Friday, 29 July 2011

Fruit pies in a jar

Pies may be a little autumnal but I simply couldn't resist sharing this wonderful idea, and they both use brilliant seasonal ingredients so it keeps me happy.

Making your individual pies in a jar is an absolutely brilliant idea as not only does it keep the pie moist and scrummy, but it also solves the problem of transporting your pies. It makes these the absolutely perfect treat to take along to all your summer picnics and BBQ's, with the bonus that this practical solution also looks like the epitome of homemade kitsch.

Recipe & images courtesy of:

Blueberry & Cherry star topped pies
Blueberry, Cherry & Peach Pies in a Jar
makes eight to ten 4 oz. pies
Pastry crust
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold butter
1/2 cup ice water
Fruit filling
makes four to five 4 oz. pies
3 cups blueberries or cherries (pitted and halved), or a combination of both. Or 8-10 medium peaches (stoned and sliced to 1/2 thick pieces)
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for top of pie
big pinch salt
1 tablespoon ground instant tapioca (I use my coffee grinder)

Peach lattice pie
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Quickly chop up the butter, and pulse it into flour mixture, 5 or 6 times. Drizzle in ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times, just until the dough is combined.
Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Divide into 2, flatten dough into discs, and wrap each one tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least a half-hour in the refrigerator. 

In a medium saucepan, heat the fruit, zest and juice over medium-high heat. Stir frequently, and allow the sauce to reduce a bit, until it coats the back of a spoon. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and combine in a medium bowl with the fresh fruit, sugar, salt, and tapioca. Set aside while you prepare the crust.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, and place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well. Liberally butter 8 – 10 glass jars.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough discs. For the bottom crusts, cut out a 5” square, and press into the jar. For the tops, either cut strips of pastry for the lattice or use a jar to press out a circle. Use the scraps to cut out the stars with a tiny star cookie cutter. Spoon in 4 tablespoons or so of filling, press top crust into place, and crimp edges with a fork or your fingers. Add the star and make 4 very small incisions in the top of the dough to vent. Sprinkle the top of each pie with 1/2 teaspoon or so of sugar.

Place prepared pies onto heated cookie sheet, and bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn the cookie sheet, turn the heat down to 150 degrees, and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, until crust is light golden and filling is bubbling vigorously.
Allow pies to cool completely and serve, or keep covered with a lid for up to three days.

These pies would work very well in our 228ml Round jars and I just can't wait to try these out.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Super simple broad bean dip

Image courtesy of Flickr
This week the bottle & jar store team are celebrating our seasonal ingredient of the week ..... introducing the broad bean.
These beautiful bright green beans make for a super simple yet stunning starter.

My absolute favourite way to enjoy these lovely little beans is smashed up, blitzed in a blender and packed full of flavour. I use a few essential ingredients - a glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt & pepper, garlic and of course wonderfully seasonal broad beans. I like to add a fresh herb of choice and find basil or mint work particularly well.

This recipe works well hot and cold and works as a great alternative to mashed potato in the summer months. Not only does do they add a new texture and a splash of vibrant colour to your dinner plate but broad beans are super-healthy and packed full of goodness.

For a stunning and versatile starter or snack, perfect for a picnic check out the recipe below. You really don't have to be too scrupulous with quantities, flavour to your taste.
Image courtesy of Flickr
  • A few good handfuls of broad beans
  • A good glug of extra-virgin olive oil
  • A small bunch of mint or basil (roughly torn)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt & pepper seasoning to taste
  • handful of grated parmesan

Method: Place the beans in a pan of boiling water and cook until tender (approx five minutes), drain beans and place in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until required texture. Decant into an Excellsens jar. This will keep in the fridge for 2/3 days. 

195ml Excellsens Jar

This dip is also wonderful dolloped onto some crusty bread as a rustic and attractive canape.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do....

Keep an eye out for the next recipe coming very soon.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Time to introduce myself and welcome you all to my bottle and jar kitchen. I’m Penny and as you can imagine, along with the rest of the team I’m absolutely passionate about preserves and bottling up homemade goodies.

I’m lucky enough to have been given this space to share all my favourite preserve recipes, both old and new and with your help I hope to learn some new ideas along the way.

Each week at we celebrate the best produce the seasons have to offer, so I will be following suit posting the top seasonal recipes on here every week.

I hope you enjoy this space and please do feel free to share your tips and recommendations. I’ve seen some great like-minded foodie blogs out there and I’d love to read some more – so post your blog on here, I’d definitely be taking a look.

Stay tuned for my first recipe.......