Candied Fruits - Oh Dear!

Candied Lemons and oranges

The Candied Oranges and Lemons looked so promising during the majority of time that they were soaking in sugar syrup, but the end result is quite a disappointment. The rinds are far too hard and the structure of the lemons has partially collapsed. I think that perhaps I didn't poach them for long enough on the first day. I've not given up all hope and have left the bulk of the fruit in the syrup to, hopefully, candy further.

I'm almost sure that it's me at fault and not the recipe, so I've shown 'the courage of my convictions' by risking another attempt. This time using pineapple.

Pineapple Candying

Chilli, Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce

Chilli - chili sauceI've mentioned before. Well, along with the plethora of beetroot that he brought recently were all the tomatoes that were left on his tomato plants when he cleared his greenhouse. Some red, but mostly green when they arrived; in between then and now, most have turned red.

End of season green and red tomatoes? A red pepper past its best but still usable? A bag of chillis?

It's got to be a chilli sauce!

Chilli, Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce

750gm end of season tomatoes - some red, some green - peeled and chopped
1 large Red Pepper - chopped
3 or 4 large chillies - chopped
2 onions - chopped
2 inch piece of ginger - grated
3 garlic cloves - crushed
200 ml white wine vinegar
150 gm white sugar
salt - to taste
2 tsp Chilli powder (US - use Cayenne pepper - our chilli powder is just powdered chilli, not a spice mix like yours)
2 tsp paprika
¼ tube tomato puree (50 gm)

Put all the ingredients except the sugar, chili, paprika, salt and tomato puree in to a pan and simmer them until soft. Liquidise, and then sieve them and return them to the pan along with the other ingredients. Simmer them for a further 30 minutes or so before bottling in jars that have been sterilised by putting them into a 120°C oven for about 20 minutes. Cover with lids that have been sterilised in boiling water.

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Beetroot Relish

The Christmas preparations march on. Blast, I've gone and said the C-word when I'm meant to be a miserable old Scrooge. This could ruin my reputation!

Anyway, enough of all that; my mate left a bag full of green tomatoes and beetroot in the front porch the other day so, to use some of the beetroot, I decided to make a beetroot relish recipe that I had seen on the Expat Gourmet blog.

Beetroot relish

Mine only differed in that I omitted the port as can't have alcohol. It makes a nice change from 'chutney type' accompaniments and the 'orangey' taste that initially dominated has now mellowed and is very pleasant. All-in-all it's a great one to add to my 'make-it-myself' Christmas presents.

I think I must be on the same wavelength as The Expat Gourmet as I notice that he/she has made raspberry vodka; I have also made some and our recipes are very similar. I've made damson vodka, sloe gin, blackcurrant brandy, and blackberry whisky as well!

Oh, I nearly forgot, the cheese in the picture is from Sainsbury's and is their "Blue Cheese, Basics"; at £6.45/kg it's nearly £3 a kilo cheaper than their Blue Stilton. However, other than the inclusion of annatto, the nutritional breakdown's identical. Not similar, identical: I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions!

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Candied Oranges and Lemons

Candied Oranges

Candied, crystallized, cristallised or glacé fruits, those things of Christmases with elderly aunts. A mystery of the sugar worker's art, they are seldom seen nowadays. No wonder when online they're as much as £1 per ounce!

For some reason, I fancied making some. I guess it's down to my penchant to make anything that any sensible person would buy...
..."Not at £1 and ounce they wouldn't", I hear you cry!

I looked online for recipes, but this produced a lot of recipes for quick candying by boiling the fruit in syrup; I knew that this wasn't what I wanted and was just about to resort to Mrs Beeton when I found The Brownie Points Blog. The picture of chocolate coated candied orange slices looked just what I wanted. Not only that, but there was a link to a book by an expert confectioner giving even fuller details.

Click here, there's more to read...

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