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Low Sugar Blackberry Jam without Pectin

Friday, July 29, 2022

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Blackberries are naturally high in pectin, so it’s easy to make a simple blackberry jam with no added pectin. All you need is blackberries and a little bit of sugar or honey for blackberry jam, but a little splash of lemon juice, which is also very high in natural pectin, will help naturally set the jam and bring out the best berry flavour.

  • 1000 g Blackberries
  • 300 g Raw cane sugar (or honey)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  1. Add blackberries, sugar and lemon juice to a large saucepan. Be sure there are several inches of headspace to allow for foaming. Bring the mixture to a boil for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Place a metal spoon in the freezer for the sheeting test when you begin making your jam.
  3. Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water and then make sure to rinse thoroughly. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Place the wet jars upside down on a roasting tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile place the wet lids or rubber seals if using wire-frame glass jars in a saucepan of water, and boil for 15 minutes. The jars should be straight from the oven when you pour in the hot jam.
  4. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer the jam until it reaches gel stage, stirring to keep the foams down. It should gel after 25-30 minutes.
  5. After the 20 minutes of simmering, use the chilled metal spoon to ladle out a spoonful of jam. Hold the spoon and watch the way the jam drips off of the spoon. If its little individual drops, jam is not set, if it comes off the spoon in a sheet or doesn’t really drop off at all, then jam is ready.
  6. Pour the blackberry jam into the prepared canning jars, leaving 1/2 cm / 1/4 inch gap at the top. While everything is still hot, cover the jars with their lids and leave to cool. They should keep for about 6 months in a cool, dark place.

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Carrot Mango Salad with Date Dressing

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

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Serve this light, vibrant carrot, mango and fresh herb salad with a date dressing for a simple lunch or side dish. For the date dressing, I used Persian-style Feta, which is made from cow's milk, but you can replace with Greek variety, which is made from sheep's and goat's milk. Make a huge batch of this healthy salad to keep in the fridge as it makes the perfect accompaniment to your grill feast, but sprinkle the nuts over the salad right before serving, so they will stay crispy. Kaloute / kalute / kali dates are a type of fresh dates or wet dates with a soft meaty texture in Iran, similar to fresh mazafati dates. They're not strictly "fresh" as they have dried a little and darkened on the skin. The dried dates are great for the dressing too, but soak them first in hot water before mixing with other ingredients.

SaladDressing
  • 600 g Carrots, peeled and grated or shredded
  • A large handful of flat parsley or coriander, chopped
  • 1 Sweet ripe mango, peeled and sliced
  • A handful of hazelnuts, toasted and crushed
  • 60 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 40 g Feta (Persian or Greek)
  • 6-10 Fresh kaloote dates, seeds removed (or dried one, soaked in hot water)
  • 50 ml Water (using hot water if using dried dates)
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate molasses
  1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz to a jam-like consistency. Scoop out into a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, cover and set aside until ready to serve.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until golden brown and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes, stirring the nuts occasionally. Place on a clean kitchen towel, cover, and let steam for 1 minute. Using the towel, gently rub the hazelnuts to release their skins. Crush the hazelnuts.
  3. Peel and grate the carrots using a mandoline, box grater or in a food processor. Chop the parsley or coriander or a mixture of two. Peel and slice the mango into sticks. Place grated carrots, chopped parsley and mango sticks in a large bowl.
  4. Add in half of the dressing and toss to combine. Serve the salad with chopped toasted hazelnuts and the remaining dressing.

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Sourdough Discard Bread

Saturday, July 23, 2022

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Baked with old spelt bread

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Baked with old rye bread

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Field of Rye

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In the spirit of "ZERO Food Waste", this bread uses old bread and no longer needed sourdough starter, which results in a sensational, aromatic and crispy bread. A fantastic sourdough bread that is also known as "Discard Bread". It is very tasty and versatile. This discard bread has very pleasant sour note because of sourdough starter. Make sure that the proportion of sourdough discard does not exceed 40% of total soaker, otherwise the bread might be too sour. You can easily add 10% of this sourdough / old bread powder mixture to any other soakers without adjusting the recipe. This will add a little more flavour to your bread and you won't have to dispose of the leftover starter.

Dried Sourdough Discard and Old Bread SoakerDough
  • 40 g Sourdough discard
  • 110 g Old bread, measured after roasted
  • 150 g Boiling water
  • All of the soaker
  • 50 g Whole-grain spelt flour
  • 500 g Bread flour #1050
  • 380-460 g Water, cold
  • 15 g Fresh yeast
  • 13 g Sea salt
  1. Spread the sourdough starter evenly thin on a sheet of baking paper and leave it to dry completely, for about 24 hours.
  2. Cut the stale bread into cubes and place on a baking tray. Dry the bread slices in the oven at 80C / 175F for 2-3 hours. Then put the dried sourdough and the dry bread into a food processor or blender and pulverise finely.
  3. Bring the water to the boil, then pour it directly over the sourdough-powder mixture and mix everything without lumps. Cover the mixture with a piece of cling film and leave to cool in the refrigerator for max. 48 hours.
  4. Put all the ingredients - starting with the water - into the bowl of your mixer and knead for 8-10 minutes. Then increase the speed and knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes at medium speed. Check the dough with the "window test". If the dough is still sticky and cracks, continue kneading until it passes the window test. (Important: first start with 380-400 g water and then gradually add more water as needed. The water absorption depends strongly on the recipe of the stale bread.)
  5. Cover the dough in the mixing bowl with a tea towel and let it ferment and rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes. Halfway through the proofing time, stretch and fold the dough as follows: pull up one side of the dough slightly and fold over the dough on the opposite side. This works best if you wet your hands in a little water beforehand. Repeat this process from all sides. Then cover the dough again and let it rise for the remaining time.
  6. After the proofing time, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and shape into a round as follows: drag the dough across the work surface 2-3 times to get a smooth surface. While doing this, pull the dough with your fingers from one side to the center and press lightly. Repeat this process all around, folding the dough into the center again and again.
  7. Place the dough with the seam side up on a floured kitchen towel. In the meantime preheat the oven with a baking stone and a tray in the lower half of the oven, to 230C/450F.
  8. Turn the dough onto a floured wooden shovel and score the bread. Transfer the bread directly onto the hot baking stone in the oven. Pour a cup of water for the steam into the tray and close the oven door immediately.
  9. After 20 minutes remove the water from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 210C/410F and bake the bread for another 20-25 minutes until crispy. Cool the bread completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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Chive Blossom Vinegar

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

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Edible flowers can add a splash of colour and fun to a wide variety of dishes and chive blossoms are one of the few that add flavour too. This pretty, light purple, edible flower smells mildly of garlic with a hint of floral and taste similar to chives. They can be used dried or fresh, tossed in a salad, to garnish a dish, or used to make compound butter. They are also an excellent ingredient to infuse vinegar. Making infused vinegar is a great way to preserve the flavour of chive blossoms, and it makes a thoughtful hostess gift.
If you want a more onion-y flavour to the finished vinegar, add 2-3 tablespoons of chive leaves. White wine vinegar works well with chive blossoms, but champagne vinegar or apple vinegar would work just fine too. Just keep in mind that using stronger flavoured vinegars, the flavour and the colour of final infused vinegar would be different.
You can double the recipe if you have lots of chive blossoms. The finished chive blossom vinegar will keep for up to 6 months at room temperature in your cabinet or a year in a sealed bottle in the refrigerator. Use chive blossom vinegar in marinades, salad dressings, drizzle on roasted vegetables, and for any recipe where you would like to add mild onion flavour to.

  • 60 - 100 Chive blossoms, washed and dried
  • 750 ml White wine vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
  1. Thoroughly rinse the chive blossoms and spread them onto a clean towel. Pat the blossoms dry.
  2. Put the chive blossoms into a sterilized jar, pour the vinegar over until they are completely immersed in the vinegar, leaving some space atop so that the vinegar doesn't react with the seal or the lid.
  3. Leave it in a dark cool place for 1-3 weeks until the vinegar reaches the desired intensity. Strain into a new sterilized bottle. Discard the spent blossoms. Store the infused vinegar out of the direct light in your cupboard.

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Blackberry Rosemary Curd

Monday, July 18, 2022

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This blackberry curd with rosemary is silky-smooth, fruity and creamy, sets beautifully and is made with blackberries, rosemary, lemon juice, raw sugar, butter and egg yolks. It works with both fresh and frozen blackberries. It's easy to make and tastes absolutely fantastic. Serve this bright and vibrant fruit curd on top of pancakes, ice cream, a dutch baby, meringues, on toast or enjoy it by the spoonful! Store the curd in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

  • 350 g Fresh blackberries
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 100 g Raw cane sugar
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 60 g Unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  1. Place the blackberries and the rosemary in a small pot set on medium-high heat. Break them up with a fork to release the juice.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes before removing it from the heat, then use a stick blender to process them to a puree. Push the puree through a sieve, catching the liquid in a small saucepan or bowl set beneath your sieve. I ended up having 180 ml, about 3/4 cup blackberry liquid. Save seeds and pulps for the bread-baking or dump it to the compost pile.
  3. In a small heavy-based saucepan, heat the blackberry liquid over low-medium heat until simmering. Stirring quite regularly, let it simmer and reduce until you have just half of reduced liquid, about 90 ml. It will be rather thick by this point.
  4. Now add the lemon juice and raw sugar to the thickened blackberry liquid in the saucepan and whisk to combine. Add the egg yolks and immediately whisk until full combined.
  5. Heat the mixture over the low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved completely. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, add in the butter one piece at a time, stirring until it completely melt in before adding the next.
  6. Continue to cook and stir for 5 more minutes. Check if the mixture thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If not, continue to cook and stir until thicker.
  7. Pass the mixture through a sieve to ensure it is totally smooth before transferring to a sterilised jar. It will thicken as it cools. Store the curd in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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