lemons
2 litres (3.5 pints) Water
1.4kg (3lb) sugar

What You Will Need:
Preserving pan (or very large saucepan), wooden spoon, muslin cloth/jelly bag (or tea towel), upturned stool (or, in my case, a plant pot holder), spoons, jars, time and a little patience.

Method:
Cut the oranges into small chunks (about 2.5cm/1 inch) and put in the preserving pan with the lemon juice and 1.4 litres (2.5 pints) of the water.
Cover & simmer for about two hours – until the fruit is really soft.

Remove from the heat and pour the contents of the pan into the jelly bag (or whatever you have!) attached to an upturned stool (or plant pot holder).
Leave to drip into a large bowl for 15 minutes.
Return the pulp remaining in the bag to the pan with the remaining 600ml (1 pint) of water. Return the pan to the heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour into the jelly bag. Leave to drip for several (3-4) hours.

Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
Boil rapidly for 15 minutes – take care, it may ‘spit’.
Test for a set (How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!)
When setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon.
Leave the mixture to stand for about 15 minutes.
Pot and seal.
This recipe works just as well using lemons, if you’d prefer, or a mixture of the two fruits. I also throw in a peeled, bruised chunk (2.5 oz/70g) of root ginger – just to give it a bit of a ‘kick’!
So that’s it! That’s how I make mine. Maybe the difference in taste is the lack of colourings and other added ingredients? I suppose I should give those ladies in the village a jar or two – just to make sure that they’re calling me Lady Marmalade for the right reason!

This recipe has been adapted from The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog are the views and observations of the writer and may differ from those of the reader. The writer of this blog is not a travel writer and does not pretend to be one. If you find any of the content to be wrong or inaccurate please advise the writer by posting in the comment section, but remember to be nice! The writer takes no responsibility for your lack of sense of humour. The content of any external links used which may, at any time, change are not the responsibility of the writer of this blog.

All photos & text © Sue Sharpe 2014

 

 

Marmalade Recipe: The Stringy One

If I’ve done this correctly, there is a strong possibility that you have arrived on this page by following a link from the “La Señora de las Mermeladas” post. If not, you may be slightly confused and wonder what I’m going on about – but you probably came here for a recipe, so here it is:

The Stringy One
Ingredients:
900g (2lb) oranges, washed
Juice of 2 lemons
2.6 litres (4.5 pints) Water
1.4kg (3lb) sugar

What You Will Need:
Preserving pan (or very large saucepan), wooden spoon, muslin cloth/jelly bag (or tea towel), upturned stool (or, in my case, a plant pot holder), spoons, jars, time and a little patience.


Method:
Peel the oranges (avoiding the pith) until you have 100g (4oz) of rind.
Cut the rind into thin strips
Cut the rest of the oranges into small chunks (about 2.5cm/1 inch) and put in the preserving pan with the lemon juice and 1.4 litres (2.5 pints) of the water.
Cover & simmer for about two hours – until the fruit is really soft.
Put the shredded rind in another pan with 600ml (1pint) of the water, cover and simmer gently until the rind is soft.
Drain the rind (discarding the water) and add them to the fruit in the preserving pan.

Remove from the heat and pour the contents of the pan into the jelly bag (or whatever you have!) attached to an upturned stool (or plant pot holder).
Leave to drip into a large bowl for 15 minutes.
Return the pulp remaining in the bag to the pan with the remaining 600ml (1 pint) of water. Return the pan to the heat and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and pour into the jelly bag. Leave to drip for several (3-4) hours.
Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.

Boil rapidly for 15 minutes – take care, it may ‘spit’.
Test for a set (How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!)
When setting point is reached, take the pan off the heat and remove any scum with a slotted spoon.
Leave the mixture to stand for about 15 minutes. Pot and seal. This recipe works just as well using lemons, if you’d prefer, or a mixture of the two fruits. I also throw in a peeled, bruised chunk (2.5 oz/70g) of root ginger – just to give it a bit of a ‘kick’!

This recipe has been adapted from The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog are the views and observations of the writer and may differ from those of the reader. The writer of this blog is not a travel writer and does not pretend to be one. If you find any of the content to be wrong or inaccurate please advise the writer by posting in the comment section, but remember to be nice! The writer takes no responsibility for your lack of sense of humour. The content of any external links used which may, at any time, change are not the responsibility of the writer of this blog.

All photos & text © Sue Sharpe 2014

Marmalade Recipe: The Lumpy One


The Lumpy One

Ingredients:
1.4kg (3lb) oranges, washed
Juice of 2 lemons
3.4 litres (6 pints) Water
2.7kg (6lb) sugar

What You Will Need:
Preserving pan (or very large saucepan), wooden spoon, muslin cloth/jelly bag (or tea towel), spoons, jars, time and a little patience.

Method:
Halve the oranges and squeeze out the juice & the pips.
Tie the pips, and any membrane, in muslin.
Slice the orange peel and put it in the preserving pan with the fruit juices, water and muslin bag.
Simmer gently for about 2 hours until the peel is soft and the liquid is reduced by half.
Remove the muslin bag.
Add the sugar and heat gently, stirring until it has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and boil the mixture rapidly for about 15 minutes.
Test for a set – (How to test for a set: at the same time as you begin cooking the fruit, place three or four saucers in the freezing compartment of the fridge. When you have boiled the jam for the given time, remove the pan from the heat and place a teaspoonful of the jam on to one of the chilled saucers. Let it cool back in the fridge, then push it with your finger: if a crinkly skin has formed on the jam, then it has set. It if hasn’t, continue to boil for another 5 minutes, then do another test. – Thanks Delia!)
When setting point is reached, remove from the heat and remove any scum. Leave to stand for 15 minutes, then stir gently to distribute the peel. Pot and cover. This recipe works just as well using lemons, if you’d prefer, or a mixture of the two fruits. You could also put a peeled, bruised chunk (2.5 oz/70g) of root ginger in the muslin bag – just to give it a bit of a ‘kick’!
This recipe has been adapted from The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book.

Disclaimer: The content of this blog are the views and observations of the writer and may differ from those of the reader. The writer of this blog is not a travel writer and does not pretend to be one. If you find any of the content to be wrong or inaccurate please advise the writer by posting in the comment section, but remember to be nice! The writer takes no responsibility for your lack of sense of humour. The content of any external links used which may, at any time, change are not the responsibility of the writer of this blog.

All photos & text © Sue Sharpe 2014