Friday, 30 September 2011

River cottage Bramley apple lemon curd

Having experienced a very specific craving for lemon curd last week, I looked to twitter for some recipe inspiration. My fellow tweeters never fail to dig out some wonderful recipe variations that I simply can’t wait to try out. 

I was particularly keen to try this recipe as it comes from the much loved and much used River Cottage preserves handbook by Hugh Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Pam Corbin. I dedicated a sunny Wednesday afternoon to re-creating this version of lemon curd and can confirm this will certainly become a favourite among the bottle and jar team.

Image courtesy of River Cottage/Bloomsbury
Any variation of lemon curd is perfect on toast or muffins and works equally well as a cupcake topping or sponge filling topped with poppy seeds.

Ingredients: Makes 5 of our 228ml round jars.

·      450g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and chopped

·      Finely grated zest and juice of two unwaxed ­lemons (you need 100ml strained juice)

·      125g unsalted butter

·      450g granulated sugar

·      4–5 large eggs, well beaten (you need 200ml beaten egg)


Image courtesy of River Cottage/Bloomsbury
Put the chopped apples into a pan with 100ml water and the lemon zest.

Cook gently until soft and fluffy, then either beat to a puree with a wooden spoon or rub through a nylon sieve.

Put the butter, sugar, lemon juice and ­apple puree into a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

As soon as the butter has melted and the mixture is hot and glossy, pour in the eggs through a sieve, and whisk with a balloon whisk.

If the fruit puree is too hot when the beaten egg is added, the egg will “split”. Check the temperature with a sugar thermometer — it should be no higher than 55–60C when the egg is added.

If your curd does split, take the pan off the heat and whisk vigorously until smooth.
Stir the mixture over a gentle heat, ­scraping down the sides of the bowl every few minutes, until thick and creamy.

This will take 9–10 minutes; the temperature should reach 82–84C on a sugar thermometer. ­Immediately pour into jars and seal.

This will keep for up to four weeks (if it lasts that long). Once opened, keep in the fridge.

Happy preserving

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Courgette and pineapple jam

Here at Bottles and Jars we’re always eager to make the most of nature’s seasonal offerings, and over on our twitter feed you can follow our #seasonalingredientoftheweek – this week we’re celebrating the courgette. As a member of the squash family, it has similar preserving properties to the marrow from our last post, and whilst both are treated in the culinary world as vegetables, botanically they are actually fruits – perfect for a jam!

The texture of the courgette makes it ideal for a quick and simple jam recipe, as it doesn’t require a long cooking time to thicken and set. This recipe from Spana at attracted me with the incredibly short ingredient list and cooking time, perfect for whipping up while you wait for dinner to cook. This jam can be kept in a jar to spread on toast and it makes the perfect filling for a Catalan cream tart: recipe here.

Ingredients: (makes 4-6 jars)
  • 1lb 12oz or there about peeled courgettes.  If really big take out seeds before weighing
  • Juice 2 lemons
  • 1 tin pineapple pieces, drained.  The tin says 540g, drained weight 340g
  • 1kg bag Jam Sugar with added pectin
  1. Put peeled courgettes in food processor and blast until mostly diced
  2. Add drained pineapple and give a short blast to finish. It needs to be fine but not pulp
  3. Scrape into your jam pan, add the lemon juice and sugar.  Give it a good stir to get the juices running
  4. Place on a low heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved
  5. Bring to a fast rolling boil and continue to boil for 4-6 minutes
Et voila! 
Pot into sterilised jars and seal: For more information on potting and sealing jars – read this post.
 You can view more bottle and jar recipes here along with all our special offers - currently we're offering 10% off your first order for anyone who registers at our site, and half price shipping until end of September.

I hope you enjoy trying some new vegetable jam recipes and would love to hear what you think. Have you got any tried and tested unusual sounding recipes? I’d love to hear them.

Happy preserving