Archive for Jam

Our first peas and glorious fruit from the garden

We have had a week of lovely sunny weather here and it has done the garden good, bringing on the fruit and veggies after all the rain we have had.  Yesterday we picked our first peas.

Our first peas

They were lovely fat pods of really sweet peas.  We have never grown peas before so this is a definite success.

shelled peas

We had them last night with baked trout and our home grown potatoes – yummy, followed by home grown raspberries that have been so abundant this year we have been eating them daily.

Home grown raspberries

We have the raspberries served with meringues and squirty cream, an unbeatable combination.  Not only do we have raspberries but loganberries and for the first time tayberries, which are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry, so quite dark in colour.

Also the blueberries have been plentiful.  I think all the rain made them swell up, we have never had so many big ones.

home grown blueberries

Our gooseberries are now ripe and I have been picking both green ones and red ones.  I made strawberry and gooseberry jam with some of the green ones and raspberry and red gooseberry jam with the others.

Green gooseberries

Red gooseberries

So what with the blackcurrants and strawberries we had earlier our fruit garden has been bountiful.  With regard to veggies as I said we have harvested peas and potatoes, our beans and cabbages are coming along OK and we have had several courgettes, but our sweetcorn doesn’t look up to much, got dashed down by the rain we had, and the seeds of our carrots, parsnips and beetroot have all come to nothing.  Also there are very few apples on the trees.  Our British weather has a lot to answer for, but we must be grateful for the fruits we do have!!

Our B&B guests will be enjoying freshly picked fruits with their breakfast.  www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Beautiful blackcurrants and making Cassis

We planted our blackcurrant bushes the first summer we were here, that is 2 years ago now but this is the first year we have had any significant berries off them.  With all this rain they are big and beautiful.  Easy enough to pick but what a pain they are to top and tail prior to stewing up!!

beautiful blackcurrants just picked

So I decided to look for what else I could make with them, without having to top and tail first and the first thing I came up with was making some blackcurrant liqueur or Cassis.  This is how I made the first batch. First remove all the stalks and leaves.  There is no quick way to do this, you just have to sit and painstakingly go through them all, but still quicker than topping and tailing.  Then weigh the fruit.  You need: 

600g blackcurrants

700ml brandy

400g sugar

6 fresh blackcurrant leaves

1 small stick of cinnamon

3 or 4 cloves 

Add the brandy to a demi john or similar large vessel.   Add the washed blackcurrants.  I did this with a small spoon. You then add the sugar, the cinnamon and cloves and a stopper and give it a good swish round, then leave for at least 2 months.  After that strain the fruit and you are left with a lovely liqueur which you can bottle up.  I have saved my brandy bottle for this reason.

 

 Today I made my first batch with one bottle of brandy, but I am going to get another and double up on the sugar and blackcurrants to make a larger quantity.  It will all fit into the demi john. 

I used the rest of my today’s blackcurrants to make blackcurrant and raspberry jam, using 200g blackcurrants to 620 g of raspberries and one packet of 1 kilo jam sugar.  Delicous and all ready now for my B&B guests for breakfast. visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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