One of the things that's most surprised me and is a complete departure from my BB (Before Burgundy) self, is the overwhelming desire I now have to grow and make things. This week I've had my future inlaws staying and Barbara (future mother in law) and Adam (future son in law) have both expressed a desire to make jam. There is something amazingly satisfying about creating food from your own produce or items that you 'find' lying around the place. Despite the seemingly endless hours and effort that I put into cooking and shelling sweet chestnuts (DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE FEELING FRAUGHT) I suspect that when I am tucking into chestnut stuffing on Christmas day, a certain smugness will overwhelme me. Anyway, I will devote todays blog to two of my favourite recipes 'Down the lane jam' and 'Quirky quince and orange marmalade'. Visitors to Les Cerisiers will be feasting on these during their stay.
Down the lane jam
Whatever you can find in the hedgerows down your lane
Find a child who is willing to help you gather hedgrow treasures and several large tupperware containers. I was lucky enough to have Adam staying here in August when we harvested several ton of blackberries and elder berries (which we froze), and again in October when we picked rose hips, hawes (frow the hawthorn bushes) sloes, rosehips, hazelnuts and crab apples.
Place all the hard fruits and nuts (chopped into small pieces) into a preserving pan with just enough water to cover the fruit. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the fruit is soft and the crab apples fluffy. Sieve the juice and pureed fruit then add the soft fruits and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Weigh this mixture and add the same weight in sugar. Heat over a low heat until the sugar has disolved then boil rapidly until setting point is reached (email firstname.lastname@example.org for details). Pour into prepared jars and seal
Quirky Quince and orange marmalade (did you know that Quince is 'marmelo' in Portuguese and this is where the word marmelade originated? I didn't!)
Place the fruits in a casserole dish, cover with water til they float and then cook on a low heat for six hours (your kitchen will attain the scent of Heaven)
Strain the liquid then add the skin and cores from the quinces and the pith and innards from the oranges). Bring this mixture to the boil and reduce by 1/3.
Sieve the above
Add the chopped quince flesh and the sliced orange rind, weigh and add the same weight in sugar.
Bring to the boil and keep boiling until setting point is reached.
Pour into prepared jars and seal
Both these recipes will provide you with marvelous preserves. I have had to pay out for a couple of bags of sugar and now have a number of jars of mouth watering treats. Ah Bliss!