Add a little style to your Summer cocktails and drinks by popping some beautiful blue star-shaped Borage flowers into an ice cube tray and freezing. So simple and elegant and guaranteed to elevate the plainest of drinks into something quite special. Continue reading Borage Ice Cubes – Too Cute in Drinks!
We always get a good crop of rhubarb throughout the growing season – I often make jam, crumbles and cakes but I wanted to try something a bit different so decided to give ice cream a try. It’s fantastic – so tasty that I can’t believe it isn’t more common. I’ll definitely be making this again, and probably again.
I got the recipe from ‘The Ultimate Ice Cream’ book by Bruce Weinstein and have adapted the ingredients and measurements for the UK.
1lb rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
300 ml water
Juice of a lime
150 ml maple syrup
200 g caster sugar
1 large egg plus one additional egg yolk
2 teaspoons corn flour
300 ml milk
300 ml double cream
Combine the rhubarb, water and lime juice in a medium saucepan and place over a low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb has broken down, approx 10-15 minutes.
Add the maple syrup, return to a simmer and cook for a further 2 minutes. Put the mixture through a sieve or a blender and puree. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, beat the sugar into the egg and egg yolk until thickened and a pale yellow. Beat in the corn flour and set aside.
Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium to heavy saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over a low heat. Stir constantly until the custard begins to thicken. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a sieve into a large clean bowl and allow to cool slightly before adding the rhubarb puree and cream. Mix well and then cover and refrigerate until cold.
Once the mixture has cooled freeze in your ice cream maker according to the instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can freeze the mixture (in a freezer safe tub) but will need to ensure you take it out and stir thoroughly regularly to break down any ice crystals as it freezes.
“Cooking with the treasures of the garden”
Have you ever infused a fig leaf in custard and had it’s coconut and elderflower scent waft up to you on clouds of milky steam? or picked a handful of fennel seeds when they are still green and fat and scalded them with boiling water for a sweet, grassy, anise-scented tea? Or maybe you have decorated a salad with bright purple sage flowers, with a flavour that’s deeply herbal yet honeyed? If the answer to any of these questions is no, this book will open your eyes to the hidden flavours in your garden.
Well someone clearly knew me when they bought me this as a birthday present! What a lovely lovely book!
On reading the introduction above I immediately wanted to answer yes, Yes, YES to all of those questions! Just those opening words sent me off on a deliciously intoxicating foodie daydream.
Petal, Leaf Seed by Lia Leendertz does exactly what it says on the tin and offers up a whole heap of recipes from cocktails and drinks through to main meals and desserts with butters, tisanes, sprinkles and sherbets along the way. It covers Spring, Summer, vegetable and herb flowers, fruit leaves, exotic leaves, leaves from herbs as well as herb, vegetable & flower seeds.
It’s the most bizarre thing, but every time I’ve picked this book up, I’ve sniffed the pages as if expecting to release the aromas from the glorious photography within.
I have a feeling that this book might well be to blame for some of my next few plant purchases, I’ve already added lemon verbena and borage to my list. My new favourite recipe book for sure – a perfect gift for a gardening loving foodie! (Thank you G!)
Rhubarb is one of the best growers in our garden (being an arctic plant the hard frosts we get in the hills keep it very happy) and I’ve spent a lot of time refining this recipe but I’m finally happy with it. I often make up a half batch (just 2 jars) if I have some windblown stalks needing using.
It’s super quick and easy to make, not to mention, very tasty!
1kg rhubarb, washed & sliced into 2cm lengths
1kg caster sugar
zest & juice of 1 lemon
75-100g fresh ginger, finely chopped (I like a strong ginger zing)
(This makes about 4 average jars)
- Place the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice & zest into a bowl, stir and cover and set aside for a couple of hours.
- Once all the sugar has dissolved in the rhubarb juices transfer into a preserving pan and set over a medium heat.
- Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and then bring to the boil.
- Continue to cook until the rhubarb is really tender and it has reached setting point – this will probably take about 10-15 mins.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave for 2-3 mins before pouring into sterilized jars. Seal immediately.
Testing for Setting Point
Put a couple of saucers in your freezer before setting the jam to heat. When ready to test, drop ½ a teaspoon of the jam onto a saucer, leave for 30 seconds and then gently push with your fingertip – if the jam ‘wrinkles’ then setting point has been reached. If not, cook for a few minutes more and test again.
Sterilising Your Jam Jars
I do this in the microwave, soak the jars in hot water and then put the still wet jars into the microwave on full power for about 1 minute (until they are dry) and then use immediately.
We get a lot of game birds in the garden (pheasant and partridge), taking refuge from the local shoot. Although I’ve yet to catch one, we do get them from friends down the road. Continue reading Very Easy, Delicious Pheasant Casserole Recipe
I’ve been wanting to try this nettle beer recipe out for a few years now – and just somehow never managed to get my arse in gear to do it. I’ve just bottled up some homemade elderflower champagne so now that my fermenting bucket is free again I decided to go get cracking with this one.
It’s super simple and I won’t know if it’s worked for a couple of weeks but here’s the recipe. (I halved the quantities just to try)
Last year when we moved out to The Pentlands I was delighted to find the hedgerows bursting with Elders and have been intending on making Elderflower ‘Champagne’ – this year, armed with a friend’s tried & tested recipe, (and said friend) I finally got around to it!
It’s beyond easy to make, in fact I’ve just made a second batch (and if I can collect enough bottles before it dies down, I’ll make another too, ho hum, a genuine excuse to drink wine on a school night :o) All you need is a few elderflower heads, sugar, wine or cider vinegar, a couple of lemons (I actually used limes in my second batch for a comparison) and water! Continue reading Homemade Elderflower Champagne – So Easy To Make!