Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2009

October ‘Meanderings’

Pictured (top to bottom)
Red Pepper Chutney
Lasagne al Forno
Autumn Pudding
Lemon Meringue Ice Cream 

100_8175 Red Pepper Chutney

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

My kitchen has been full of the wonderful vinegary smells of chutney and pickle this month as I have made the most of the seasonal produce found in the hedgerows and on our local market.  I have been trying out recipes for marrows, squash and pumpkin on the family and we have been enjoying these stuffed, roasted, with pasta, as risotto and in soup. 

100_4176 Lasagne al forno

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Our trip to Amsterdam was a great success.  We had wonderful weather and spent most of our time wandering around so we had plenty of opportunity to enjoy this beautiful city.  It was great to be booked into such a centrally placed hotel just 5 minutes from the station.  There was, as I had read in advance, lots of choice when it came to eating out, with food from every culture you can imagine.  Following an extensive breakfast each day in the Irish bar adjoining the hotel, which included eggs, cheeses, sausages, meats and salad alongside the more usual cereals, breads and fruits, it was often quite late before we wanted any more food! However, over the three days we managed to eat Chinese food, pizza, Belgian waffles (oozing with chocolate), Speculaas (giant cinnamon biscuits), traditional Dutch pancakes and thick warming soups served with crusty bread, including the famous Erwtensoep (a thick pea soup).  I was very surprised I could not find the peanut biscuits I remembered, although I tried several food shops and supermarkets. We also were sorry not to find an Indonesian restaurant within good walking distance of our hotel.  However, as we wandered through the Amsterdam Chinatown on the first evening, having enjoyed the special treat of a wonderful Chinese banquet instead, we were struck with how the wonderful smell of Chinese spices lingered on the air.  I suspect the smell was star anise, which is so distinctive.  A great memory of a lovely evening, along with the glittering coloured neon lights and lighted windows reflected in the canals.

100_8240 Autumn Pudding

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

For a full list of postings since my September Meanderings see below.  (Recipes already posted have been highlighted and the others will appear in coming weeks.)  

 

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

October Recipes …

 

Autumn Pudding
Beetroot Chutney
Chorizo, Pepper & Couscous Stuffed Marrow
Cucumber ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle
Lasagne al Forno
Lemon Curd
Lemon Meringue Ice Cream
Red Pepper Chutney
Spiced Damson Chutney

Back to basics:
Basic recipe: Ragu Bolognaise  

Meanderings ‘a la carte’ from previous months  

‘For what we are about to receive…’ November 2009 and beyond

Food for the mind…

Non Fiction Food book
I have been re-reading a great book which is a memoir of both food and life in Egypt in the 1930s and 40s, Apricots on the Nile: A memoir with recipes by Collette Rossant.  There are lots of lovely recipes and I am also going to post a recipe from the book, Grilled Chicken with Sumac & Roasted Banana, using a recent spice discovery: Sumac

… and for the November table … 

I have also been finishing watching chef Gary Rhodes’ series on Caribbean food (Rhodes around the Caribbean) which I recorded some months ago.  There have been some very unusual recipes and I am fortunate enough to live in a part of London where I can easily find a supply of many of the unusual ingredients that were used in the series.  I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes, along with the Salt Fish Cakes recipe given to me by a friend and some ideas from my Caribbean recipe book. 

Recipe books I’ll be looking through… 

The Sainsbury Cookbook: The Cooking of the Caribbean by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz  

Happy Eating!

Read Full Post »

We used to buy a lovely beetroot chutney but sadly it was discontinued by Sainsbury’s supermarket.  This home made version, however, is even better: both sweet and spicy.  Beetroot is readily available in our local market at the moment so I made a batch to take us well into the winter.  It has to mature until the start of December, but I will probably have to hide it otherwise I am not sure how long it will last.  It is lovely with cheese or cold meats, both in a sandwich or served on the side.

This is yet another recipe from my favourite little book, A Pocket Book on Pickles & Preserves: techniques, hints & recipes by Olive Odell.  I have cut the amount of vinegar slightly as it took a long time to reduce.  If the chutney is reduced for too long the sugars start to caramelise and you risk the chutney having a burnt flavour. 

Warning: Do not try to make a double batch in one pan.  Reducing the extra liquid will be difficult and leaving it to cook down for a long time could lead to the sugars burning.  I speak from experience!  I apply this rule to all home made jams and chutneys: nothing worse than a bitter burnt flavour lurking in the background.  I find using the widest saucepan I have gives the biggest surface area for the quick evaporation of liquid.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Beetroot Chutney
(Makes 5 x 1lb jars)

1.35kg/3lb beetroot
500g/1lb onions, peeled & chopped
600ml/1pt malt vinegar (own brand supermarket brown or clear)
750g/1½lb apples, peeled, cored & chopped
225g/8ozs sultanas or raisins
3tbsp ground ginger
1tsp salt
1kg/2lb sugar

1.  Wash the beetroot, cover with water and cook, unpeeled until just tender (45-60minutes).  Drain, cool, peel and cut into cubes (or mash if you prefer for a smoother textured chutney).

2.  Place onions in a pan with 150ml/¼pt of the vinegar and cook until soft.  Add apples, sultanas/raisins and continue cooking until the apple is soft.  Add the cooked beetroot, ginger, salt and the remaining vinegar. 

3.  Simmer gently until thick and you can draw a channel through the chutney.  Stir in the sugar, dissolve and continue cooking until the mixture thickens again.

4.  Wash the jars well and sterilise.  I usually do this by filling the jars with boiling water and putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water.  I pour away the water just before filling each jar and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw it on.

5.  Pot into the prepared jars.  Cool and label.  Store for four weeks to mature before eating.

Read Full Post »

I am very fond of simply pickled cucumber and onion, often called ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle, supposedly because it goes so well with Bread & Butter. There are various versions of this pickle, some of which have the addition of ginger or chilli to give a hotter flavour, but I like this straightforward and uncomplicated version. I like to make a half quantity of the amount given below as I prefer a lightly pickled, still crunchy, version.  It is delicious on its own, as a sandwich filling, but can also be served with cheese or cold meats.   The liquid around the pickle is clear – the variation (given below) has a brown liquid, but this can be made clear by using white rather than demerara sugar.

The first recipe comes from my favourite little book, bought many years ago, called A Pocket Book on Pickles & Preserves: techniques, hints & recipes by Olive Odell.   This is always the place I look first when hunting down a pickle or preserve recipe.  Serve with hot or cold meats or cheese.

Variations – see further down:
Cucumber ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle (using coriander seeds)
American Style ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle

100_8210 Cucumber Pickle

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Cucumber ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle (using celery seeds)
(Makes 4-5 x 1lb jars)

3 medium cucumbers
4 medium onions
4tbsp cooking salt
600ml/1pt white vinegar
175g/6ozs white sugar
1 tsp celery seed
1tsp mustard seed, white or brown

1.  Wipe the cucumbers and cut into small cubes, or split lengthways into long quarters and then slice.  Peel and chop the onion into similarly sized pieces.

2.  Mix cucumber and onion together in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, stir together and leave for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.  Rinse and dry thoroughly.

3.  Heat the vinegar, sugar, celery and mustard seed gently together until the sugar has dissolved.  Simmer for 3 minutes. 4.  Wash the jars well and sterilise.  I usually do this by filling the jars with boiling water and putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water.  I pour away the water just before filling each jar and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw it on.

5.  Pot the mixture by packing the dried cucumber and onion into jars and pouring over the hot vinegar until they are covered and then putting the lids on immediately.

6.  The mixture is ready for eating within about 24 hours, but a longer keeping time gives a stronger flavoured but less crunchy pickle.

—–

This second, alternative, recipe for ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle has an almost ‘citrussy’ flavour from the whole coriander seeds. It was copied into my recipe file many years ago, but I have no idea of the original source.  The liquid surrounding the pickle in this version is brown (from the demerara sugar) rather than clear.  Using white sugar would give a clear liquid but the flavour of the pickle would be less ‘caramelised’.  It is suggested that this would be good in corned beef sandwiches, hot dogs/frankfurters or barbecued sausages, but it is delicious with cheese (I enjoy it with a slice of Brie!).

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Cucumber ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle (using coriander seed)
(Makes 1 large or 2 medium sized jars)

2 small cucumbers (around 8ozs each)
1 mild Spanish onion
1oz sea salt
5 fl ozs white wine vinegar
60zs demerara sugar
1tbsp mustard seeds (colour not specified: white or black)
1tsp whole coriander seeds
Generous pinch of cayenne

1.  Wipe the cucumbers and cut into small cubes, or split lengthways into long quarters and then slice.  Peel and chop the onion into similarly sized pieces.

2.  Mix cucumber and onion together in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, stir together and leave for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.  Rinse and dry thoroughly.

3.  Heat the vinegar, sugar, cayenne, mustard and coriander seeds gently together until the sugar has dissolved.  Simmer for 3 minutes.

4.  Wash the jars well and sterilise.  I usually do this by filling the jars with boiling water and putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water.  I pour away the water just before filling each jar and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw it on.

5.  Pot the mixture by packing the dried cucumber and onion into jars and pouring over the hot vinegar until they are covered and then putting the lids on immediately.

6.  The mixture is ready for eating within about 24 hours, but a longer keeping time gives a stronger flavoured but less crunchy pickle.

American Style ‘Bread & Butter’ Pickle

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

 

Read Full Post »

This red pepper chutney is a sweet and sour relish which can served at dinner with sausages or home-made burgers, or at lunch time with cheese or cold meat and crusty bread.  It can be made at any time of year as the ingredients are easy to find, although it is good idea to make a quantity in the Autumn when there are plenty of apples available.

The recipe comes from a great little book I bought many years ago called A Pocket Book on Pickles & Preserves: techniques, hints & recipes by Olive Odell, which I always turn to first when hunting for a pickle or preserve recipe.

100_8175 Red Pepper Chutney

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Red Pepper Chutney
(Makes 2-3 x 1lb jars)

4 red peppers, seeded and finely chopped
750g/1½lb apples, peeled, cored & sliced
225g/8ozs onions, peeled and finely chopped
300ml/½pt spiced vinegar
100g/4ozs sugar
1 clove garlic, optional

1.   Pour boiling water over the peppers, leave for 1 minute and then drain.

2.   Place drained peppers in a pan with the apples, onions and garlic and cook gently until tender.

3.  Stir in the vinegar and sugar and continue to cook until thick, stirring occasionally.

4.  Wash the jars well and sterilise.  I usually do this by filling the jars with boiling water and putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water.  I pour away the water just before filling each jar and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw it on.  Pot the mixture into the warm jars and seal.

5.  Store for 4-6 weeks before serving.

Read Full Post »

Out for the day in the middle of rural Oxfordshire, we pulled off the road to eat our sandwich lunch.  I spotted a tree in the hedgerow nearby with, sadly, just a few damsons left very high up but nevertheless went to investigate.  I was sure someone had beaten us to it, but when I got there I found the ground below the tree thick with fallen damsons.  We filled our sandwich container and a few other bags and boxes we had to hand with the ripe and juicy fruit.  What on earth to do with such a large harvest, I wondered.  Crumbles, of course.  Jam possibly? 

Once at home I did some searching and came across this delicious chutney in Delia’s How to Cook: Book 3 (Pub: BBC) – Delia Smith comes up trumps yet again!  (The recipe can also be found on Delia Smith’s website.) I thought I would try just a half quantity the first time, but I would not hesitate with making the full amount next time. … and there will be a ‘next time’.  (Actually I have put some Damsons in the freezer so if needed I could make some more this year.) My only variation to the original recipe was to add the sugars right at the end of the cooking time, something I do regularly.  This allows more of the vinegar to boil away, meaning the sugar is less likely to over caramelise and give the finished chutney a burnt taste.  It also means that the finished chutney retains a better and lighter colour.  My half quantity made nearly 3 x 1lb jars, so the full quantity given below would make about 6 x 1lb jars.  This spicy, plummy chutney is delicious served with cheese and cold meats.  We have made a note of the location of ‘Plum Corner’ (as we have named our picnic spot) and plan to go back there another year!  

100_7981  Spiced Damson Chutney

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Spiced Damson Chutney
(makes about 6 x 1lb jars)

1.35kg/3lb damsons
2 heaped tsp ground ginger
2 small cinnamon sticks
25g/1oz allspice berries
1 dessertspoon cloves
1.2litres/2 pints malt vinegar
450g/1lb cooking apples, unpeeled
3 large onions, peeled
3 cloves garlic
45og/1lb seedless raisins
450g/1lb dark soft brown sugar
450g/1lb demerara sugar
2tbsp sea salt

1.  The stones need to be removed from the fruit.  There are two ways of doing this. Either use a knife to remove each one before cooking, or
having counted the number of damsons you use, stew the fruit gently with 225g/½pt of the vinegar for about 20minutes and then remove the stones from the pan with a fork, making sure you have accounted for them all.

2.  Place the stoned damsons, whole or pre-stewed, in a large preserving pan or heavy based saucepan.  Leaving the apples unpeeled, remove their cores, finely chop them and add to the pan.  Peel and finely chop the onions and add to the pan.  Crush the garlic cloves thoroughly and add to the pan.  Add the ginger, raisins and vinegar – or remaining vinegar if  you have already part stewed the damsons.

3.  Tie the cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and cloves in a piece of muslin – I knot them into a length of leg and foot cut from a clean old pair of tights.  Tie with some string onto the handle of the pan and suspend the package in the chutney mixture.  

4.  Bring the mixture in the pan to the boil and lower the heat.  Simmer very gently for 2-3 hours.  Stir occasionally, particularly towards the end of the cooking time when the chutney is more likely to stick. 

5.  When almost all the vinegar has disappeared, stir in the sugars and make sure they are well dissolved.  Continue to cook and when the chutney has thickened to a soft consistency and where you can draw a channel in the mixture so it leaves an imprint for a few seconds which does not fill with vinegar.

6.   Wash the jars well and sterilise.  I usually do this by filling the jars with boiling water and putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water.  I pour away the water just before filling each jar and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw  it on.

7.  Cool, label with the contents and date of making.  Keep in a cool cupboard for 2 and preferably 3 months before eating so the flavours can develop.

Read Full Post »

Lasagne al Forno, which I make with my own version of Ragu Bolognaise, has developed over the years. The combination of minced beef with a small amount of diced bacon in a rich sauce, layered with sheets of Lasagne pasta, is one of my daughter’s favourites and regularly turns up as the main course on her birthday. It is worth making a double quantity of this Lasagne.  A second lasagne can be frozen for later use.  (Do this in a foil lined dish.  The dish can be taken from the freezer when the lasagne is frozen leaving just the foil enclosed Lasagne. The foil should be removed from the frozen lasagne before it is placed back in the original dish for defrosting.  Allow to thaw fully before cooking for 45minutes to 1hr as in the original instructions.)

This method for Lasagne al Forno is my own tried and trusted recipe, not taken from any particular book but adapted down the years as I have discovered new ‘twists’ that work well. I expect it will continue to develop, so this page may occasionally be updated.

100_4176 Lasagne al forno

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Lasagne al Forno
(Serves 6)

1 quantity of Ragu Bolognaise (see basic recipe)

200g dried lasagne sheets: about 8/9 sheets, more if you wish (use home made pasta if available)
30ml/2tbsp cornflour
500ml/1pt milk
5g/1 knob butter
5ml/1tsp grated nutmeg
Salt & pepper
25g/1oz Parmesan cheese (or cheddar if unavailable) – more if you wish
1 or 2 tomatoes to slice for decoration
15ml/1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (omit if unavailable)

1.  Follow the instructions for the Ragu Bolognaise

2.  Mix the cornflour to a paste in a saucepan with a little milk and then gradually stir in about ¾ of the remaining milk.  Gently heat, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens.  This can also be done in a jug in the microwave oven, stirring well in between short bursts of heat.  Stir in the nutmeg and season to taste with salt & pepper.

3.  Using an oblong dish first put in a layer of meat mixture, followed by a drizzle of white sauce (2 or 3 tablespoons) and cover with 2 or 3 lasagne sheets, depending on the size of the dish.  Continue adding layers finishing with meat.  Rinse the pan the meat sauce has been cooked in with a little water and gently add these juices around the edges of  the dish.  It is important to have plenty of liquid in the dish as this helps the dried lasagne sheets to cook thoroughly and will evaporate during cooking time so just a thick sauce is left.  Finally finish with a layer of the remaining white sauce, covering as evenly as possible. 

4.  Sprinkle well with parmesan cheese and slices of tomato to decorate.  Bake at 200oC (190oc Fan oven)/400oF/Gas 4 for 45mins to 1hr.  Scatter with chopped parsley to garnish.

5.  Serve with salad or a green vegetable and hot garlic bread.

Read Full Post »

The most well known Ragu takes its name from the Italian town of Bologna.  This rich sauce can be served on a bed of cooked pasta: spaghetti, tagliatelle or one of the many shapes.  It can also be cooked as part of the layered pasta dish Lasagne al Forno (literally lasagne cooked in the oven) or spooned as a filling into canelloni: tube shaped pasta.  Pasta is available dried or fresh in the supermarket, but if possible use home made.  Delicious!

This version is my own which has developed over the years as I have discovered ‘improvements’ in recipe books, from dining out and from TV cooks.  I use minced beef (some people prefer diced beef).  Once, having eaten a delicious version in a restaurant who included diced bacon, this has become a regular addition.  I cannot remember where I first heard about starting the recipe by frying the onion, carrot and celery mixture together, but it adds a wonderful flavour.  The Italian word for this ‘trinity’ of vegetables, when it is fried in a small amount of oil, is soffritto: in French the same mixture is called mirepoix.  Heston Blumenthal, the experimental chef, used soffritto when he made Ragu, but added a crushed star anise, more commonly used in Oriental cuisine, as it is a flavour enhancer.  I was not sure about all the additions he made to the dish – there seemed rather too many complex flavours – but the star anise sounded worth trying, though I have yet to sample it. Food writer Sue Kreitzman, always wanting to make dishes a bit healthier by reducing the red meat content per head, suggests the addition of finely diced aubergine, which cooks down to become invisible.  This is a good tip if you are trying to make your meat go a bit further too. The addition of red wine gives an extra special richness to the ragu, but you can leave it out, especially if you are feeding those who do not want the alcohol – even though, of course, the alcohol content will be long gone just leaving the richness of flavour. I always add wine if I have some to hand. Part bottles of wine that have been left over after a dinner can be frozen in plastic containers: it is perfect for adding to recipes, as long as the food will be cooked. The alcohol content means that the wine will not solidify completely and the frozen mush can be conveniently spooned out and used as and when required.

Ragu Bolognaise
(Serves 6)

1 large carrot, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
125g/4ozs diced bacon, smoked or unsmoked
1 small crushed star anise (optional and untried!)
125g/4ozs button mushrooms, quartered (or larger ones, sliced)
1 medium Aubergine, diced (optional)
15ml/1tbsp Italian herbs
500g/1lb minced beef steak
30ml/2tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400g tin tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 small wineglass of red wine (about 125ml/¼pt)
15ml/1tbsp olive oil

1.  If using Aubergine it is usual to sprinkle it with salt, place it in a colander, cover it with a plate and place a weight on top of it for at least 30minutes, to let the juices can run out.  You can cut out this step if you are short of time: I have never noticed much difference in taste.

2.  Cook the finely chopped carrot, onion and celery mixture in olive oil until it is softened.  Add the crushed garlic, the bacon with the crushed star anise (if using) and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the aubergine (if using) and stir in with the chopped mushrooms and herbs. Cover the pan and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.

3.  Stir in the minced beef  and cook slowing, turning from time to time, until it is brown.  Mix in the tomato purée.  Chop and stir in the tin of tomatoes.  Cut the peppers into small dice and stir into the mixture.  Stir in the red wine.  Cover the pan and simmer the mixture for at least 30 minutes longer, but more if possible especially if it is being served as a sauce rather than being made into a dish that will be given extra cooking time when baked in the oven.  It is quite common to cook the meat mixture for several hours during which time it the flavours develop as the sauce reduces.  I think that 1hour cooking time is the minimum required for a good and tasty sauce.

Read Full Post »

I was delighted to discover that you could make a version of my favourite Summer Pudding (usually raspberries, strawberries & currants) with Autumn fruits (plums, blackberries and apples) and that it was equally delicious.  This, along with Lemon Meringue Ice Cream, was the dessert course for a special family meal. 

The original version of this recipe is from my well used paperback Claire MacDonald’s Quick & Easy Desserts & Puddings, originally borrowed from the library on a long loan and then found in a charity shop.  I used the much sweeter Victoria plums in place of tart Damsons and substituted half the apples with pears to give an extra flavour dimension.  The proportions of apples to pears or plums to blackberries can be adjusted  slightly if required.  Obviously, the amount of bread needed will vary according to the size of loaf.  Dropping the apples and pears straight into salted water once peeled stops them from going brown although retaining their white colour is not absolutely essential in this recipe as they will become stained with the plums and blackberries.  It is important that time is allowed for the juices to seep into the bread and the flavours develop fully so make Autumn pudding in advance, ideally on the day before it is served although it can be made up to four days beforehand and can also be frozen.

100_8240 Autumn Pudding

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Autumn Pudding
(Serves 6-8)

8-12 thin slices of white bread, depending on loaf size, crusts removed
300g/12ozs red plums, preferably Victoria
300g/12ozs Blackberries
225g/8ozs sweet eating apples, Cox if available – peeled, cored & chopped
225g/8ozs sweet pears, Conference if available – peeled, cored & chopped
225g/8ozs soft brown sugar

1.  Line the base and sides of a 1.2litre/2 pint pudding bowl with some of the sliced bread, cutting pieces to fit any small gaps.  Leave the remaining pieces of bread to one side as they will form a central layer and the lid.

2.  Halve the plums and remove their stones if possible.  Otherwise, count the plums first so you know how many stones you have to remove from the pan.  Put the plums into a pan with 300ml/10fl ozs water.  Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Leave to cool and then remove all the stones with a slotted spoon and fork if not already done.

3.  Add the remaining blackberries, chopped apples and pears and sugar to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Using a teaspoon, remove and set aside a small number of whole cooked blackberries for decoration. 

4.  Spoon fruit into the bread lined mould up to half way.  Cover with a single layer of bread, cutting slices to size as required.  Reserve a very small amount of juice to pour over any areas of bread that remain white once the pudding is unmoulded.

5.  Continue to fill the bowl with the remainder of the fruit mixture and then add a final covering layer of bread, again cutting slices to size so the fruit is completely enclosed.  Trim off any overlapping pieces of bread

6.  Put a plate or saucer on top of the final bread layer and add a weight: a large tin or jar is ideal.  Once the pudding has cooled, place it in the fridge on a plate to catch any liquid that overflows.

7.  To serve
Autumn Pudding should be gently unmoulded onto a serving plate.  It should mostly hold its shape but usually collapses slightly.  Pour the reserved juices over the unmoulded pudding, paying special attention to any white areas.  Decorate with the reserved blackberries.  Serve with cream or ice cream.

Read Full Post »

For a special family birthday meal I was planning to serve Autumn Pudding as dessert, but also wanted to please the ice cream loving members of the family! I like the mixture of lemon and blackberry so thought this recipe sounded ideal. It was very sweet and very rich, in some ways rather overpowering the Autumn Pudding, but I would definitely serve it again as it was delicious.  The recipe uses Lemon Curd, the original version suggesting either a luxury shop bought brand or home made. To me there was absolutely no contest so I added making curd to an already busy day.  Next time – and there will be a next time – I would definitely do this job in advance!

The original recipe came from One Step Ahead by renowned cookery writer Mary Berry. The original instructions did not use an Ice Cream maker. I have given them below in addition to my machine variation. The only alteration I would make would be to use lightly whipped Whipping Cream in place of the thick double cream when using an ice cream maker as it is easier to pour through the small hole in the lid of the rotating machine.   However you will need the thickness of double cream if you are making the original method.

100_8235 Lemon Meringue Ice Cream

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream
(Serves 6)

50g/2ozs meringues (a good use for broken meringues)
300ml/½pint Double cream – Whipping for Ice Cream machine (Elmlea half fat)
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
½jar of luxury or home made Lemon Curd

1.  Line a 1lb/5oog loaf tin or similar sized plastic freezer box with cling film.

2.  Break up the meringues into small chunky pieces (not too large, but not dust either).

3.  Ice Cream maker:
a.  Whisk the whipping cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. 
b.  Wash the lemons well and remove zest with a zester or a fine grater, making sure that no white pith is removed.  
c.  Stir the zest, juice and lemon curd into the cream.
d.  Pour into the machine and churn for 10-15 minutes until thick gradually introducing the meringue pieces through the hole.
e.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze for at least 6hours.

4. By hand:
a.  Whisk the double cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail when lifted. 
b.  Wash the lemons well and remove zest with a zester or a fine grater, making sure that no white pith is removed.  
c.  Stir the zest, juice and lemon curd into the cream. 
d.  Fold in the meringue pieces trying not to crush them too much.  
e.  Tip into loaf tin or container, cover with cling film or a lid and freeze for at least 6hours.

5.  To serve:
a.  Defrost in the fridge for about 20minutes before serving. 
b.  Delicious served on its own or with an accompaniment of simple cold stewed Autumn (or other seasonal) fruit mixture or a simple sliced citrus dish such as Sliced Caramel Oranges
c.  Decorate with a few strands of crystallised lemon zest or peel, if available. (I keep the zest used when making Lemon Sorbet.) 
d.  Any remaining sorbet can be replaced in the freezer wrapped in cling film.

Variations:
Use different flavours of fruit curd: Lime, Orange, or even Blackberry (recipe to follow if it is successful) would be lovely.

Read Full Post »

I wanted to make Lemon Meringue Ice Cream and the recipe called for good luxury shop bought or home made Lemon Curd.  Shop bought?!  (Even if it is luxury.)  Lemon curd is so easy to make and I had the ingredients in the fridge so it was no contest.  I’m surprised I don’t make it more often: it never lasts long!  When I had used the half jar needed to make the Ice Cream we still had a good quantity to spread on bread or stir into yoghurt.  You can make other citrus curds using the basic recipe: Orange Curd is a favourite and Lime Curd is lovely too (see below for more information on these).  I’ve seen a recipe for Blackberry Curd which I would like to try as well (actually it’s blackberry and apple): another way to use some of the blackberries in the freezer that we picked earlier in the summer.

There are lots of recipes for basic Lemon Curd around and the proportions and ingredients were all virtually the same. It is important that curds are cooked slowly without boiling otherwise the eggs will curdle (scramble!).  If this starts to happen then the curd should be removed from the heat immediately and whisked well, which may save the mixture.  If the curdling disappears then the mixture can be returned to a gentle heat.  The mixture will thicken as it cools so do not overcook.  The quantities given should make about 2 x 1lb jars.  The shelf-life of curd is very short and they should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 4-6 weeks maximum. The conventional way to make curd is on the stove top but I have also successfully made it in a Slow Cooker.  I have given instructions for both methods.  I have also seen a Pressure Cooker recipe and I expect that it is possible to use a Microwave,but once you have a good and easy method why change it!  Unless otherwise indicated, the recipes stove top method below come from The Penguin Book of Jams, Pickles & Chutneys by David & Rose Mabey.   (The Slow cooker method is from The Cordon Bleu Slow Cooker manufacturers Instruction & Recipe Booklet.)

100_8294 Lemon Curd

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Lemon Curd
(Makes around 2 x 1lb jars)

Grated rind & juice of 4 lemons
4 eggs
100g/4ozs butter
450g/1lb granulated sugar

1.  Wash the lemons well and remove zest with a zester or a fine grater, making sure that no white pith is removed.

2.  Put the lemons in a microwave, if available, and give a short burst of heat (about 20seconds) which will help the lemons to yield more juice.  Squeeze the juice from the fruit.

3. Stove top method:
a.  Place juice, zest, sugar and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water or in the top of a double boiler.
b.  Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, stirring well.
c.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
d.  Add the beaten eggs and continue to simmer the mixture gently, stirring regularly, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
e.  (The recipe suggests that if it doesnt seem to thicken a small amount of ground rice could be added: my curd took over half an hour so be patient!)

4. Slow cooker method:
(from The Cordon Bleu Slow Cooker manufacturers Instruction & Recipe Booklet)

a.  Preheat the slow cooker for 20 minutes.
b.  Place juice, zest, sugar and butter in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.
c.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
d.  Add the beaten eggs and stir well.
e.  Place in a 1litre/2pt pudding basin covered with aluminium foil or a lid and place in the crock pot bowl.
f.  Add boiling water so it reaches half way up the sides of the pudding basin.
g.  Using the higher setting (my crock pot has high & low setting) cook for 1 to 1½ hours or until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

5.  Wash the jars well and sterlise.  I usually do this by filling the jars with boiling water and putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water.  I pour away the water just before filling each jar and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw  it on.

6.  Beat the curd until it is creamy.  Pour into the prepared jars, cover and label.  Store in the refrigerator and use within 4-6 weeks.

Lime Curd (not yet pictured)
Method as for lemon curd, but substitute 5 or 6 limes depending on size.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Orange Curd
Method as for lemon curd, but substituting 3 to 4 oranges depending on size.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

St Clement’s Curd
‘Oranges & Lemons
say the bells of St Clement’s …’

(from the English Nursery Rhyme)
Method as for lemon curd, using 2 or 3 lemons and 1 or 2 oranges depending on size and the balance of flavour required.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Blackberry Curd
Method as for lemon curd, but replacing the 4 lemons with 4ozs peeled, cored & diced cooking apple and 12ozs blackberries stewed together and sieved, mixed with the juice of 1 lemon.  The pectin in the apples helps set the curd more quickly so the yield is slightly higher: about an extra half jar of curd.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Banoffee Curd
(Adapted from a recipe at Vintage Hearth)

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Mango Curd
Recipe loosely based on one from Smitten Kitchen who discovered it in Bon Appetit, June 1998

—–

I have also found recipes for the following curds, some of which will eventually appear here.
Apricot
Apricot & Cardamom
Blackcurrant – Recipe 1
Blackcurrant – Recipe 2
Clementine
Chocolate & Chilli
Coconut & Honey
Elderberry
Elderflower
Gooseberry – Recipe 1
Gooseberry – Recipe 2
Lemon & Blood Orange
Lemon & Lime
Lemon & Tangerine
Lime & Ginger
Passionfruit – version 1
Passionfruit – version 2
Pineapple – version 1
Pineapple – version 2
Pineapple – version 3
Pink Grapefruit
Quince
Raspberry
Raspberry & Gooseberry
Rasberry & Black Pepper
Rhubarb
Seville Orange Curd
Strawberry
Strawberry & Orange
Tangerine (Tangerine Curd Ice Cream)

Various: orange, lime, apple, apricot & gooseberry
Also: Mango, Ginger, Rhubarb & Ginger, Lime & Coconut, Ginger, Honey & Lemon, Orange, Honey & Ginger, Tomato, Apple (usually with lemon), Pineapple & Passionfruit

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: