Baking in general: As my mother says, ‘if you’re going to bother going to the effort of baking, double the recipe so that you can freeze the extra – it’s less cooking for next time!’ sigh… how true.
Baking in general: “Everything in moderation” (another of my mother’s) does not extend to baking. Yummo. Cook Double.
Jelly Tip (discovered upon making jelly for the first time for a trifle): NEVER add anything hot to jelly – such as custard, or a coulis – if you don’t want it to completely dissolve (can re-gel but isn’t the same as everything tastes like sweet jelly by then).
Chutney Tip: If doubling / tripling recipe, watch out – the sugar can only get so hot before it starts to burn, so if you’ve got too much in your mixture it will start burning before everything else is ready. Not good if you’re aiming for first prize at the local show.
Chutney / Jam Tip: to sterilise bottles and jars, wash them in the dishwasher then pop them into the oven at low heat for 20mins or so. Add the chutney or whatever it is while it it still hot, into the hot jars. Hopefully this will maximise your sterilising efforts.
SPICY PEAR CHUTNEY:
Truly, this is delicious. Everyone should have a jar (even if it DIDN’T win the Chutney division at the local show – Can only assume the judges didn’t like pears…)
1kg pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup shredded ginger
6 red chillies, seeded and chopped
2 ionions, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped coriander
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
cracked black pepper and sea salt
Place pears, ginger, chillies, ionions, coriander, kaffir lime leaves, vinegar and suggars in a saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30min or until chutney is thick, stirring occasionally and skimming the surface. Taste, then add pepper and salt. Pour into sterilised jars and seal. Makes 1 large jar… so sterilise lots of little ones so you feel like you’ve got more!!!
SCONES (given 4 out of 5 by a visiting celebrity chef – woohoo!)
300mls thickened cream
3 cups of self raising flour
Favourite jam, whipped cream.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. This is apparently important as I have heard that if the oven is not hot enough on scone entry, the scones will not rise properly. I haven’t tested this though.
Mix the cream and milk together before adding to the flour in a bowl. Stir lightly with a knife – DO NOT STIR TOO MUCH. Just until it’s all combined. Add more flour if it’s still too sticky. Use a spoon to scoop out the mixture and roll into a rough ball without applying any pressure to it – you want to leave the air in it. Lay the balls out on a baking tray, use a pastry brush to apply some leftover cream/milk mixture to brown the scones while cooking. They take about 10mins to cook – you know they are done when they have a lovely colour and they feel light when you pick them up.
Get your jam and whipped cream, eat. Eat. EAT.