Posts Tagged With: gifts

Rhubarb and vanilla jam

This must be the easiest jam to make in the whole wide world! And, as with all jam-making, small quantities are best: quickest to prepare and also to bring up to that all-important setting point. And if you find you don’t have the exact kilo of prepared fruit, just weigh out the equivalent amount of sugar.

Fresh from the garden: rhubarb, lemon

Recipe source: Melissa

Makes: 3 or 4 medium jars

Equipment:

  • 4 medium jars with good lids
  • Oven tray
  • Paper towel
  • 3 small saucers
  • Chopping boards and knives
  • Scales
  • Citrus juicer
  • Heavy-based wide stockpot
  • Wooden spoon with flat edge
  • Spatula
  • Small serving bowls
Ingredients:

  • 1kg rhubarb
  • 1kg sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 large lemon

What to do:

To sterilise jars:

  1. Wash your jars in hot, soapy water, rinse and then drain them upside-down.
  2. Place on an oven tray right-side-up and slide them into the oven. Turn on the oven to 160C. Leave them there until
  3. Wash the lids, rinse and drain them. Wipe them dry with a piece of paper towel and keep your fingers away from the inside of the lid!

To make the jam:

  1. Put 3 small saucers in the freezer.
  2. Wash the rhubarb stalks and trim the edges. Slice each stalk into 3cm pieces and weigh to make sure you have 1kg.
  3. Slice the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, then cut each pod half into two.
  4. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice.
  5. Put the rhubarb into a preserving pan or a heavy-based wide stockpot with the measured sugar, vanilla seeds and pods. Heat gently, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved, then squeeze in the lemon juice and increase the heat.
  6. Boil for about 10 minutes until the fruit is soft, stirring with the flat-ended wooden spoon every minute or so. Test for the setting point by spooning a little onto your chilled plate. After 1-2 mins, push your finger through the jam – if the surface wrinkles it is ready, if not, keep cooking for 2 minute intervals, testing in between.
  7. Once the jam is ready, let it cool for about 10 mins before ladling into your warm sterilised jars and sealing with the clean, dry lids.
  8. Label with the name and date when cool. Will keep for at least 12 months in a cool, dark place.

Notes: What does to sterilise mean? What is the setting point?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Festive shortbread

Jill writes, ‘Free shortbread from the restrictively narrow timeframe of Christmas, and make it throughout the year. Hallelujah.’ I think by turning these into a festive treat (however short-lasting they may be!) they can be a great present for someone too…

Recipe source: adapted from Jill Dupleix’s recipe for Anytime Shortbread in ‘Simple Food’

Makes: about 30

ourkitchengarden.net

Equipment:

  • Baking trays and paper
  • Scales
  • Bowls – 2 medium
  • Food processor
  • Flour sifter
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Cling film
  • Rolling pins
  • Festive biscuit cutters
  • Ribbon, chopstick, skewer, cellophane
Ingredients:

  • 300g unsalted butter, soft
  • 150g icing sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 300g plain flour
  • 150g rice flour or cornflour

 

What to do:

  • Heat the oven to 150C. Line the baking trays with baking paper.
  • Combine the butter, icing sugar and sea salt in a food processor and whiz until smooth.
  • Sift in the flour and rice flour, then pulse off and on, scraping down the sides from time to time, until the mixture gathers into a ball. Knead for a minute or two with your hands until smooth, then cut into two, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Tidy & wipe down your workspace.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and pat or lightly roll out the dough until 1cm thick. Cut into shapes with the biscuit cutters. Reshape the scraps and cut more shapes. Place on a baking tray and prick with a fork. If you want to, you can carefully pierce a hole in each shape with a skewer or chopstick, & later thread ribbon through to hang as a decoration.
  • Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 10 minutes, then turn the tray around and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until touched with colour. Leave to cool on the tray.
  • Pack gently into an airtight container, thread with a length of ribbon and tie into a cellophane bag – or simply gobble them up! 

Notes: This shortbread can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Or spread with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream for a take on the classic Strawberry Shortcake…

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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