Posts Tagged 'jam'

Drunken Orange & Ginger Jam

I initially got into cooking when I moved to the UK. Because of this, I can cook a vast repertoire of heart-warming stodgy winter food, but am pretty useless at light, summer food. So, despite me being a massive “cold frog” and hating the chill, I find myself greatly anticipating winter!

All the good things seem to happen in winter. The rugby, rugby league and AFL starts; my birthday gets closer; and I get to make thick stews and puddings to keep us warm through the chilly months. I also get to count down the days until Papa C’s lemon tree goes crazy and produces more lemons than we can pick!

I have noticed lately that the citrus fruit is becoming plentiful, but I’m not the biggest fan of marmalade as it is too bitter for my liking. So I’ve made a slightly sweeter orange jam, and jazzed it up with a bit of sherry for the cold. You can leave the sherry out, it tastes good without it. This one would also be good on fresh scones!
Drunken orange jam – adapted from the BBC Good Food website
1 kg oranges, well scrubbed and halved
1 unwaxed lemon
1.5 kg granulated sugar
30g stem ginger
2 l water
1/3 cup sherry

the oranges having a bath...

Grate the rind and squeeze the juice of the oranges and lemon, and place in a large saucepan with 2 l water and ginger.

Bring the liquid to the boil, then simmer for about 1 hr, or until the peel is soft and translucent and the liquid has reduced by one third. Turn off the heat and lift the ginger out.
While you wait, get your jars ready. Wash 8 x 450g/1lb jars (or the equivalent volume larger or smaller jars) in hot, soapy water, then leave in a low oven to dry completely. Keep them warm. Alternatively, if you’ve got a dishwasher you can run the jars and lids though a hot cycle, then let them dry. Put a saucer in the freezer at this point, too.
Add sugar and pectin to the pot, along with the sherry. Stir every so often over a very gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Don’t boil before all the sugar has melted.

Slowly bring the pan to the boil. After 10 minutes boiling, spoon a small blob of marmalade onto the cold saucer. Leave for a minute, and then push the marmalade with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. If not, boil for 10 minutes more then try again. If yours seems to be taking a while don’t worry, it can take anything from 10 minutes to 45 minutes for marmalade to reach setting point, depending on your oranges. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface in the meantime.

Once you’ve reached setting point, ladle the marmalade into the warm jars and seal. The marmalade will keep for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place, and for up to a month in the fridge once opened.


Rhubarb & Vanilla Jam

My tummy is the boss. When it says jump, I don’t even stop to ask how high, I just jump as high as I can in a desperate attempt to keep it happy. My tummy tells my mind what to think, and my hands what do to. Which is why I can never be blamed for eating anything I’m not allowed to, my tummy made me do it officer!

Avoiding sugar for so long as made me slightly nuts. My tummy has been rather angry with me and is intent on seeking revenge. The other day I was sitting on the couch and my tummy said to me “why don’t you try that delicious custard tart in the fridge, Frank won’t even notice it’s gone, and I won’t tell your Naturopath”. As my tummy presented a solid argument, I thought “why not eh!” and proceeded to scoff down the only custard tart in the fridge (it was small, don’t worry).  Unfortunately Frank went into the fridge that night and asked where the custard tart went… and I was totally busted! I believe his words were “has it gotten so bad that you are eating in secret?”, but of course it wasn’t me, it was my tummy that did it!

Because of my sugar addiction, my tummy has been dreaming up all sorts of sugary deliciousness for me to make. And as there has been a mass of rhubarb in our local store lately, I decided to try my hand at rhubarb jam. This recipe is really simple to follow, and the jam is delicious. As soon as I finish the diet I’ll be making fresh scones to have all the jam with.  And tummy says “yes please!”
Rhubarb & vanilla jam – recipe from the BBC Good Food website

1 kg rhubarb, weighed after trimming, cut into 3cm chunks
1 kg jam sugar (or 1 kg sugar plus 1 x 8g sachet pectin)
2 vanilla pods , halved lengthways
juice 1 lemon

Put a small plate in the freezer. Put the rhubarb into a preserving pan or your largest saucepan with the sugar and halved vanilla pods. Heat gently, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved, then squeeze in the lemon juice and increase the heat.

Boil for about 10 mins, skimming off the scum as you go (the fruit should be soft).

Test for setting point by spooning a little onto your chilled plate. After 1-2 mins, push your finger through the jam – if the surface wrinkles it is ready, if not, keep cooking for 2-min intervals, testing in between. (Or if you have a sugar thermometer it should reach 105C)

Once the jam is ready, let it cool for about 15 mins before ladling into warm sterilized jars and sealing. Will keep for 6 months in a cool, dark place.

What’s this daaaal? Sponge cake…

Hi, my name is Loll, and I’m a foodaholic.

Whether cooking it or eating it, I think about food all the time. Even if I don’t get to eat the final product, I am happy to spend the entire evening in the kitchen baking or cooking something. I’ve gotten to the point where I respond to my boss asking how I am with “I made fresh pasta last night!” I brought in so many treats to work at one stage (as Frank gets bombarded with them and sometimes needs a break) that my colleagues asked me politely to no longer bring in sugary things! At first I thought I was normal, but when I realised that not everyone shares the love of food *shock*horror* I thought I’d jot down how bad my addition’s become. So here is my freshly penned list –

10 signs you are a foodaholic:

1. you read recipe books before bed
2. you have a big pile of recipe books next to your bed; along with in your kitchen, your lounge and your dining room
3. you spend 20 mins buying your winter clothes (including trying them on), but an hour and a half shopping for lemon curd jars in your local food store
4. you can’t wait to get a new fancy Google phone so you can read food blogs on the way to and from work
5. you plan meals in advance, for example planning Christmas lunch in June (oh yes!)
6. you can’t wait to see a new city as you get to sample new food stores and restaurants
7. you rate how good your weekend was by the amount of cooking/eating you managed to squeeze in
8. when you aren’t thinking about food you’re talking/writing about/eating it
9. you can’t have the same meal for more than one night, unless of course you want to spend more time baking and just heat up leftovers…
10. you go as crazy when you see a well-known chef as other people would when they see Brad Pitt

To point no. 10 Frank asks “what well-known chef have you seen?” First of all, I really should be seeing more well-known chefs. But for now I will bask in the glow of my beautiful friend Mrs Swede, who is not only the most incredible chef I have the joy of knowing, but really should be famous as at least one person aspires to cook like her (me of course!). Secondly, I have seen James Martin. From a distance. In a department store in London. I ran back to my office shouting “you’ll never guess who I saw? James Martin!” to have people ask “WHO?” in return…

It is Ferret’s birthday on a few Sundays time, and she has requested that I make her a sponge cake. As simple as it sounds, I have never made a sponge cake properly and I really want to get it right for her. Ferret and Pistol are great tasters as they always say lovely things about my food, so I want to make her something super delicious in return!
As it is Frank’s birthday next week, I decided that I’d test out the sponge recipe I found this week to avoid too many baked goods going out in one lot. Beets (my mum) always said that you put your mood into your food, so despite melting the butter while attempting to get it to room temperature, I was fairly chipper. Low and behold it worked! The sponges were fluffy and delicious, I didn’t drop either of them on the floor, and I managed to get the filling in with no drama. And what was the filling you ask? It’s a secret. I don’t want Ferret to read this and spoil the surprize, so I have given you the recipe with the regular filling, and will display Ferret’s cake when her special day arrives!

P.S. The colleagues loved it when I took it into work, it disappeared by mid-day…
Victoria Sandwich – recipe from BBC Good Food website, again…

200g castor sugar
200g softened butter
4 eggs , beaten
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk

100g butter , softened
140g icing sugar , sifted
drop vanilla extract (optional)
340g jar good-quality strawberry jam

icing sugar , to decorate

Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper. In a large bowl, beat all the cake ingredients together until you have a smooth, soft batter.

Divide the mixture between the tins, smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

To make the filling, beat the butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in icing sugar. Beat in vanilla extract if you’re using it. Spread the butter cream (mine is blue, for fun!) over the bottom of one of the sponges, top it with jam and sandwich the second sponge on top. Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

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All recipes are on Petitchef