Thursday, September 04, 2008

Foraging for Food

As it is blackberry time, worth including a few recipes to make the most of them. The first is for a blackberry and apple jam and so easy when it comes to remembering the weights and measures. You will need the same weight of blackberries to prepared sharp cooking or eating apples, and the combined weight of both in sugar. Plus the juice of half a lemon (or one small one - better too much lemon juice than not enough). But for those who prefer to see a recipe printed out here it is:
Bramble Jam:
1 lb (500g) blackberries
1 lb (500g) Bramley apples, peeled and chopped
2 lbs (1kg) granulated or preserving sugar
juice of half a lemon
Warm the sugar by putting it into a heatproof dish and heating it through at 150C, 300F, gas 2 for a few minutes. Meanwhile put both fruits into a preserving pan with the lemon juice and heat very gently for about 15 minutes or until the fruit is very soft, then add the warmed sugar. When this has dissolved, raise the heat, and boil the jam for 10 - 15 minutes or until setting point has been reached. Pot up into hot sterilised jars, and seal.

This next is an autumn version of Eton Mess. Made of course with blackberries instead of strawberries, and although could be eaten without freezeing (as Eton Mess would be), this gives it another dimension. For adults use cassis (if you have it) for children use Ribena - although both are optional. As to the meringues, just make your own and store in a box until needed. So don't throw away even one egg white, turn it into a meringue (whisk until thick then whisk in 2 oz sugar (50g) for each egg white. Place on a greased baking sheet or parchment paper and dry off in the residual heat of an oven - overnight and without peeping.
Meet 'n Bless Terrine: serves 6 (F)
5 oz (150g) blackberries
3 tsp cassis or Ribena (opt)
12 oz (350ml) whipping cream
1 oz (25g) icing or caster sugar
8 meringue nests, crushed (or equivalent amount)
If using the cassis/Ribena, heat the berries through in this, then leave to cool. Whip the cream with the sugar until thick, then fold in the blackberries and the crushed meringues. Line a 2lb loaf tin with clingfilm, using enough so that it hangs over the edges, then spoon in the berry mixture and level the surface. Fold back the clingfilm to cover, then freeze until firm (at least four hours, or it will keep for days). To serve, remove from freezer, leave in the tin for five minutes, then unwrap the clingfilm and turn out the terrine onto a serving plate. Serve sliced.