Archive for the Competitions Category

Succulent Strawberries

As the days lengthen and the sporting calendar has a brief break from league football, the first crops of summer berries arrive. English strawberries and cream are synonymous with tennis at Wimbledon.Strawberries in hand2 The berries contain plant compounds called dietary flavonoids, also found in blackberries. Dietary flavonoids may prevent heart disease by helping to dilate blood vessels and by countering the build-up of plaque which can cause blockages in the coronary arteries.

I make a variety of preserves with strawberries from jams to syrups. As the berries are low in pectin, strawberry jam is one of the hardest to make, without the addition of other high-pectin fruits. I make strawberry jam every year, in response to requests from family and friends, and as a refresher for judging it at competitions. Also, this year I’ll be making strawberry and black currant curd and strawberry syrup. The curd is a vibrant, luscious confection, perfect as a filling in sponges and Continue reading Succulent Strawberries

Self-publishing ebooks – Guild of Food Writers’ Presentation 17th April

First PreservesThe experience of self-publishing an ebook is similar to one with a hardback. As a self-publisher I was responsible for every stage- the text, photography, publishing and marketing. Since 2012 I have published four cookery ebooks using Apple software. 
I sell them on iBookstore, and promote them on-line.

In 2011 I published First Preserves: Marmalades, Jams, Chutneys in hardback.

Towards the end of the year I became aware
of a growing market for ebooks, Continue reading Self-publishing ebooks – Guild of Food Writers’ Presentation 17th April

Fruit Curds: Make and Bake – ebook

Lemon Curd and more..Fruit curds are a decadent alternative to jam. They are popular as a spread and as a baking ingredient. Fruit Curds: Make and Bake is my fourth multi-touch ebook. It leads the reader through the simple process of making and baking traditional fruit curds with reliable recipes. Beautiful, illustrated recipes will entice the reader to make and bake with luscious curds.

There are detailed explanations of each stage of the curd-making process, from the preparation to how to fill and seal the jars, illustrated with galleries of colour photographs and embedded videos.
It has tried-and-tested recipes for both
the novice and the experienced cook. Continue reading Fruit Curds: Make and Bake – ebook

Marmalade Awards

In January 2008, a feature about the World’s Original Marmalade Festival by Dan Lepard in the Telegraph Magazine, grabbed my attention. Marmalade recipesThe sight of WI Judges in their distinctive white coats inspecting jars of marmalade with different colours, shapes and labels reminded me of the enjoyment I experience as a WI Preserves Judge. Continue reading Marmalade Awards

How to make Marmalade – Now

Seville Orange Marmalade – Made Easy

As well as being informative, videos are great fun to make.

For a limited period of time, I would like to share with you my video about making Seville Orange Marmalade. The video is usually only available inside my ebook First Preserves: Marmalades.

Those of you who have already bought First Preserves: Marmalades please update it to receive the video.

Please let me know what you think about the video and my books, have fun making marmalade

The Video “Making Seville Orange Marmalade”

This video is now available on my new web site

How to make Marmalade

Seville Orange Marmalade – Made Easy

For me, the new year heralds the arrival of Seville oranges and getting to know my kitchen intimately as I juice, slice, simmer and boil the fruit into marmalade. Seville oranges have a short season, from late December to the end of February. Recipes for orange marmalade have been recorded since the early seventeenth century, but the marmalade we enjoy today was developed by the Victorians and Seville orange marmalade is the king of marmalades.

The walls of Seville oranges are tough and the inside full of pips.These provide masses of pectin, a gum-like substance and helps the marmalade to set. When it is combined with the correct percentage of sugar it creates the traditional jelly-like consistency. I select Sevilles with a rich orange colour, and a characteristic aroma.They are an economical fruit as 1kg of Sevilles will yield 3kg of marmalade. I have made marmalade with both organic and non-organic Sevilles, but the slightly higher price per kilo for Ave Maria organic Sevilles is worth paying. This organic variety has a more intense aroma and flavour in marmalade than the usual non-organic varieties, so hunt them out. Continue reading How to make Marmalade

Lemons and Limes – A Marriage for Marmalade

My 2013 delivery of organic Seville oranges is due from Leigh Court Farm near Bristol on 5th January. Their arrival will mark the start of juicing, slicing, simmering and boiling to produce the king of marmalades.To get myself into marmalade mode before the Sevilles arrive, I like to make lemon and lime marmalade. Although these citrus fruits are available all year, different varieties appear in markets during the winter months. I like to use Eureka or Lisbon lemons for their high acid and juice content. With limes I prefer the large Persian, Tahiti or Bearss lime from Florida and Brazil. The best fruit is thin-skinned, juicy, firm to the touch, and free from blemishes on the skin. Avoid small-fruited acid citrus varieties with dark, tough green skins-Kabosu, Makrut Lime or Combavas and Sudachi. They are small-fruited acid types and better suited as flavouring in soups, curries and salads. Continue reading Lemons and Limes – A Marriage for Marmalade

Christmas Gift Swap at Rococo

Who can resist chocolate, especially when it is combined with a behind the scenes visit to Rococo? Following the successful Ndali Vanilla Gift Swap at Fortnum and Mason in September, I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in a Christmas gift swap, organised by Vanessa Kimbell and hosted by Chantal Coady of Rococo. Winner of The Academy of Chocolate “Chocolatier of the Year” , 2011 and 2012, Rococo is the largest producer of hand-crafted chocolate in Britain and well known for developing chocolates with distinct flavours. Founder and Creative Director, Chantal Coady is responsible for a seismic shift towards ethical trade in chocolate and she has influenced the current generation of chocolatiers working in London. Continue reading Christmas Gift Swap at Rococo

Easy Edible Gifts

As the festive season draws near, my thoughts turn to making preserves to give as gifts.
The “what can I give” question is answered quickly with a collection of attractively packaged jars, although a gift from me will be free of gingham.

Each year I return to favourite recipes for Mincemeat, Jellies and Chutneys. This year a glut of chillies has encouraged me to widen my range of chilli preserves beyond chutneys, jams and marmalades. Chilli Jam is an uncomplicated recipe with a small list of ingredients. I vary the heat of the jam by using different chillies.This year, with over 20 varieties to choose from, I have opted for a number of Habaneros. Serve Chilli Jam with cheese, cold meats and seafood.

Candied Peel is a different product to the chopped peel found in supermarkets. A display of Amalfi lemons, in a local grocery store inspired me to rediscover Candied Peel, Continue reading Easy Edible Gifts

Fortnum and Mason’s Chutney Champion

To coincide with the arrival of Autumn, Fortnum and Mason held a two day Artisan Market, showcasing some of their most talented producers so that customers could taste their autumn creations and quiz them on techniques. Guy Tullberg from Tracklements made chutney in the demonstration kitchen on the First Floor and Steve Benbow, Fortnum’s beemaster provided honeycomb to taste. I was delighted to meet Liz Knight from Forage Fine Foods and taste her wonderful products, especially the Rose Petal Preserve.
Fortnum’s had also invited chutney enthusiasts to enter the first Fortnum’s Chutney Challenge and have their creations judged by Continue reading Fortnum and Mason’s Chutney Champion