Ingredients for Apple and Rosemary Jelly
2.5 kg cooking apples
Juice of 2 lemons - I must say I forget that and it worked well without-
1 large fresh rosemary sprigs
Wash the apples and cut off any bruised bits.
Cut the apples into thick chunks without peeling or coring.
Put in a pan with the lemon juice and enough cold water to cover.
Bring to the boil and simmer until the apples are very soft and the liquid is reduced by a third.
Strain the apple mixture through a jelly cloth overnight.
Do not squeeze the apples through as this will make a cloudy jelly.
Measure the strained liquid and for every 450ml of liquid add 450g sugar.
Put the apple liquid, sugar and rosemary into a large pan.
Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then boil rapidly for 10 minutes or until setting point is reached.
To test if the setting point has been reached spoon a little of the jelly onto a chilled sauce, then push the surface of the jelly. If the surface wrinkles it has reached setting point. Strain if you don't fancy seeing rosemary if your jelly pot
Pot the jelly in warm, clean, sterilised jars, cover with waxed discs until the jelly cools, then cover and seal.
Ingredients for Apple and Rosemary Jelly
-But what should I bring was my question?
-Oh one of your delicious recipe, was the answer.
But which? that's when I had a brain wave and decided to access Google Analytics to see which of Pebble Soup's recipe was your favorite.
I crossed my fingers, hoping that it was not a winter casserole and the result was:
Courgette and Cheese Loaf
Cuts into 10 slices
Ready in 1 hour 10 minutes
I amended the oven temperature that should get rid of the sogginess
200g courgette coarsely grated
2 tsp fine sea salt
225g self-raising white flour, sifted
3 large eggs, beaten with a fork
4 tbsp milk
1/4tsp cayenne pepper powder
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder or 1/2 tbsp mustard mixed with the mild
125g strong Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190°C, 375°F).
Line a loaf tin with baking paper, leaving 5cm above the rim.
Melt the butter and leave it to cool
In a large bowl, combine the sifted flour, salt, cayenne powder mustard .
Add the grated cheese.
Lightly beat together the eggs and milk , then pour into the flour mix and stir with a knife to create a dense sticky batter.
Add the courgette shreds.
Turn into the lined loaf tin
Bake for 20 minutes, then raise heat to Gas Mark 6 (200°C, 400°F) and bake for 20 minutes more until the top is golden and/or the top spring lightly when pressed.
Leave the loaf in the turned off oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack before turning out.
The original recipe is for ravioles on a bed of spinach topped with smoked salmon however, in our case the original recipe became: very battered ravioles cunningly smuggled back from France in his bag and looking poorly after their flight, now lying down on a bed of aubergine purée and tucked in under a sliced of smoked salmon.
But let's concentrate on the delicious Aubergine Purée for which you will need :
•2 medium aubergines
•3 tbs of Tahiti and the equivalent in cream or Greek yogurt
•2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
•1/2 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
•Squeeze of lemon juice
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6. Roast the aubergines on a baking sheet until tender - about 20-30 minutes. Cool.
2.Peel and squeeze out any juices. Put in a food processor and whiz together with the fresh coriander, garlic, lemon juice, Tahiti and yogurt and a little seasoning.
3. Add a little more yogurt or Tahiti if it looks too thick, put back into a saucepan and heat it up before serving.
This, on its own is great, but to get the restaurant experience, top with cooked ravioles which really are tiny raviolis and cover with a slice of smoke salmon.
So what is a Parfait, that I can tell you : it is a pâté passed through a sieve to make it silky smooth and that is what I prepared for Phil when she passed through London on her way back home.
It is simple to create a Parfait, the advantage being that you will not get the grainy texture you might get sometimes with other pâtés, so it is more palatable, And if you like your pâté smooth, the best bet is to go for a French or Belgium pâtés.
The recipe I used is adapted from Stéphane Reynaud’s "Terrines". Reynaud comes for the Ardèche where you get some really fantastic little restaurants, if you have not been yet, jump on the next train, 100% good time garanteed. But back to Mr Reynaud whose grandfather was a butcher and who seems to spend his time between his restaurant near Paris and writing books about pork, pâtés and associated subjects.
Chicken Liver Parfait
500g (I lb) chicken livers
5 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
200g (7 oz) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic
5 juniper berries
pinch of ground cinnamon
100ml (2/5 cup) port
1 tbsp walnut oil
Heat the walnut oil in a pan on a medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until golden. Add the chicken livers, bacon and juniper berries and sear the livers until coloured on all sides. Remove and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with the port, making sure you scrape the tasty bits stuck to the pan and cook down until thick and syrupy. Pour into a food processor or blender and add the liver mixture, 150g of the butter, cinnamon and salt. Blitz until smooth.
Spoon the parfait into 4 terrine dishes, pressing down to fill the dishes well. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
To finish, melt the remaining butter then pour on the terrines to cover. Return to the fridge to harden the butter layer. This step is not essential and is really more for presentation than anything – we normally skip it (especially when it’s just the two of us eating), after all the parfait itself has plenty enough butter!
Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving to allow the parfait to come to room temperature.
Albannach is also running whisky courses, the staff is highly knowledgeable. All in all really recommended. I will definitely be back for haggis in the winter.
However when presented with a lovely liquid concoction, lovingly prepared, a little effort towards the nibbles is in order.
Now for a bit of background; some time ago, I was invited to a Baxters Afternoon Tea Party as I was busy that afternoon, I passed the invitation on to Sarah of Maison Cupcake who has written a super post about it. Consequently I was sent Baxters new range of conserves and chutneys.
If you are like me, always on the look out for something new, you might want to read on and as I did not think it right to do all the tasting I got some help from neighbours, friends who enthusiastically volunteered to help out and taste these new products. Here are the conclusions we arrived to.
- Baxters Baby Beetroots is rather acidic and got the thumb down.
- Their Rhubarb and Ginger conserve was very much appreciated but the ginger is a bit too powerful, a friend suggested that it should be called Ginger & Rhubarb,
- The winner is without a shadow of doubt their Strawberry conserve, if you happen to see it on the supermarket shelve, you can get it in all confidence
- as for the chutneys: Tomato Chutney with Red Pepper is sweet and not very sharp and Cranberry & Caramelised Red Onion Is fine.
But of course it is all a matter of taste. Baxters is a good solid brand which undeniably has put a lot of research in their new products. To promote them the firm has enrolled the services of Tom Kitchin and here is the recipe which made the lovely nibbles for the equally lovely cocktails.and now for the recipe:
Oatcakes with Cheddar, Rocket and Baxters Cranberry & Caramelised Red Onion Chutney
Makes 12 oatcakes
12 rough oatcakes
Handful of rocket salad
100g strong cheddar, thinly sliced
6 slices of Parma ham, halved
12tbsp Baxters Cranberry & Caramelised Red Onion Chutney
1. Top each oatcake with a layer of rocket salad. Then add a layer of cheddar cheese and a piece of Parma ham.
2. Top each with a spoonful of Baxters Cranberry & Caramelised Red Onion Chutney.