Saturday, June 16, 2007

Recipes with a Difference

Some years ago I made Rose Petal jam and it is lovely. Use dry rose petals that haven't been sprayed for aphids etc. It goes without saying if you can use heavily scented roses the better the flavour of the jam. If you have red roses without scent then add rose water or essence (see note below).

Rose Petal Jam - makes 1 lb
8 oz (250g) deep red scented rose petals
1 lb (500g) sugar
2 pints (1.2 litres) water
juice of 2 lemons
Pick the roses when in full bloom, remove the petals and snip off the white bases. Tear the petals into small pieces but not too finely, and put in a bowl. Pour over half sugar, stir, cover, and leave to stand overnight.
The next day the sugar will hav absorbed the scent and the petals will have become darker. Put the remaining sugar into a saucepan with the water and lemon juice and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the rose petals together with their sugar, stir then simmer gently for 20 minutes. Bring to a full boil and after five minutes the jam should be thickened. Setting point does not apply with this recipe. Pot into small clean jars, cover and store in the usual way.
Note: If you have only unscented red roses or are using any with very little scent, then substitute some of the water with rose water. or rose essence according to taste, don't overdo it as the flavour should increase as the water evaporates.

Freezer Jam - makes 7 lb
This jam is uncooked and has a loose texture similar to a conserve.
3 lb (1.5 kg) strawberries or raspberries, hulled
4 lb (2kg) caster sugar
4 tblsp. (60 ml) lemon juice
8oz 227 ml) bottle of commercial pectin
Place the fruit in a large bowl and gently crush with a potato masher or fork. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice, and leave at room temperature for an hour, stirring from time to time to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the pectin and continue stirring for 2 - 3 minutes. Pour the jam into small plastic containers leaving a little head room. Place on lids, and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. Then freeze (remember to label). When needed, thaw at room temperature for about one hour.

Quick Apricot Jam: makes 3 lb
3 x 15oz cans (3 x 425g) cans of apricot halves in syrup
2 tblsp (30 ml) lemon juice
1 lb (500g) sugar
Drain the fruit, but keep the syrup. Put the apricots in a blender with 1/2 pint (300ml) of the syrup, the lemon juice and the sugar (best done in small batches). Blend until smooth, then pour into a saucepan and boil until thick. Pot and cover in the usual way.

Love Apple Jam makes 3 lb
5 unwaxed lemons, cut in half
2 lb (1 kg) red tomatoes
2 lb (1 kg) sugar
knob butter
Skin and quarter the tomatoes and remove their cores and seeds, but keep these to one side. Squeeze the lemons and keep any pips. Scrape out any flesh from the lemon shells and keep this also. Remove all pith from the lemon shells and discard this then cut the rind into thin strips. Place the rind in a saucepan with about 5 fl oz water and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
Put the lemon pips and flesh with the tomato cores and seeds and tie together in a piece of muslin. Make up the lemon juice to 3 pints (150 ml) with water and put into a preserving pan. Cut up the tomato flesh into shreds and add to the pan with the lemon shreds, their liquid and the muslin bag. Simmer for about 45 mins until tender. Remove the muslin bag but squeeze out any liquid and return this to the pan. Time now to add the sugar, stir until dissolved, add the knob of butter and boil rapidly for 20 minutes. Remove any scum if it appears. When setting point has been reached, remove from heat and pot up in the usual way.