Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Apple Jelly

Another apple-related post (probably several more to follow...)
I've never made jelly or jam before, but with help from 'Aunty Karla' I now have 6lb of the stuff sitting in my pantry :-)



Recipe? Right, get husband to chop, peel and core 4 lb of cooking apples....
Place in large pan (apples, not husband), add 3 pints water and simmer until you have apple mush.
Strain the juice through muslin, using contraption something like this:



Allow to drip for hours/overnight. Protect from cat pounce. Then invite Karla around to help with the tricky bit involving adding 4lb of jam sugar, and heating it till the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil, for approx 4 minutes. Use the saucer test to check when its ready: add a little blob of jam onto the saucer and hold up to light so that you can see reflection of light on the jelly surface. Push the jelly with your finger, looking to see if wrinkles form on the surface...(I'm sure there are much better descriptions of this elsewhere on the internet....). Be careful when handling hot jelly - you DO NOT want to get this on your skin....

We got 6 one pound jars of apple jelly using these quantities - now I need to invent a cake recipe involving apple jelly!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Hen

Just a quick wee postie, critter this time, inbetween the apple-related posts: 



Rather pleased with this one. I've made a chicken before, but he turned out to be a rooster so this time I wanted to aim for a nice brown laying hen. I've also gone for a bit more patterning with the tools, as well as colourful feathers here and there. Not sure about her expression - ??? whats she thinking about?




Thursday, 25 August 2011

Apple Mint Chutney (with garlic and chilli)

OK, another non-cake recipe, but as I sit here typing this blog post the whole house smells deliciously of this chutney I made last night so I can't resist. Besides, I have a tree in the garden heavily laden with cooking apples and also 33 empty glass jars to still fill...here's how I filled the first six of them:




4lb cooking apples - peeled, chopped, cored...takes ages but sit down with the TV/radio/music on and its soon done....then cook with 1/2pt white wine vinegar until thick and pulpy.
Then add:
1 lb tomatoes - chopped and (mostly) peeled
four or five chilli peppers - roughly chopped
about half a bulb worth of roughly chopped garlic
1/2 pt white wine vinegar
1 lb soft brown sugar
couple teaspoons each of ground ginger and mixed spice
one red onion, peeled and chopped into big chunks
one teaspoon salt



Bring up to heat and allow to bubble gently for about 30mins.
Add large handful of mint (roughly chopped) and allow to bubble for another 5 mins.



Turn the heat off and allow to cool a little (still its stopped bubbling). Place into clean jars whilst still hot, and lid. This filled six 1lb jam jars for me :-)
No idea what it will taste like....but the smell alone is worth it!!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Busy modelling....

Just a quick post, while I complete the latest collection for New Zealand. So far I've done two lambs, two pigs and one goat....



I'm particularly pleased with the goat - he didn't look right until I added the 'goatee' but now I think he's my favourite.



I've had to order more varnish, and some more FIMO. So now I've got plenty...in livestock colours




Looking forward to the challenge of doing fish :-S

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Gluten Free Group on facebook

For more gluten free recipes of all sorts (not just cakes) have a look at my facebook group:
The Gluten Free Group:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=37306498422

Its open to everyone and has a whole range of recipes, tips, restaurant lists etc contributed to by members  - although the recipes are mostly mine and 'Aunty Karlas'...(who invented the most fabulous word "bakexperimenting" to describe what we do)

Of course, the more people who join the group the better, since we can all share recipes and local knowledge about restaurants and cafes catering for gluten free diets.

One day we really will have to write that cookbook we keep talking about....

Aunty Karla's apricot and almond cakes

Oh dear, long time no post! This recipe should more than make up for it. If you omit the egg, this one is vegan as well as gluten free and lactose free...clever aunty Karla



110g rice flour
60g (approx) ground almonds
100ml olive oil
200ml water
pinch of salt
baking powder (1 tsp)
chopped dried apricots (about 75-100g)
almond essence (about 1-2 tbsp)
sugar (anything from 80-150g)
1 egg (for the non-vegans)
Mix the oil and water. Add the dry ingredients, adjusting the sugar amount to taste. Add almond essence to taste, the amount above is a guide. Mix well, add the egg if no vegans around (!!). Chop the almonds and mix in. The mixture is quite sloppy but don't worry. If it seems too sloppy, you can add more almonds.



Divide into 12 bun cases.
Bake at 160-180C for about 20 mins, until light golden brown.
Aunty Karla has made chocolate versions as well as some with mixed spice so this is a very versatile recipe - enjoy!

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