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WEEKEND-Make a batch.

Summary: 'Tis the season for berries! Preserve their flavours before they're gone with these creative ideas. Recipes SARA BUENFELD

STERILISE YOUR JARS

Wash your jars, bottles and lids in hot soapy water, then rinse well. Place jars on a baking tray and dry in a low oven. Keep them warm until you need them.

Gooseberry & hazelnut slices

MAKES 16 PREP 45 MINS COOK 30 MINS Easy

Butter, for the tin

320g sheet chilled shortcrust pastry

400g gooseberries

3 tbsp elderflower cordial (optional)

25g cornflour

140g caster sugar

FOR THE SPONGE

200g soft butter

200g caster sugar

100g ground hazelnuts

100g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

4 large eggs, beaten

TO DECORATE

100g icing sugar, sifted

1 tbsp elderflower cordial or water

50g toasted hazelnuts, chopped

1 Heat oven to 200C/180C fan. Grease the base and sides of a deep 20 x 30cm tin. Unroll the pastry sheet and use it to line the tin, pressing into the base and sides. Line with baking parchment and baking beans, then bake blind for 15 mins. Remove the paper and beans, then bake for 5 mins more. Reduce oven to 180C/160C fan.

2 Meanwhile, put the gooseberries in a pan with the elderflower cordial, if using, and 3 tbsp water. If you're not using the cordial, use 6 tbsp water. Cover and cook for 5 mins until the berries start to break down. Mix the cornflour and sugar together, then add to the gooseberry mixture and stir continuously until thickened. Spread evenly over the pastry.

3 Put all the ingredients for the sponge in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Spread evenly over the gooseberry mixture and bake for 25 mins until golden and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin. 4 To decorate, mix the icing sugar with the cordial or water to make a smooth icing. Drizzle over the cake and scatter over the nuts. Leave until set, then cut into fingers.

PER SLICE 413 kcals, protein 5g, carbs 45g, fat 23g, sat fat 9g, fibre 2g, sugar 32g, salt 0.6g

HOW TO FREEZE

Once cooled, wrap in cling film, then foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature for about 5 hrs before decorating and slicing

Jumbleberry jam

MAKES APPROX 4KG (8-9 JARS) EASILY HALVED PREP 15 MINS COOK 10-12 MINS Easy

This makes a great jam that's packed with summery flavour. I tend to use twice the number of strawberries to balance seedy fruit, such as blackberries.

2kg mixed summer berries (we used 1kg halved strawberries, 500g blackberries and 500g mixed currants)

Juice of 2 lemons

2 packs jam sugar with pectin

1 Before you start, sterilise your jars and put a plate in the freezer to chill.

2 Tip the berries, lemon juice and sugar into a preserving pan. Gently heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has melted and fruits are juicy.

3 Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and drop a little of the mixture onto the chilled plate. Push your finger through it; it should wrinkle and have set like jam.

If it doesn't, boil for 2 mins more, then test again and, if necessary, keep repeating until it's ready.

4 The top of the jam may look like it has sediment on it, but if you stir it well as it cools, it should disappear. Allow to cool and settle for 10-15 mins before ladling into sterilised jars and sealing. The jam will keep unopened for 1 year but, once opened, store in the fridge.

PER SPOONFUL (15g) 31 kcals, protein none, carbs 8g, fat none, sat fat none, fibre none, sugar 8g, salt none

Strawberry-mallow cheesecake

CUTS INTO 12 SLICES PREP 40 MINS PLUS CHILLING COOK 25-30 MINS A little effort Vit C

Cheesecakes can be quite heavy, but this marshmallow-studded one is mousse-like.

7 sheets leaf gelatine

500g strawberries, plus a few

extra small ones, halved, to serve

100ml milk

250g tub ricotta

140g caster sugar

300ml double cream

400g bag pink and white marshmallows, snipped into quarters, or use mini ones

icing sugar, for dusting

FOR THE SHORTBREAD BASE

175g cold butter, chopped

200g plain flour

85g caster sugar

Little sunflower oil, for the tin

1 First, make the shortbread base. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture makes a sticky dough. You can do this by hand or in a food processor. Press evenly into the base of a non-stick 26cm springform tin and smooth with the back of a metal spoon. Prick all over with a fork, then bake for 25-30 mins until pale golden. Cool, then carefully oil the sides of the tin using kitchen paper.

2 To make the filling, soak the gelatine in cold water for a few mins to soften. Meanwhile, puree the strawberries in a food processor or with a hand blender until very smooth, then rub through a sieve to remove all the seeds. Pour the milk into a small pan and warm gently. Squeeze the gelatine of excess water, add to the milk, then remove from the heat and stir to dissolve. Cool.

3 Stir the strawberry puree, gelatine mixture, ricotta and sugar together until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until it softly holds its shape, then fold into the strawberry mixture with three-quarters of the marshmallows.

4 Carefully pour onto the cooled base and scatter over the remaining marshmallows. Cover the tin with cling film and chill until firm, preferably overnight. Cheesecake can be made 2 days ahead if kept chilled.

5 Carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin. Decorate with extra berries and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

PER SERVING 523 kcals, protein 7g, carbs 60g, fat 28g, sat fat 18g, fibre 1g, sugar 43g, salt 0.3g

HOW TO FREEZE

Wrap cheesecake with cling film and foil, and freeze it in the tin for up to 6 weeks.

To serve, thaw completely in the fridge before decorating.

Raspberry cordial

MAKES 700ML EASILY DOUBLED PREP 10 MINS COOK 10 MINS Easy

500g raspberries

500g caster sugar

3 tbsp vinegar

1 Put the raspberries in a pan with the sugar and vinegar. Mash over a low heat for 10 mins until smooth and syrupy. Rub through a sieve into a clean pan.

2 Tip the seeds from the sieve into a bowl and stir in 300ml water, then sieve again to remove the last of the pulp from seeds. Pour the liquid into the pan with the sieved pulp, stir well and boil for 1 min. Pour into small sterilised bottles and seal. The cordial will keep unopened for a few months. Once opened, store in the fridge.

PER SERVING (1 part cordial to 4 parts water) 78 kcals, protein none, carbs 19g, fat none, sat fat none, fibre 1g, sugar 19g, salt none

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Publication:BBC GoodFood Middle East
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Jul 30, 2013
Words:1177
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