red currant and flat peaches jelly

I'm in love with that jelly and the color of this blog post !
My red currant are a late variety which is great because they are ripe when my japanese raspberries are and there's nothing better than a greek yoghurt with these two berries and lots of runny honey.
But usually have enough to make some jam.
This jelly has a gorgeous color, and goes well with toast or cheese.

You'll need:

  • 500gr red currant
  • tiny bit of water
  • 400 gr sugar
  • 3 flat peaches cut into dices
  • pectin

Put the fruits, still clinging to their stalks,and the peaches into a deep stainless steel pan. Pour over a tiny bit of water, really only to cover the bottom of the pot, then add the sugar.
Stir from time to time and make sure you boil them no longer than 8 minutes. Otherwise you you'll spoil the flavor. Add some pectin according to the package instructions. Pour in a fine sive or a jam bag and leave until all the juices have dripped through. Don't press the fruit the or the jam will become cloudy.
Sterilize the jars with boiling water and dry in the oven. It's worth being very careful with this or your jam is not going to preserve for very long.
Fill the jelly into the jars.

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Elderflower syrup


Next to our allotment stands a beautiful elder tree. Nothing better than working in the garden when he's in blossom.
The smell is just irresistible. Luckily this beautiful smell can easily be preserved in syrup and then used for refreshing drinks,
flavoring desserts or ice cream.
This syrup is easy to make, to get the maximum flavor you should pick the flowers on a sunny day when they have not seen rain for a few days.
This recipe gives you approximately 5 liters of elderflower syrup.

You'll need:

  • 20 umbels elderflowers
  • 3 liters of water
  • 3 lemons
  • 50 gr citric acid
  • 3 kg sugar

In a big pot combine the elderflowers, the water and 1 lemon cut into slices and let it sit over night.
Take out the flowers and the lemon and add the sugar, citric acid and the juice of the other two lemons and bring to boil.
Fill int sterilized bottles.


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"Rillete de maqueraux" or the perfect hangover relief


I'm finally old enough to see it all coming, the days around xmas and new year were once again filled with dinner parties plenty of delicious food and as always a bit too much red wine. But this year I planned ahead ! While some were already out for these sometimes very dangerous company christmas dinners I made a night shift in the kitchen experimenting with something that should save me on these hangover mornings that were bound to follow - la rillete de maqueraux.

Rillete is something like a paté originally made with pork, the meat is salted heavily and cooked slowly in fat and then processed into a paste.
I came a cross fish rillete several times while traveling in france and always wanted to make my own version of it. As I said before it's the perfect hang over breakfast but it's also lovely served with toasted bread to accompany a soup dinner.

rillete de maqueraux

You'll need:

  • The flesh of 3 smoked mackerels ( or left over mackerel from a previous dinner)
  • 2 finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 - 2 organic lemons
  • Thyme leaves
  • A bit of pernod to quench
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

  • For the spiced butter:

  • 150 gr butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg
  • Anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish

Slowly fry the shallots in butter. Add the Flesh of the mackerel and the chopped rosemary. Quench with the pernod, season with salt an pepper.

Cook for 2 minutes then take of the heat. Put into a food processor ( or blender) you want it to be soft enough to be spread on toast but not to mashy.
Add fresh lemon juice and the lemon zest. Add the chopped capers and some thyme leaves. Season with nutmeg and more salt and pepper is needed.

Fill into a glass and press it in tightly. Meanwhile make the clarified  and the spiced butter :

Melt the butter in a pan over a gentle heat, and then allow to simmer until you spot the first dark flecks – watch it carefully, or it will burn. Strain through some butter muslin, or two sheets of kitchen roll, into a jug.
Wipe out the pan, and pour in two-thirds of the butter. Add the lemon juice, nutmeg, pepper, anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish and a pinch of salt and simmer very gently for five minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool but not set.
When just warm, but still liquid, pour over the fish and put in the fridge to set. Once solid, pour over the remainder of the clarified butter and return to the fridge to set.

Serve on toasted brown bread. The rillete can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.
With this technique one can experiment I also made a white tuna rilette with plenty of chopped dill.
If this does not help to cure your hangover why not try something stronger like kevins favorite breakfast toast:

Happy 2012!

Related Entries:
Grilled Mackerel and caramelized beetroot
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Confiture caramel beurre salé

I recently stumbled over the lovely blog photisserie of a german photographer and pastry lover living in Paris.
There I discovered this Confiture caramel beurre salé which I just had to try this morning.

In our neighborhood we have a lovely little créperie called "le carousel" they do the most delicious crépes and galettes and of course they serve proper cidre in a ceramic bowl. HEAVEN! We always eat the same: galette "bleue et poire" ( with blue cheese and pear) and for dessert we have crépe pomme at caramel salé.

Sugar, butter, salt and cream is something I always have at home. But making the caramel is a bit tricky I find.
Most importantly be patient, don't stir your sugar just slowly let it melt - everything is gonna be fine.

You'll need:

  • 300 gr sugar
  • 240 gr butter
  • 5 gr salt
  • 200 gr cream

Cook the sugar and 6 tbs water over low flame till you get a nice caramel ( this takes quite some time). Add the butter ( cut into cubes ) and the salt let it cook for 2 more minutes till mixed. Take from the heat and add the warm cream.
Fill into glasses and put into the fridge.

It's almost a month now that i started this post. Why didn't I publish it earlier? The truth is I failed. I was sure that this would be the perfect caramel beurre sale
for my  crépe pomme au caramel sale. After three attempts I can say it isn't . Why? Because you want to eat this cold. The confiture has a lovely texture and when you melt it ( like on a warm crepe) it loses this texture and the smell of the butter gets stronger agin - also a thing you don't want to happen.

I have to admit so far I have no clue on how to use this lovely confiture. I don't like it on bread to much either - the slightly bitter taste of the caramel gets lost beside the strong flavor of the bread.

But what happened it that while pondering over this confiture and have to best use it I've eaten it all - just like this,  with a spoon out of the glass! Soo delicious.

So if you have any suggestions on how it use it - let me know, otherwise I'll happily eat it like this.

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Tangerine jam

I don't like to admit it, but our boy is very picky when it comes to food. He always was like this, he hated the first ever mash ( it was carrot ) we made him. Today he could live from pasta and parmesan cheese. Vegetables he likes as long as we don't cook them. Risotto is fine but please no rice! Strangely enough he loves salad, asparagus  and artichokes ( the later ones cooked ). But fruits are basically a no go. Apples sometimes and tangerines.
For christmas we wanted to make some kitchen gifts for friend and family, jams are easy and nice but apple jam? So we were left with tangerine. In my cookbooks I couldn't find a single tangerine jam recipe and on the internet I found several, all totally different. So I decided to do a bit of a freestyle. Tangerine juice cooked with a bit of cinnamon and some tangerine voila.  Let me tell you the result is just delicious! We've already eaten 3 pots and made a second load.


2- 3 Kg Tangerines  should give you 1l of tangerine juice
1 Cinnamon stick
800 - 1000 gr sugar
1 Lemon
1/2 tangerin zested

Peel the tangerines and juice them in a juicer. Bring to boil ( together with the cinnamon ) in a pan with a heavy bottom. Let it cook for several minutes. Add the sugar and the pectin according to the package instructions. Every gelling agent  need a different procedure it seems. Add the juice of the lemon and the zest and fill into the warm glasses.

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Fannys lemon cake and our new KitchenAid
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Quince jam with vanilla

Even though the weather is still like summer ( 20 ° Wednesday evening ) , there's no doubt that autumn is here. Our neighbours did harvest all the quinces from the tree between our gardens. There's always plenty of recipes I would love to try with quinces I usually just do jam. And that's exactly what I did yesterday evening.

It was one of these superwoman days that unfortunately are very rare. After bringing our boy to the nursery, working 8 hours and doing the shopping for the weekend I went home and cooked dinner for our boy. Since he basically only likes pasta, chocolate, corn-flakes and raw vegetables we often cook separately for him. Fusili, spinach and artichokes. He did eat it!
We had linguine with figs and chilli and artichokes after he went to bed. After dinner I baked bread and still had the energy to make the quince jam! I wish I always had that amount of energy.
After last year's disappointment with mould on the jam after 2 month I decided to use way more sugar.
It turned out very nice but strangely the jam is yellow and not orange as usually.

Here my recipe:
Peel 1 kg ripe quinces remove the core and cut into quarters. Cook with 3 dl water and 800gr sugar in a shallow pan for approximately 30 minutes.
Puree put back into the pan and slowly bring to boil. Ad 2dl apple-juice a dash of lemon and 2 teaspoon of the best bourbon vanilla.
Immediately fill into hot glasses.

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Early morning quince pickle
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Red currant jam

The red currant tree in our garden was full of berries. To me there is only one thing to do with these sour little things - red currant jam with vanilla. That's the only way I really like red current.

Clean the berries and cook till soft. Pass through a ( not to fine sieve) Put back into the pan ad as much sugar as you like.  I like it not to sweet. I usually take about 800 gr for 1500gr. liquid.

Bring to boil ad pektin according to the packing instruction. Ad good bourbon vanilla.

Delicious on fresh bread or with good cheese.

Related Entries:
Summer Garden Tart
Almost no better way to eat fresh berries
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