Thursday, 19 August 2010

Hot Hedgerow Chutney

 This medium hot chutney is delicious straight away but improves even more if left for at least 6 weeks before eating.

3 Scotch Bonnet chillies, chopped 
1 tsp crushed dried chili
3 tbsp olive oil
250g cored and chopped apples (peel left on)
600g chopped green tomatoes
3 medium red onions finely chopped
5 cm finely chopped fresh ginger
1 ½ kg blackberries
200g sultanas
400g sugar
300ml red wine vinegar

1. Soften red onion, ginger and chili in olive oil for 4-5 minutes.
2. Add blackberries, tomatoes and apples and cook for a further 4-5 minutes.
3. Add sugar, wine vinegar and sultanas, stir while dissolving sugar. 
4. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 - 3 hours until “chutneyed”.
5. Whilst still hot, funnel into hot, sterilised jars and seal with lid.
6. Place in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. 

Eat with great enjoyment within 12 months

This recipe is an adaptation of the one passed on to me by Nicola Ford

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Venison pie

Makes one large pie (enough for 5 adults)

Ingredients for nice flaky pie crust:
250g wholemeal flour
60g self raising flour
200g very cold butter
90 ml water

Scrunch the flour, salt and butter through your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs, add water and mix until it forms a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins. Cut the ball in half, put half back in fridge. Roll out the remaining pastry until thin enough to cover bottom of greased pie tine. Pierce bottom and sides with a fork and bake for 40 mins at 200 degrees. Once done, cool on wire rack until ready to bake pie.

Ingredients for pie filling:
250g diced venison
6 rashers of streaky bacon
5 med carrots - diced
5 med potatoes - diced
2 cups diced swede
6 chestnut mushrooms chopped fine
1 onion
1 clove garlic
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp celery salt
1 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or mushroom ketchup

Boil potatoes, carrots and swede until tender, drain and place in a large bowl.
Fry the bacon until part cooked then add onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft then add the venison and mushrooms. Add spices and cook until venison is done. Sprinkle the flour over the venison and mix in. Pour boiling water into the pan until the meat is just covered. Simmer until the liquid reduces below the level of the meat. Remove from heat and add to bowl containing boiled veg. Combine and leave to cool. 

Once ready to cook pie, spoon the pie filling into the baked shell and roll out the remaining pastry to use as a pie lid. Pierce lid with fork and brush with milk. Bake at 180 for one hour.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas Cupkies

These soft chewy cupkies (cookies made in the shape of muffins) have bits of candy cane in them and are a big seasonal favourite with my boys. The recipe is super easy to make for all ages.

This recipe makes 12 cupkies.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius


1 cup of Stork (margarine)
1 cup of soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 tsp of cream of tartar
1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 cup of candy cane broken into pieces no larger than 2cm.

Cream Stork and sugar together and beat until light and fluffy then beat in eg
g. Add rest of ingredients except for candy cane. Mix until the batter is sloppy and then add candy cane pieces.

Drop by heaping tablespoon into well greased muffin tin or into silicon
e muffin cases (these work best as it is easier to get the cupkies out after baking).

Bake for 10 mins if using the muffin tin or 15 minutes if using silicone cases.

Remove once cooled enough to handle.

Eat and repeat as above until the new year.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Lemon Meringue Pie

Like a slice of warm winter sunshine -

At long last here is the recipe!
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons juiced and zested
2 tbsp butter
4 beaten egg yolks
6 tbsp caster sugar

In a saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, starch,and salt.  Stir in water, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot sugar mixture.  Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture.  Bring to a boil and continue to cook until thick.  Pour into pastry shell.  Make the meringue with the egg whites and remaiing sugar, spread on top of lemon pie and bake at 190 degrees for 10 mins.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Apple cake

This cake is perfectly moist and so easy to make. It is a great way to use up those ropey apples or carrots left over from harvest time. It is alao brilliant recipe for children to use as good results are guaranteed every time.

1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 cup of peeled and coarsely shredded apple (drain the excess juice through a sieve before adding to cake)

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp bicarb of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of milk

Substitute 1 cup of finely shredded carrots for the apple and remove the all spice and nutmeg if you want to make a carrot cake instead.

Blend sugar, oil and eggs, add sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk and mix in drained apple pulp. Bake in a well greased tin at 180 Celsius for 1 hour (cover tin with foil for last 20 minutes)

Ice with a mixture of 1 tub of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of chunky apple sauce and 2 cups of sifted icing sugar. Substitute 1/2 cup of butter for the apple sauce if you are making carrot cake.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Pumpkin Soup

This is a is a great way to use up all those extra veg in your garden or fridge. You'll need a soup stock which is easy to make by combining any types of veg. The more variety you use, the better flavour you'll get.

For the one pictured below I used those ropey outside bits of celery that no one ever seems to eat, courgette, carrot, green beans, onions (cooked in a tablespoon of olive oil), a red and a green bell pepper, and half a garlic bulb. Add in 1 teaspoon of pepper and 1 of salt, a teaspoon of marjoram, parsley and basil. Add water until it comes up to the top of your veg and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down the heat and simmer until the veg are tender.
Now for the pumpkin or you can use butternut squash if you prefer.
Peel, de-seed and chop half a pumpkin and add it to your soup stock.

Once the pumpkin is cooked soft, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes or more. Then blend till smooth. Add a block of feta or any other soft cheese and blend again.
Serve with fresh warm bread and a dollop of plain yogurt on top.
Sorry about the poor quality of the photos. My camera batteries ran out so I had to use my mobile phone for the photos.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Christmas Condiments

By adapting my Crab Apple Jelly recipe you can make the most delicious warming jellies to enjoy during the coldest months.

To make the Christmas Condiments pictured above simply leave out the vanilla pod and add in 3 broken up cinnamon sticks, 12 whole cloves, a tablespoon of ground ginger and 2 roughly chopped oranges.
Once the apples have cooked into a mash stir in 5 blackberries to get jelly this colour. You can get any colour from a pale pink to deep purple by adding more or fewer blackberries. This jelly goes beautifully with meats and can be used instead of cranberry sauce.

Click here for the recipe for Vanilla Spice Jelly.