Archive for the 'jam' Category

Raspberry jam

raspberry jam

raspberry jam

Yes! I am afraid I am inflicting another jam on you. Raspberry this time! “Is she trying to tell us something?”, I hear you ask. “She has been blogging quite a few of the damn stuff lately!” Well….  you are not wrong. Basically I am trying to convince you to try making some, assuming you like eating jam like me , of course.  It is such a cinch! Honestly!  Have a go and you will never look back. The advantage of home made jam, taste aside- which is by far superior-, is that you can control the quality of the fruit and you know exactly what has gone into it. In this particular case I used 4 punnets of raspberries which had been reduced in price. They were expiring that day and Sainsbury was selling them off cheap. From £2.75 each to 69 p. What a bargain!  Ok some looked a bit on the soft side but basically they were perfectly fine. Luck would have it that the jam sugar was on special offer too. Only £1! So for under £4 I ended up with nearly 2 kilos of jam. Not bad, uh? I have of course given some away. One mustn’ t be greedy and forget one’s friends, must one! This afternoon I made some fresh scones (see recipe here) and topped them with my raspberry jam (see pic below) . OMG!DELICIOUS! Definitely one to make again. Continue reading ‘Raspberry jam’

Blackberry jam

blackberry jam

Dear readers, apologies for the long silence but we encountered technical problems on the blog. Basically when we logged in  as administrators it was all a big blank, as if everything had disappeared. Cue in panic attack…What? The work of over 4 years down the drain? Luckily Candi has a techno savvy son and he managed to sort it out for us (thank you Matteo!!!) but we had to wait until he came back from his holidays. He was trying to explain to me what had gone wrong but it was like he was speaking double dutch. FTP files? What are they? Plugins? Akismet?  They sound like characters out of the Muppet show…Anyway, we are back in business so today I would like to share how to make blackberry jam with you. I love this jam, seeds and all, and it is so easy to make. It sets really well and quickly. Honestly: everyone could make it. I have already made 3 batches as blackberries are beginning to ripen now (earlier than usual) and are readily available if one knows where to look. Do take yourself in the countryside, collect some and have a go! And by the way, you will have to be patient once more as both me and Candi will be away for the next 2 weeks. Continue reading ‘Blackberry jam’

Blueberry preserve

blueberry preserve

Let me introduce you to another wonderful  jam to add to the collection of those already blogged. I have actually called it “preserve” to make it sound grander and better. In truth I didn’t have a clue until a few days ago what the difference was between jams and preserves. I thought it had something to do with the sugar/fruit ratio but in actual fact, following an extensive research on Google (and where would I be without it?), I learnt that it’s got more to do with how mashed up the fruit is. Apparently a preserve contains chunkier (if not whole) pieces of fruit. As you can definitely see whole blueberries inside mine let’s go for the posh name. You will be impressed to know that the blueberries I used were actually wild and handpicked by yours truly (with the help of her long suffering husband :-) ). It can’t get more wholesome than this! It’s really satisfying to forage and cook with stuff you have found growing in the wild. Continue reading ‘Blueberry preserve’

Apricot jam

apricot jam

I am becoming quite the domesticated woman now, making my own jam and chutney, and this is my latest “baby”. By the way in Italian it is called marmellata di albicocche. Sounds good,eh? I had never made it before but got the inspiration while I was in Corsica (sorry to bang on about my holiday) where I ate some really gorgeous apricot jam. I read somewhere that the kernels add an interesting flavour to it so I didn’t throw them away but added them at the end. I put less sugar than other recipes state as I like a bit of tartness. It’s really simple  to make (MUCH simpler than the Seville orange I made last which was a right old faff ) and it tastes fabulous. It also goes very well as an accompaniment to strong cheeses. I must make some more soon before apricots disappear off the shelves. Plus my good friend Janet gave me a gorgeous (and massive) preserving pan for my birthday which I  MUST christen. Continue reading ‘Apricot jam’

Seville orange marmalade

Seville orange marmalade

Hands up who has ever had a Seville orange? Well, I had never bought or seen one before but I decided to get myself some as I had decided to try my hand at making home made marmalade ( as you know I’m very much into jam/chutney making now). I had tasted Candi’s excellent one in the past but never tried making it myself beforehand, despite the fact I LOVE it. So I dutifully ordered a bag of organic Seville oranges from the Riverford people, who supply my weekly organic veggies. In fact it was described as a marmalade kit, as it was complete with recipe. So what could be more convenient than that? Well, when they arrived I must confess I was a bit disappointed….ok, a LOT disappointed. They didn’t look a patch on the beautiful waxed, shiny ones you can buy in my local supermarket. They were smallish and deformed. Definitely ugly looking. Oh well, I assumed they would taste delicious all the same. Sometimes you can’t judge the book by its cover, right?  So on Saturday I decided that the day had come to have a go and gathered all the necessary ingredients. But when I started cutting the oranges in half in order to squeeze them…LO AND BEHOLD….they were full of pips! AND they tasted incredibly bitter. So: ugly AND foul tasting. Had I been robbed? Continue reading ‘Seville orange marmalade’

Crema di cioccolato e nocciole. Homemade dark chocolate Nutella by Stefania (English recipe too).

Sarà arrivato l’autunno? Lunghe colazioni domenicali al calduccio mentre fuori è un po’ grigio? Mah… Per ora qualche fogliolina appena giallina occhieggia tra la verzura che resiste. Solo l’edera spicca rossiccia. Ma noi facciamo finta che sia venuto il tempo delle nocciole e delle conserve autunnali, anche perché lassù in Inghilterra, almeno, il tempo farà il suo corso, suppongo.

Lungi da voler entrare in concorrenza con la spalmabile per antonomasia! La sua azienda è un pezzo di storia italiana e si è sempre caratterizzata per correttezza anche come immagine e come scelte pubblicitarie (a parte recenti scivoloni). Ma homemade è homemade e non ho potuto resistere a questa ricetta di Stefania, fortunata proprietaria di un nocciolo. Non è difficile, si può scegliere il cioccolato che più aggrada, insomma, va semplicemente fatta.

As we all love chocolate, I guess, I’ll try to give the recipe in English too, for our English friends. Be mercifull or Lucina just correct my language monsters.

E grazie a Stefania Merlo che ha fatto il lavoro, foto compresa!

And thank to Stefania Merlo who did the job, picture included!

Continue reading ‘Crema di cioccolato e nocciole. Homemade dark chocolate Nutella by Stefania (English recipe too).’

Rhubarb jam

rhubarb jam

I LOVE jam, particularly the home made variety so it’s baffling that I don’t make my own on a regular basis. Because, let’s be honest, it’s not that  complicated. How difficult is it to boil some fruit with some sugar and put it in jars? Ok, you need to get the quantities right but still! So I thought the time had come to have a go and decided to make some rhubarb jam. I love rhubarb (sorry Candi. I have never seen it on sale in Italy. Another idea for import /export? Already you have to start growing parnsnips, remember?) so last time I was shopping I bought two bags (on offer, as it happens)  and some jam sugar and when I came home I put the lot in a big pan and started boiling away. Just like a witch with her cauldron. Well….. it didn’t take me long to produce the finished result. And it is amazingly good: it tastes divine and the consistency is JUST right. WHY haven’t I done it before? It’s so simple! Honest! Next time I might even add some grated ginger . Sorry to be bragging about it but I have to share with you this cookery success, right? Next session is going to be with my friend Carmelita who also wants to try her hand at jam making (she has always been scared of it. But WHY? I really don’t know..). We are going to make some blackberry jam, to be precise. She knows a secret spot where loads of them are growing (mind you: they are not ripe yet!). What better than that? But for now let’s see how I made my fabulous rhubarb jam. Continue reading ‘Rhubarb jam’