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Balsamic Vinegar Jelly ~ with onion seed

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jamsnpans-balsamic-jellyIt is now March, and thus the third monthly challenge of a yearly one set by Marisa at http://foodinjars.com/.. also at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FoodinJars the months are sure whizzing by quickly!

if you want to follow the challenge go to the Facebook page foodinjars   and also the Hashtag #fijchallenge on Instagram..plenty of places to peek and find out more.

Now I think Jellies are up there in the list of my favourite preserves to make..I think they are highly satisfying to make , and the results are well worth the efforts. The colours always amaze me, such jewel like brilliance when you manage to make a good one..

A jelly is a clear jam, with no solids in at all, made with the collected juices of fruits and can be used for either sweet or savoury purposes, such as Mint jelly, Redcurrant, Cumberland, often served with meats or a spoonful in gravies and casseroles and such.

Shrubs are a drink, loaded with History and Tradition..I can remember my Gran in Law, who was Scots, making a certain recipe, which alas, do I not have. She used to be in service as a Cook to a Household in Scotland, and it was very popular. I wish I had paid attention when she cooked.. some are fruit liquers added with spirits, others can be Vinegar fruited syrups used as drinks..or added to lemonade etc, no real rules as to how you like your refreshments and cocktails..

Now this is beginning to be a favourite  jelly of mine ,to be used as a condiment or in your cooking.. I often use jellies in stir fries, salads and dressings, savoury casseroles and gravies..glazes for cooking meats, baking, in fact its not often that I use it as an actual sweet spread..

BALSAMIC VINEGAR JELLY

I fell in love with balsamic glaze and Jelly that can be bought commercially and thought I might try to recreate it.. I first tried it with Dark Balsamic which was superb..and then again with White Balsamic ,thinking that would look amazing. I added Black Onion seeds, but you could actually add many different ingredients.. such as herbs, roasted garlic etc etc.. It turned out to be ridiculously easy and quick to make

2 pints vinegar

2lbs white sugar ..granulated

1 sachet powder Pectin I used which was 8gram, which converts to about 2 teaspoons..

Onion seeds.about 3 or 3 teaspoons..and bay leaves

Have ready and clean, a few jars and lids to use ..I usually keep them warm to stop and thermal shock of jars cracking when filling with hot liquids.

Add the pectin to the sugar and mix well, put vinegar in a good size pan , allow plenty of room for bubbling up on a fast boil .

Add the sugar/pectin mix to the vinegar in the pan, put on a low heat and let the mix warm slowly and dissolve the sugar..once this is done you can turn the heat up to get a fast rolling boil..one that bubbles lively..From this point start timing and allow 4 minutes , remove from heat  .. follow the instructons on your chosen Pectin packet, they may vary from one product to another.. But I tested for a set..using the saucer method..

I then toasted in a dry frying pan some onion seed and a couple of bay leaves to add ..I added the onion seed to the mixture and proceeded to fill the jars, popped a bay leaf in each jar , then screwed on the clean , new lug lids..Process in WB or steam canner, remove and put jars on a folded tea cloth to let cool..

I WB or Steam Canner Process my jars for 12minutes..

I did notice that with the onion seeds they floated to the top of the jars..soo while cooling and seeing the jelly beginning to thicken I very carefully rolled and shook the jars every 10 minutes or so to redistribute the seeds more evenly throughout the mix..but be careful not to compromise the seal..it is easier to do this with lug lids rather than 2 piece flat lids and rings..

 

jamsnpans-white-balsamic-jelly-onion-seeds

 

Preserving with Salt

jams'n'pans rose salt himalayan pink.pngjamsnpans-salt-black-garlic-onion-seed-lime-rosemary

Flavoured salts

It is now February, and thus the second monthly challenge of a yearly one set by Marisa at http://foodinjars.com/.. also at Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FoodinJars

if you want to follow the challenge go to the Facebook page   and also the Hashtag #fijchallenge on Instagram

The February Challenge is preserving foods with Salt..its has been great fun to see what ideas and recipes people came up with.. the results have been fascinating from Gravlax, flavoured salts, sauerkraut, preserved egg yolks, which I have loved to learn about, soup mixes and so on…The challenges are great because they take one out of a safe comfort zone and expose one to looking at new ideas ,which is a great thing. My Grandad used to say if you don’t learn at least one new thing every day, then you’re not living!

I was rather short of time this month to attempt a lengthy preserving project so opted to make a flavoured, or a finishing salt.. I happened to have some Black Garlic in the fridge which is one of my favourite ingredients, so I paired it up with some Black salt, as I thought that would look rather impressive, but it needed a little oomph , so dired some lime peel with rosemary in the oven and then added that.. with Black onion seeds.

I used 1 Black garlic, peeled and finely diced..as well as possible because its rather difficult when its so lovely and soft and squidgy added to 1 cup of salt.. The other ingredients are added , and the amount here is down to individual taste and how much you want an ingredient to shine or to meld..just add all together , and use as require, its great on jacket or roast potatoes, vegetables etc..,or a sprinkle on cheese on Toast..use wherever the love leads you…

My second attempt  is certainly not a recipe but a memory of France and good friends..

Dried rosebuds in salt , usually in a grinder , to use at Table..so this is dried Petals in Pink Himalayan salt and I used a precious Vintage French jam jar to show it off..

The Challenge for March will be Jellies…

 

A Sloe Screw Up Against The Wall Marmalade ..traditional Seville Marmalade with a Twist !

Traditional English Breakfast Marmalade

My Love for all preserves and Kitchen Garden Crafts began with me when as a little girl I spent time with a family friend.. a completely magical time ! a widow lady who had very little money, who lived in a Post WW2 pre fab type House, with a Garden..She had very little money but my goodness she knew how to make the Pennies go round, several times in fact.

I spent much time with her, and it was stuff of childhood dreams and cosiness. Big feather mattresses, crochet blankets, quilts, afternoon teas and cakes with Big Brown Betty Teapots and cosies. Jigsaw puzzles, chickens to feed, plants to grow and fruits to pick.Now breakfast was always good white bread, laid out on the bread board with a bone handled bread knife, Tea, toast and marmalade, and if the chickens were laying well , we had boiled eggs too!! in the cutest little egg cups..so breakfast Marmalade for me transports me straight back to those childhood happy Days. But Marmalade to me has to be with Seville Oranges, from Spain!! and I was always given the history lesson too of the Origins of this incredible preserve. It was probably very enjoyed by her, as it must have been impossible to get during the war!! and she still relished the luxury of it in the sixties …she always had a little smile around her mouth when eating it… If made with sweet Oranges there is just no comparison, still good, but a different experience altogether!

Its a little bit of a ritual for me every year and I love each and every stage of it.. I always make lots of regular recipe marmalade, au naturel, with no additions. I do however allow myself a few small batches every year to experiment with flavour additions.. and I guess as one grows up , tastes and experiences change !

This is a very grown up and Adult version however, with a very cheeky name, named after the Cocktail!! I think , or rather hope my childhood friend would laugh at this, she was rather cheeky herself.. I can imagine the morning Toast being rather embarrassed at Table.. or, having a rather knowing smile !!!

The History

The story of Dundee Marmalade begins back in the 18th century when a Spanish ship took refuge from a storm, in the harbour at Dundee, Scotland.. On board was a consignment of Seville Oranges – which a local grocer decided to purchase.

On taking them home to his wife, the couple discovered the oranges were too bitter to eat. The grocer’s wife saw the potential in the oranges and boiled them up with sugar, to create the delicious preserve now known as Dundee Orange Marmalade, so it has a strong History!

Today..

Preserve making has moved on and progressed and I think becoming very much back in vogue. Lots of reasons, people like to know what they are eating, healthy choices, preserving their Harvests and fruits..living off grid, I like to move with the times and preserve my foods safely..so have joined many Preserving and Canning Groups on Facebook.. and I have certainly Changed my food handling techniques.

.I have followed Marisa at Food in Jars , for a while..and she has initiated a 12 month food Preserving Challenge.. which rather intrigued me and I have joined in..

The First Month is Marmalade…

which really thrilled me as it is my most favourite preserve to make and to eat..and I make what seems gallons of it every year, for probably almost the last 40 years !! ssshhh!!! don’t tell!! Now the next 11 monthly challenges will probably stretch my knowledge and patience a whole lot more.. this is going to be one very interesting year of challenges..

 

 

jamsnpans-marmalade-sloe-screw

 

If you would also like to join in here is the link

http://foodinjars.com/2017/01/food-jars-mastery-challenge/

THE RECIPE

Suzy’s Seville Marmalade

1lb.8oz Seville Oranges,   washed and scrubbed well.
3 pints water
juice of 1 lemon.
3lb Granulated white sugar
1/2 oz butter.   this may be needed at end of process .. whisk in and it helps clear the scum on surface.. More often I just skim the surface and remove with a spoon.
equals for every 8oz fruit its 1.lb sugar and 1 pint water… so this recipe can be doubled.. i do about 4lb fruit at a time and thats quite comfortable fit for my pan!
  **This is the whole fruit method…**
Scrub oranges well,Slice in half and put in large saucepan. Bring to boil and then simmer gently until the skins are soft. Leave to cool. Lift oranges out and remove pips and put them to one side and put in muslin bag and tie bag up with string.I sometimes leave overnight to soak more at this point, just transfer the mixture into a non metal bowl and return to pan in the morning. Sometimes time wise..its better to make into a two day process , rather than be stuck to the hob for hours! It also helps to soften the peels more too.. once the sugar goes in that process will stop..
Chop oranges in food processor . I just use pulse button…or slice by hand if preferred.. Put orange mix back into pan with the orange water… Strained of pips….,bag of pips, sugar and lemon juice.Add the sugar and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves.Then boil rapidly until setting point is reached.
a plate which has been chilled in the fridge or freezer is useful for this setting test..take a small spoon of marmalade and put on plate.Turn off heat at this stage.. leave for a few minutes and then do the wrinkle test, when the small blob is moved and wrinkles you know you have achieved a good set. If not turn on heat and cook for another 5 minutes and repeat, until this happens.
Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal with lids. Hot water Bath for 10 minutes
This is a method using the whole orange which is quick and easy, it is a strong taste more like a British Oxford marmalade.It keeps well and is great for gifting!.
Seville Oranges are the Traditional Oranges from Spain which are specifically for Marmalade making, and often for culinary purposes too, such as Duck with Orange. They are very strong tasting and on the bitter side, which are perfect for the Traditional English Breakfast Marmalade. There is no comparison between this and a marmalade made with sweet oranges, although good too, its a different taste experience..
Now I like to make this recipe often, and a lot of it too, but I allow myself the luxury of a few batches to experiment with..
Sloe Screw Up against The Wall….Taken inspiration after the  cocktail..
at the stage when the sugar has dissolved I added a couple of Bay Leaves, 2 dessert spoons each of Galliano, Sloe Gin, and Vodka.Please not that when adding alcohol, it will take slightly longer to get to the setting stage..but persevere it does get there, and adds a gorgeous depth of taste to the preserve.Just continue cooking until set is reached , remove Bay leaves and continue to pot up..

jamsnpans-seville-marmalade-2016-plain

The beautiful Oranges that I use are from Waitrose Supermarket..they are completely Organic Sevilles from Spain.. from the amazing Ave Maria Farm..they are on Face book and also this link to their website..

http://www.huertaavemaria.com/ingles/inicio.html

 

 

 

 

Chicken Dinner Winner Pie

jamsnpans-roast-chicken-bacon-pie-herb-mustard-pastry

Chicken Dinner..is also cockney Rhyming Slang for winner..

and this was a real winner with the family!

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C (fan)/Gas 6.

Left over Roast Chicken from the previous days Sunday Roast Dinner..with the ever traditional and family favourite gravy. This can be made with Turkey also, ideal for Thanksgiving ,if  you celebrate it, or the wonderful Christmas Turkey..

But the interesting part of the dish is the pastry.. beautifully flavoured with mixed dried herbs and a couple of teaspoons of delicious wholegrain mustard and also the addition of fried bacon pieces to the chicken and gravy..

The chicken was leftovers in gravy , and I added fried bacon to it and used as pie filling

A lovely Pie to make with Chicken or Turkey leftovers..and gravy..this was onion and wine gravy..English gravy, which is brown .Made with meat juices etc ,stock,wine and then thickened..
Roast Chicken and Bacon Pie with Herb and wholegrain mustard Pastry..
put this together from left overs .

Pastry is 4oz lard , 4oz marg , 16oz Plain flour , rub in fats till resembles breadcrumbs , bring to a dough with 1 egg and herbs and mustard .. a tiny drop of water . Roll out and use as required .The pie has pastry top and bottom..  Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface, to a thickness of about ¼in/1cm. Place the pastry over the pie dish  and carefully trim the edges. Fill with the chicken mix and then top with pastry ..Use the trimmings to make cut-out shapes to decorate the surface of the pie. Cut a couple of air holes with a knife to allow the steam to escape or use a circle cutter carefully to make a hole… Brush the pastry with the beaten egg.Bake the pie in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes. The top should be nicely browned and the filling piping hot. Remove, allow to cool slightly and serve

and then ENJOY!!

 

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POTATO PESTO AND PINENUT TART

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Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
I packet of ready made puff pastry
Lay out on a greased tart tin and then just slightly roll up the edges all round, this will make a raised edge..or score the pastry all the way round about half inch in from the edge..
about 1lb pre cooked peeled potatoes..( this is a great dish to do if you plan ahead and make cook extra potatoes.
about half a jar of pesto..or as much as you like..
a good two handfuls of pine nuts..
Grated cheese.. we like a strong cheddar..but to your liking … and as little or as much as you like..
spread the pastry with pesto and ..then add the sliced potatoes over the top in a pleasing arrangement..drizzle with some olive oil..
sprinkle the pine nuts and top with grated cheese..
Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes till golden brown and bubbly… sprinkle with basil leaves before serving
This makes a super dish for lunch, picnic or a snack..ideal with a salad for summer time eating, but lets be honest its delicious too on a cold day with some warming soup to accompany it.. no rules for when food should be served ..have what you fancy !!

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Lemon and Lime Possets

made with clotted cream and lemon curd.

jams'n'pans lemon lime posset lemon curd clotted cream

 

A Posset is a delightful old fashioned word for a cooked cream dessert..

This is such a simple dish to make, also elegant, delicious, and a perfect choice for so many occasions. .As it is cream,sugar and citrus juice it is so simple to make. I made mine with a twist and used English Clotted cream and Double..( Heavy)  .Double cream can also be used on its own..it is also  a very rich dish and a small serving will suffice.. when the cream had cooled I twirled through some Homemade lemon curd, which gave it an additional hit of citrus..

Lemon & Lime Clotted cream Posset, with Lemon curd.

600ml Cream..  I used one pot of clotted cream and combined with double cream to make the total amount..Just double cream can also be used.
150g Caster Sugar
I lemon  juice and zest.. unwaxed fruit preferably or scrub fruits well before zesting..
1 lime juice and zest..
2 dessert spoons Lemon curd
In a saucepan , combine the cream and sugar, and bring to  the boil, then simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.. Remove from Heat and add the juices and zests of the lemon and lime.  stir well..Let cool in the pan, and then add the Lemon curd and stir it through..
Pour into small glasses or ramekin type dishes.. leave in fridge for a few hours…I often leave overnight ready for the next day
This is a very rich desert..so I suggest small dishes.
A very easy prepare ahead, elegant desert..beautiful on it own or with a little accompaniment of a small madeleine or shortbread or chocolate wafer..something along those lines..
Enjoy and don’t worry about the calories for once..

 

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Egg & Bacon Pie

This is a lovely Pastry Pie , either for a snack,lunch ,supper or picnic.The fillings can also be added to. I have many times added Black Pudding mushrooms tomatoes etc and called it a Full English Breakfast Pie.. I also enjoy using Lard in my savoury Pastries as I think it gives a really superior result.

This is a real family favourite and often asked to make it.. I hope you enjoy too..

Egg & Bacon Pie

1 lb Plain Flour
4oz butter or margarine
4oz Lard
1 egg to mix
make a short crust pastry, rub fats into flour till resembles bread crumbs..bring to a dough with the egg and perhaps a little water.
Wrap pastry in clingfilm, chill in fridge
Pastry made with half lard and butter is to die for!! …but you can use all butter or marg..
roll out pastry on floured board , for a 8 inch loose bottom tart tin..top and bottom circles..
lay pastry in tin and  then put some
Caramelised onion laid at bottom of pie…see recipe for Onion Marmalade with Port & Thyme..
if not use a good quality chutney or relish of your choice..or omit completely.completely [ersonal preference here on this..
, pre cooked bacon about 8 slices & 1 large chopped onion ,cooled, just gently saute the bacon and onion in a tiny amount of oil..cool..
 add some chopped chives,
 and then 5 eggs very lightly beaten just poured on top , pastry lid put on and then baked in the oven
190C/375F/Gas 5.for approx. 45 mins.or a little more…depends on the oven…test for doneness with a skewer