Thursday, August 2, 2007

ridiculously expensive marmalade

just randomly i found this article! would anyone really want to spend five thousand pounds on marmalade? apparently they do

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

mint jelly

my next adventure into preserves is going to be herb jellies! i think mint and sage. i love herbs! i use fresh herbs in my cooking almost always. i especially love going out to the garden and collecting little bunches of different herbs - rosemary, sage, thyme (i especially love thyme), lemongrass, mint - whats not to like? herbs are fragrant and punchy and add so much to food!
Shame theres not much fruit in season at the moment. i'd really like to get into making fruity sweet jams. i am doing my best to use fruits in season; i feel like this is one of the main reasons to make preserve in the first place - being able to use fruits and veggies that were kept at their best for use when there is not as much fruit or veg around.
anyway, all i have to do before making my next batch is to find some jars! anyone know of a good place to find/buy jars for jams? if you do drop me a line :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


this is a great recipe for piccalilly, makes about 12 x 450g jars (thanks Rick Stein)

450g Salt
4½ Litres Boiling Water
2 medium Cauliflowers Broken Into Small Florets
450g Pickling Onions Peeled And Halved - or quartered if they are a bit bigger
450g Topped And Tailed Runner Beans (Sides Peeled Away And Cut Diagonally Into 2cm Pieces)
½ large Halved Lengthways Cucumber (Seeds Removed And Then Into 1cm Chunks)
225g Topped And Tailed Zucchini (Cut Into 1cm Chunks)
275g Caster Sugar
1½ Litres Distilled Malt Vinegar (Plus Extra 5 Tbsp)
2 Crushed Garlic Cloves
½ Grated Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Ground Allspice
50g Plain Flour
25g Powder Mustard
25g Tumeric Powder
15g Ground Ginger
½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1. Mix the salt with the boiling water.
2. Leave to cool, divide between two large bowls and add the cauliflower and onions to one bowl and the runner beans, cucumber and courgettes to the other.
3. Cover with a plate to keep the vegetables submerged and leave for 12-24 hours.
4. Drain the vegetables and rinse them well, still keeping them separate.
5. Put the sugar, garlic and 1.5 litres (2 pints 13fl oz) of vinegar into a large pan.
6. Bring to the boil, add the cauliflower, onions, allspice and nutmeg and cook for just three minutes.
7. Add the beans and the cucumber and cook for a further 4-5 minutes - you want the vegetables to be just cooked, still a bit crunchy
8. Lift out of the vinegar with a large spider or sieve into a large bowl and set aside.
9. Mix the flour, mustard, turmeric and ginger powder with the rest of the vinegar and enough water to make a smooth paste.
10. Add a little of the hot vinegar mixture, stir into the rest left in the pan and bring to the boil, stirring.
11. Simmer for 10 minutes.
12. Stir the sauce into the vegetables, spoon into warm sterilised jars and seal with vinegar proof lids

Monday, July 30, 2007

Awesome Lime Marmalade

1 kg limes
1.5 litres water
1.75 kg sugar

Wash the limes, fresh firm limes are best, and slice as thinly as you can. Soak the limes in a non reactive bowl with the water overnight.
Transfer the limes and water to a large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer gently, covered, until the lime skins are very soft (for about 1 hour). When the lime skins become soft take off the heat and add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
Once the sugar has dissolved (you may need to put back on the heat, but dont boil before it dissolves!) bring the mixture to the boil, and boil rapidly for about 20 minutes. the marmalade will froth a lot. once the mixture stops frothing start testing for set! The best way to test whether the marmalade is set is the crinkle test - drop some marmalade onto a cold plate and allow to cool (you can put it in the freezer for a minute or so). push the edge of the cooled marmalade and if it crinkles the marmalade is ready to bottle! scoop into sterilised jars and seal
Ta Da! lime marmalade!

note: pectin (which makes the jam set and is naturally found in fruit) can break down if the marmalade is boiled too much after the setting point is reached.

welcome.. to my jammy world

i like making jam. its my new hobby. one day i will have a jammy empire... or a market stall... or something. and i say jam, but what i really mean is anything preserved and kept in a jar. so far i have had two jammy adventures- lime marmalade, and piccalilly! my lime marmalade came out beautifully; tangy and sweet and a pale gold colour. perfect for toast. and piccalilly is like mustard pickles and very very tasty, a bit pungent, and a deep turmeric yellow - perfect with ham. Apparently it's also good on cheese sandwiches (i'm not good at dairy so i havent tried it!) .
Actually i really enjoy cooking, especially baking. i think i like creating things in general, and the added bonus about baking and making preserves is that i find the process very satisfying, and relaxing. i make cupcakes when im feeling stressed (it doesnt hurt that i get to eat them too!)
i hope you enjoy reading and trying my recipes, i aim to put photos and recipes up, as well as reviews on recipe books. happy marmalade!