Garden Fruit Recipes

Recipes from BBC Radio Solent chat with Katie Martin

Mixed Garden and Hedgerow Fruit.

Mixed Garden and Hedgerow Fruit.

Mixed Garden Fruit Jam (naked jam garden mixed fruit Available at the Chewton Glen Hotel).

A mixture of all your berries, from the garden or your nearest pick your own. I used the following from the Garden.

 

Soft Fruit Jam 

1 kg of Gooseberries( topped and tailed)

200g of Blackcurrants

200g of Cherries (de stoned)

200g of Red Currants

200g of White Currants 

2kg of Sugar.

200ml of water.

I used slightly less sugar than the normal ratio of a kilo for a kilo, but i feel for those who may not be fully confident in the kitchen stick to the rule of a kilo of fruit for a kilo of sugar.

Sterilized your jars by washing them and popping them into the oven. (for about 15 mins temp 150)

pop a small plate and spoon into the fridge to use for setting point.

Place the fruit in a large malsin pan add the water and slowly start to warm the fruit through, try not to overcook your fruit, after about 15mins or just when the fruit starts to break up slowly add your sugar. Sprinkling in the sugar ensures it dissolves quickly.

As soon as you are sure all the sugar has dissolved slowly bring the pan to a gentle boil stirring all the time, this process last about 25-35 mins.  But if your fruit very fresh it can be as quick as 15mins so be watchful of the pan. You will be able to feel the jam begin to thinkin with your spoon. Remove from the heat and check for setting point. (test with a cold spoon and a plate that has been cooled in the fridge). Once the jam has set to your desired consistency pour into your sterilized jars seal with a wax paper seal and lid. label and store in a cool dark place upto 12 months. You can use Gooseberry or use any other soft fruit. 

Fruit Vodka

1 kg of soft Fruit.

1 liter of vodka

5 tablespoons of raw white sugar

If using large fruit such as gooseberries prick and place in a large clean “kilner style” jar shake and leave for about 6 weeks. The add the sugar over a few weeks (about 2) adding a small amount at time (about half of tablespoon, each time) Every time you add the sugar shake the jar, to help it dissolve.

Once you have added the all the sugar and it has all dissolved. Filter the drink through a muslin cloth or jelly bag. Decanter into a clean sterilized bottle and leave (if possible ) for about 4 months. Shake the bottle before serving over crushed ice.Now the fruit you have been soaking in vodka all this time is too good to throw away, so i suggest you use it for a layer in a trifle

 

Fruit Syrup

1kg Fruit

1 liter of Water

400g of Sugar

Place the fruit in a large pan with the water and slowly bring to the boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 20 mins when the fruit starts to lose it colour and you can smell its wonderful aroma.

Strain the fruit through a sieve and place back in the pan with the sugar, once the sugar has dissolved gently bring to a soft boil, bottle in clean sterilized jars seal and store in a cool place. 

This can be used in cakes, ice creams and of course with prosecco or a buck naked matin.

 

 Buck naked Martin

Jam Cocktail

A citrus flavor vodka works with this.

Vodka, Elderflower juice,

naked Strawberry syrup or Jam,

ice,

Place all ingredients into a large glass shake and strain into a martini glass

 Cocktail glass add a Strawberry  and enjoy 

If for some reason this all seems to much pop along to the White Buck pub in Burley and ask them for there house cocktail buck naked. 

 

Looking up

I would like to apologies yet again, i’ve been so busy foraging & picking that I’ve not written about all the thoughts, times and moments I have witnessed this past spring & summer months.

Mainly due to the fact that I have just lost myself in the moment where the beauty can’t leave the eyes, and no words or photographs could never really capture the artistry unfolding around me.

So I can recommend that you stop and let the moment fill the eyes, let them absorb the world’s natural beauty. Then your understand, the reason I got lost when the spring turned into shades of new summer green and the fresh the new summer sun wrapped around me like a friendly arm,  I simply just got lost in its beauty,letting  myself  observe and drink in the first sights of elderflowers trees with its delicate white flowers that pack a punch with its heady aroma. Then suddenly the first prickly gooseberries shouted out, reminding me of younger days picking them with my mum and one day inparticular when it was cold and each fruit seemed to attack me with a small nasty thorn. How I complained , and how I would do anything to be back in my garden with my mom.

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It always surprises me just how things grow it’s so overwhelming, the redcurrants have given up their bounty and how the black and white currants have followed suit.

The harvest is in full swing and I have to be honest I don’t always make jam with the fruit I just eat them.  

Then there’s the bee project and how they made me danced in the field while I watched the swarm, its exciting. Did I mention the new flavour combinations? 

I have mostly been lost in new berries and new flavours. Each morning I have been getting up with the larks, relishing in just how wonderful the dawn chorus is. Did you know here in Barton -on -Sea they wake me up at times as early as 3:45am but on average its between 3:59 am  and 4:09 am every morning and boy what a wonderful sound. I have started to recognise the birds themselves!

 

Did I mention the cherries? what a year for cherries, I almost crashed the car yesterday  looking at the cherries in the hedgerows and then the plums they are early and it’s all coming at once,  my poor pans are worked to death , they can’t stop and the kitchen is getting overcrowded with ideas about new jam recipes,  jam related recipes and well jam.

So apologies I’ve just been capturing the moment and living the dream.  Being inspired by nature. inspired by the growers and even the TV!! Especially one particular chap whose  inspiration to date fills my every day,  that is of course  Nigel Slater, and his current  TV programme Eating Together ( a family who eats together stays together!)  has just exploded onto my plate and has really got to me and wow just wow, what an amazing chef, cook, person, he truly is very remarkable (Yes for all those who know me, I can now achieve turning on a TV set without the help of my children!)

So where have I been?  breathing the air, laying under my window at night watching the stars appear in the night sky. Starting out as a turquoise blue deeping as the night moves into morning a colour only the summer sky can bring. Sometimes just watching the clouds filling the blue sky leaving  no room for words. But mostly i’ve been climbing trees, I can recommend it!  So if you can and you get a chance climb a tree and see my world, it is rather magical. (BE CAREFUL)

tree

 

see you soon.

Jen x

MasterClasses

 

 

 

 

 

Learning all about Jam!

 

Jen Williams Curd Pouring

 

It’s getting busy as some of you know!  I am currently  in recipe development mode, which takes, time patience and lots of sampling! but whilst I have my head in a pan doesn’t mean I am not doing other things. I am as it happens doing a few events.

June is the launch of Hampshire food festival. For which I am running a number of master classes almost all of them are fully booked. However I am running a few other courses in September at the Chewton Glen Hotel and Lainston House. The demand for these course have surprised me somewhat so we have added a few dates click on the link below and book while there are still places.  

 

http://www.chewtonglen.com/whats-on/syrupsandpreserves.aspx

http://www.exclusivehotels.co.uk/EXCLUSIVE_HOTELS/cookery_school/classes/jams,_pickles_and_chutneys.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Ball

Spring is well and truly underway, a magical time when new life gives new hopes, new dreams, new realities. All my wishes suddenly turning into reality. I’ve been gardening as much as humanly possible and sowing, sowing, sowing. Its almost turned into a race, and very soon the  foraging for me will be full on. I have started and so far I am foraging wild garlic, pine needles, gorse flowers.

 Whilst busying myself I get distracted by how beautiful the landscape is around me. I feel that Mother nature herself has announced the Spring Ball.

Birds have obliged and have created the perfect chorus. Whilst the Sun has taken on a new morning glow replacing the dark morning with a new soft flattering light.

Let the dance begin. If you stop and look your see it, its everywhere in woodlands, driveways roadsides every tree, every plant is in attendance.

Trees and hedgerows wearing dresses as pretty as a picture in bright coloured blossoms,  pink, stunning reds and whiter than white petals, hang from branches as if they have been pinned on overnight.

lillic tree

Ball Dresses

 

 O then I remember the purpose of my walk gorse flowers, a beautiful yellow flower, that seems to glow in the new seasons sunshine,  I  have a new idea for these this year, something special, I let you know as soon as Ive managed to perfect this little treat. Talking of special if you haven’t heard then I would like to introduce you to Rupert who uses corse flowers to make Gin with. He can be found here www.conkerspirit.co.uk  and I can recommend that you try some of his Gin.

Gorse Flowers

Now earlier on I was talking rhubarb, yes I am obsessed with rhubarb can’t help it. Its wonderful you can do some much with it. The tiny shoots appearing earlier on have now grown and some are ready for the pot. So what will I be making Rhubarb jam rhubarb ketchup, (great with Pork).

 I love it so much that I have a whole plot dedicated to growing it.! I am also very lucky to have Darren Venables and his wonderful team, at the http://www.chewtonglen.com/  who grow some fantastic varieties for me to turn into jam for the hotel. They also use it in the kitchens were the talented Executive chef  Luke Mathews and his team turn into  rhubarb pavlova.

 However this week I am trying to be good after all the chocolate eaten up from the generous easter bunny. So I am going to try and do something a little savory. Rhubarb ketchup. There are many recipes for this little delight but one of the best I have found is Richard Turners recipe.

 550g of forced pink steam rhubarb

150g of sugar

100ml of cider

50ml of orange juice

sea salt and spices. 2cm Root ginger, ½ cinnamon stick 2 cloves, 8 black peppercorns (all in a spice bag)

Place all the above ingredients into a stainless steel pan. Boil then simmer for 20 minutes

Remove the spice bag and blend the sauce into a puree. Pass through a sieve and refrigerate until needed.

I like it poured over ice cream or whipped into mergans. I also like to use it in GIn!

Richard serves his with a tasty outstanding dish of his slow-roast leg of pork. I tried this recipe and its mouth watering delicious.

 

Check out his new book.Hog  its piggy brilliant.

www.octopusbooks.co.uk.

Spring Time

Spring has gently opened her doors and has let in the warmth of a new season’s breeze. It brushes my face with a softness of rose petals. With a promising brighter sun, she entices me to step outside and discover snowdrops and early daffodils. A sight so familiar, yet each spring she delivers these gifts and it’s like the first time it’s ever arrived. As if it’s appeared there just for me to discover.  Each flower, each blossom reflexing the open sky and the morning sun. As each ray magically lights up the emerging blossoms, of the hedgerows, teasing and requesting each and every blossom to open into full flower.

 snowdrops

 

It’s at this moment I fall in love with this new season as if it is a first kiss.  The ground is still cold but the expectation of new fruit starts to excite my taste buds, as I witness the first crop of rhubarb, pushing her pinks stalks out of the tops of upturned pots  used to force these gorgeous delights on. I could dance it’s spring, these pink beauties once picked give me such enthusiasm for the next new season, knowing it is safely underway. I feel she is giving me a glimpse of the bounty yet to come.

Rhubarb Chimmy pots

Kitchen Garden at the Chewton Glen

 

 

rhubabr in the snow

 

So after the marmalade it’s rhubarb time. These pink stalks appear in the garden and my taste buds tingle. It really doesn’t feel like twelve months since I picked the first crop of the year, but it is and it’s back, my favorite rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb…a word that always makes me laugh so I say it again Rhubarb!  If you would like to know about this little beauty (you can find facts about it from last year’s blog) but this year I would like to give you a little recipe that is tasty, fun, easy and full of the joys of spring!

 

A quick Rhubarb & Orange Jam Bread and Butter Pudding.

 

1 pot of Rhubarb & Orange Jam

400g of sliced bread this need to be about a day old if not two.

2 large eggs and 3 large egg yolks.

A pot of 500ml double cream

250 ml of milk

1 vanilla pod. (you only need the seeds hers so keep the pod and pop it into some sugar)

2 tbsp. of demerara  sugar.

The zest of 1 large orange.

Make sandwiches with the bread & Jam and cut into triangles. and place in an ovenproof dish.

Put the milk cream, eggs into a bowl and whisk. Pour over the bread and let it sit over night.( or at least for 1 hour)

Sprinkle over the orange & Sugar and Place in a warmed oven about 180c for about 45 mins.

Serve with Mascarpone cream, or vanilla ice cream. 

 

 

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Jennifer Williams

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