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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Spicy Plum Chutney with Port

Spicy Plum Chutney with Port

1 whole garlic bulb..all cloves seperated peeled and squashed..

2 inch piece fresh ginger

2 star anise

1 teaspoon ground coriander, or two if preferred

500ml cider vinegar..prepare to maybe use more..

6 cardomom pods

200 g sultanas or raisins

1 teaspoon salt

1kg plums , stoned , and chopped roughly

about 1/2 kg chopped onions

about 1/2 kg chopped apples ,cored but not peeled.

450g brown sugar

towards end of cooking about 200ml port.

These were rough guidelines as I was making this up as I went along with ingredients I had to hand..Put all spices in muslin bag, ready for easy retrieval at end of cooking.

Put all ingredients into a large pan and simmer gently till thick and gloopy.If you draw a line across the top of the chutney without too much liquid filling the space is a pretty good guideline as to when its ready. Stir often and do’nt wander too far away. This cooking can take quite a while to reduce down , you may need to adjust quantities of vinegar as you go along , sometimes it needs more.

Most chutneys taste very vinergary and sharp when first made, much better if you can wait at least 4-6 weeks or more if poss for it to mature..

When ready pot up into clean sterilised jars and lids..if Waterbathing I suggest 15 minutes


Lemon Sussex Pond Pudding


jams'n'pans susses pond puddSussex Pond Pudding

This is a boiled suet pudding, a typical English Pudding. In the middle the butter and sugar melts to make a rich sauce sharpened with the lemon juice.The name of the pudding refers to the sauce,which runs out of it, whhen turned onto a serving dish. it makes a moat of a buttery brown llemony liquid!!

8oz self raising flour

4 oz beef suet

4 oz slightly salted butter

milk and water

4 oz demerara sugar.

1 large lemon.

Mix the flour and suet together to make a dough with milk and water. half and half 5fl oz should be enough. The dough should be soft but not too soft to roll out in to a large circle.Cut a quarter out of this circle and reserve for later to make the lid!

Butter a 2/12 pint pudding basin liberally with .

drop the three quarter circle of pastry into the basin and press the cut sides together to make a perfect join, thus lining the basin.Put half the butter cut into squares and half the sugar into the pudding, slice the lemons and put those in, then add the remaining butter and sugar. Roll out the remaining pastry to make alid place it on top of the filling and press the edges together so that the pudding is sealed in completely!

Put a piece of foil right over the basin with a pleat in it. This enables it to expand when cooking. Tie it in place with string and make a tie handle with the string over the top so that the the pudding can be easily lifted.

Put a large pan of water on to boil, and then lower the pudding basin into the boiling water. It should come up halfway or a little further . Cover and leave to boil for 3 – 4 hours. If the water gets low replenish with boiling water.

TO SERVE.. put a plate/ dish deep enough to catch the sauce! over the basin, after removing the foil and turn the whole thing upside down. Its is a good idea to ease the pudding from the sides of the basin with a knife first. Put on the table immediately, cut into it and watch the sauce pour out

Roasted spicy Fig Tart

Roasted Spiced Fig and Apricot Tart

This is a case of making 3 elements seperately and then assembling them when you’re ready to serve.

You need a Pastry Tart case..already cooked ,baked blind OR a shop bought one..

Filling..6 oz cream cheese…6oz creme fraiche 3 tablesp icing sugar ( confectioners sugar)

However you can choose to use whatever filling you like..or have some additions that would complement the fruit topping. Today i’m going to chop some walnuts and add to the filling.Mix together well and put to one side ready for assembly.


I had 6 fresh figs and 6 apricots..this does not need to be need enough to put on the top of the tart..

In a small saucepan put 1 cup Ruby Port

3 star anise

2 sticks cinnamon

1 table spoon whole black peppers.. I used Pink today..

2 strips orange zest and a squeeze of juice

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

1 tablespoon honey

2 vanilla pods halved… if this is too expensive , sub with some powdered cinnamon..

just warm through very gently on a low heat on the hob..

In a roasting tin put the halved fruit and the syrup and then roast gently in the oven, Not too long as you want the fruit to stay whole.

i removed the fruit to a dish and then put the syrup back in the sauce pan to reduce down to a syrup..

Remove the spices from the syrup this stage you might need to adjust the amount or the thickness. test for sweetness too. If the syrup is too could heat it up before serving and add a little arrowroot mixed with cold water and then cook to get it thicker…let cool a wee bit and then top the fruit..

I admit I let my syrup reduce down too much and had to add some port and then play around with it to get it right..

Let the fruit and syrup cool down..put to one side.

When you’re ready..Assemble. get your tart case ready on its serving plate… Add the cream filling in to the base and smooth over.You could use a piping bag to fill the tart if you’re going for a special look, but hey No extra work today please!

Arrange the fruit attractively on the top of the Tart and the drizzle the syrup over the fruit…et VOILA !!

Savoury leek and vegetable Pithivier

Savoury Pithivier( French Pie )..Leek,sweet potato ,cheese and Ham

Thinly slice 2 leeks and gently fry off in a little butter. You just want them soft..not crispy.

Add 1 cooked sweet potato that has been diced in small pieces.

Add 1 cup cooked diced ham..

gently fry all together..add about 1 teaspoon of honey and some chopped rosemary..and whatever blend of spices you may like.. I used 1 teapoon of a mixed blend that had tomato ,garlic etc.

Allow to cool. Mix 1/2 cup cream cheese to bind and 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.

Mean while , prepare two circles of puff pastry. One circle must be about 2 inches wider. This will be the top piece and accomodate the pile of vegetable filling.

Put your smaller circle on a baking sheet. Moisten around the edge with water. In the midde pile the veg /meat filling neatly, try and keep the edge clear by about an inch and a half! Now put the bigger circle on top, coming down neatly over the filling and smoothing it gently into place and sealing the edge. The top sheet may be a little bigger, so now go round the edge and make a decorative edge. you can see from the picture of the finished pie the score lines. On the top you can score again, going round in a circle.

Brush the pie with milk or an egg wash to get a lovely finished glaze.

bake in a medium oven till the pastry is cooked and browned nicely

Lamb Tagine

lamb tagine

2lb Lamb cubed… or lamb meat balls. 2 tbsps oil

8 to 12 oz prunes or could be prunes and apricots . 2 large chopped onion

2oz Plain flour 4 cloves garlic

1 dessertsp ground cumin 1/2 to 3/4 pint stock may need more

1/2 dessertsp cinnamon or 1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander cinnamon stick

3cm piece of ginger grated Zest of 1 orange and juice

1 dessert sp honey saffron ( optional )

salt to taste

1 dessertsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix spices with flour and coat cubed meat in the flour , fry off the meat cubes or lamb meat balls and then fry the onion and garlic add honey,orange ginger saffron then add rest of flour and then stir in stock slowly, add fruit and casserole slowly in oven. Great crockpot dish.. on finishing may need to thicken the gravy. serve with sprinkled coriander on top.

serve with couscous. I like adding lemon zest and chopped fresh coriander to the couscous

(amount of spices in tagine can be slightly increased or adjusted to personal taste !

This has to be one of my most favourite recipes..just love it and I hope you do too!!





Apricot and Amaretti semifreddo ( meringue based icecream)

apricot and Amaretti semifreddo

Semifreddo means “half cold” in Italian.
In the culinary sense, it refers to any partially frozen dessert, from cake to ice cream, fruit or custard. Semifreddo has air incorporated into it by means of
whipped eggs, meringue, or whipped cream. It has the texture of a mousse that is frozen. Semifreddo does not freeze solid and does not require the
freezing power of an ice cream machine. All it needs is an overnight stay in a mold in the freezer. Although many semifreddo recipes use a loaf pan as the
mold, you can make semifreddo in any shape mould that you wish.

For the fruit puree or 450g apricots, stoned, cook in a pan with a little water about 3 tablesp and about 3-4 oz sugar.when soft puree through a sieve and collect the puree and allow to cool. discard the solids/skins left in the sieve.

For the meringue

you need 8oz caster (superfine) sugar , in a good small nonstick saucepan with 150ml of water..dissolve over a low heat then boil until temp reaches 120c on a sugar thermometer or boil for 5 mins without.

While the syrup is boiling whisk 2 egg whites until stiff.

When the syrup is ready and the beaters stillrunning on the whisk, slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the whisked egg whites.Do not let the hot syrup touch the beaters or you will end up with spun sugar or be splattered by very hot be careful.

I have a kitchen aid and let the beaters carry on whisking until the mixture cools down..

This is called Italian meringue and is a great recipe as the egg is now *cooked* it can be piped etc for decoration too without needing to go in the can use a cooks blow torch to gently brown it.

Now in another bowl..

you can put two small tubs of creme fraiche (or 300ml double/heavy cream)

gently whip the cream and and then add 1 Tablespoon of Amaretti Liquer and 3oz roughly crushed amaretti biscuits, gently fold in the meringue mix and incorporate the two mixes together..when done gently stir through the fruit puree to get a ripple effect. I reserved some puree to stir through the top and also to keep back some for when the dish is served. put the mixture into your chosen mould and put in the freezer overnight..

As mentioned above it is usually put into a loaf tin, for ease of getting it out of the tin, it can be lined with cling film.If you wet the tin with water first it helps get a better lining for the cling to stick to.

Unmould your semifreddo onto your serving dish and decorate when ready!!



Celeriac /Red Cabbage Slaw with walnuts and grapes

celeriac and red cabbage slaw

1 small celeriac root

2 red eating apples

1/4 to 1/2 red cabbage

3 oz walnuts

3oz grapes

1 red onion

prepare all vegetables and apples by peeling coring and shredding finely by hand or in a food processor, so that it looks attractive for the Slaw.Put in bowl

break the walnuts into small pieces, just roughly and halve and deseed grapes and add to the bowl of shredded ingredients..

For mixture you may choose an oil mix/dressing or a creme, or mayo mix

250ml creme fraiche, dash of lemon juice, 2 tablesp dijon mustard OR

Mayo and natural yoghurt mixture about 6 tablespoons of each.. Personal Choice..