There is only so much fruit that I can freeze – the new additional freezer we bought last year for the bumper crop of gooseberries, plums and pears was only half empty and this year’s bumper harvest of rhubarb, blackcurrants and redcurrants have filled it completely again. I am now faced with 5 full tub trugs of apples and a couple of tub trugs worth of damsons still on the trees! I am, however, not complaining and I will manage to find space in the other freezers for most of the produce.
It does however mean that I the liqueur making season is upon me ! People who know me always find it amusing that one of our cupboards is filled every year with an array of fruit liqueurs…amusing because I very rarely drink alcohol. There is little I enjoy more than being able to offer a tasty fruity tipple to accompany the food I make when visitors around.
The selection in the picture is my array of blackcurrant liqueurs – vodka, liqueur, cassis and gin. If you were to rummage in the cupboard you would also find: redcurrant cassis, rhubarb and orange liqueur, damson gin, sloe gin, gooseberry vodka and pear vodka.
All the fruit used, once strained from the liquid is put in to a pie or crumble – a deliciously warming dish that I call my drunk fruit desserts. Always a favourite with my husband 🙂
I will put all my recipes on my blog over the next few weeks.
I first tasted this delicious combination at a friend’s house a couple of years ago. Whenever they visited some friends in France they would come back with a jar of loveliness called: Confiture de pommes au romarin et au miel de montagne. I acquired a recipe and then promptly forgot about it until recently. Recipe translated and tweaked resulted in 5 jars of apple, honey and rosemary jam in my kitchen yesterday. I resisted the urge to taste it until today to allow the rosemary to infuse the jam…delicious.
This is what I did:
2kg of cooking apples – peeled, cored and chopped in to small pieces (pips saved)
250g honey – I used set
Juice of 3 lemons – keep pips
20 ml of water.
Rosemary sprigs – washed and dried
Put the sugar, water, lemon juice and honey in a large pan and bring to the boil – stirring frequently. Put the apple pieces in to the syrup mixture along with the apple and lemon pips wrapped in a piece of gauze. Bring back to the boil and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the apples are soft. Remove from heat and mash about half of the apple mixture down – I used a potato masher. Put back on the heat and simmer for anohter 5 – 10 mins. Put in to prepared jam jars and push a sprig of rosemary in to the mixture ahead of sealing the jar.
I have no idea how long this will store – probably quite irrelevant as one jar has nearly gone already. I didn’t treat this like an ordinary jam, cheese or jelly in that a setting point wasn’t reached. The consistency is of a very, very thick sauce. Delicious on toast but I would imagine equally scrumptious with pork or game.
So…when is it a biscuit or a cookie? These do not have the crack / snap of a biscuit but instead have the delicious chewy and slightly bendy quality that I think a cookie should have (apologies to all biscuit and cookie aficionados). If left in the oven longer I am sure they would have been more like a ginger thin. The stem ginger chunks give a lovely warmth.
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4 Makes 18 cookies Lightly grease/ line a large baking tray
350 g self-raising gluten-free flour 150 g dark muscavado sugar
100 g butter 1 large egg
4 desert spoon golden syrup 2 tsp ground ginger
5 pieces of stem ginger coarsely chopped
Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and melt on a low heat. Remove from the heat and mix in all the other ingredients. Spoon the mixture on to the prepared tray – allow for spreading. Bake for 10-15 mins. Leave to cool before removing from tray.
Microwave 2-3 mins on full power 4/6 individual large ramekins e.g. Prestige /souffle dishes
For the pudding:
100 g gluten-free self-raising flour 100 g butter
100 g light muscovado sugar 3 eggs (2 if not using gf flour
3 tsp ground ginger
For the filling:
6-10 tbsp Greek yoghurt 4 pieces of stem ginger coarsely chopped
Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix well until smooth. Divide equally between the ramekins. Put in the microwave for 2 mins – test with skewer. Cooked when skewer comes out clean.
Mix Greek yoghurt with the chopped stem ginger. Scoop the centre of the pudding out and fill with yoghurt mixture and pop ‘lid’ back on. Serve whilst puddings still hot.
Serves 3 Preheat oven to 180c / gas mark 4
1/2 butternut squash deseeded and chopped in to small chunks
plum / cherry tomatoes
3 smoked mackerel fillets torn into large pieces
300 g rice noodles
tamari (soy sauce if non gf)
Put butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for about 30 mins until cooked and edges crisping.
Put a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and, once hot, add the rice noodles. Stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for a further minute. Drizzle with tamari. Add the fish and heat through. Finally add the roasted squash, stir and serve on a bed of rocket.
Oven to tableware dish from Prestige
Such an easy dish to prepare:
Serves 3 Pre heat oven to 180C Gas mark 4
For the cheese sauce:
350 ml Full / semi skimmed milk 80 g Cheddar / Double Gloucester cheese – grated
20 g Butter 30 g gluten-free plain flour
1 tsp English mustard
For the remainder of the dish:
1 cauliflower cut in to 3 chunks 1 skinned fillet of hake 1 handful of mangetout
15 g grated cheese
Place the hake fillet within a tin foil parcel and bake in the centre of the oven for 10 mins.
Put the cauliflower in a pan of boiling water and cook until for 8- 10 mins.(alternatively steam e.g Prestige pressure cooker 5-8 mins) and boil /steam the mangetout for 3 mins.
For the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Stir in the flour
Gradually add the milk – stirring continuously.
Simmer gently and add the mustard and then the grated cheese, stirring until all melted and thoroughly combined.
Simply assemble all the ingredients in an oven proof dish, top with grated cheese and put in the oven to heat through thoroughly.
2 salmon fillets
2 courgettes – spiralised 1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup of chick peas (tinned) 1 tsp ground ginger
Tamari to flavour – 1 tbsp olive oil for cooking
Bake the salmon fillets in the oven in a tin foil parcel for 10-15 minutes – no additional flavours / oil added.
Whilst it is cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chick peas, pine nuts and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the courgetti and cook for a further minute. Add tamari – heat through and serve.
Preheat oven to 180c / gas 4
12 muffin tray – good quality non- stick ( I used Prestige – didn’t need to grease)
120 g gluten-free self-raising flour 120 g butter
120 g light muscovado sugar 3 eggs (2 if not using gf flour)
2 ripe bananas – mashed 1/2 cup of walnut halves (12 to put on top before cooking)
Put all the ingredients ( except bananas / walnuts) for the muffins in to a bowl
and mix well until smooth. Add mashed bananas and walnuts and gently fold in to the mixture.
Spoon the mixture in to prepared tin and place half a walnut on the top of each.
Bake for about 15 mins – until skewer is clean.
Leave to cool before removing.
Make 12 – only 11 made it to the plate…muffin thief entered the kitchen!!
100 g Gluten free plain flour 1 egg
1/2 pint whole milk 2 tbsp chia seeds
Pinch of salt
Make a well in centre of flour, add salt, chia seeds and egg and mix. Gradually add milk to make batter.
Make pancakes in usual way. I have assembled with full fat natural yoghurt, fresh raspberries, sliced banana and blueberries.
Preheat oven to 180c / gas 4
Prepare a 18cm round tinIngredients:
120 g gluten-free self-raising flour
120 g butter
120 g light muscovado sugar
3 eggs (2 if not using gf flour)
Rind of 1 orange
1 cup of cooked gooseberries – I baked them in the oven – no sugar added
Topping – juice of the orange and 60 g sugar
Put all the ingredients ( except gooseberries) for the cake in to a bowl
and mix well until smooth.Add gooseberries and gently fold in to the mixture.
Turn mixture in to prepared tin.
Bake for about 35 mins – until skewer is clean.
Whilst the cake is still hot spoon the orang/sugar mixture all over the top of the cake.
Once cool, remove from the tin.