Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Stawberry Raspberry Jam

Aren't cousins the best :) Ayla just adores her cousin Alana and was driving me crazy to see her this weekend.  So I phoned my sister in law and they dropped by with a beautiful basket of fresh picked Strawberrys and Raspberries from the local farm on Sunday.  To return the favour I (and keep my kids busy) I decided to make a batch of Jam we could give them from the lovely berries.  If you've never made jam you should try it.  You just can't beat homemade.

You'll need some clean glass jars.  I like to recycle used jars and keep a few lying around for occasions like these.  I remove the labels and run them through the dishwasher.  When I'm ready to use them I wash the jars and lids with very hot soapy water then place them on a baking tray in the oven at 140C for 15 minutes to sterilize them.

While my jars where in the oven I measured out 500g of mixed strawberrys and raspberries.  

Then I poured them in a saucepan and added 500g Jam Sugar (that's sugar with pectin already added)

Then I scraped in the seeds from a vanilla bean pod

Then mix it all up.  I use a fork and mush the berries.  The kids will enjoy helping with this part.  

Once the berries are all mushed put the saucepan on medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to boil.  Let mixture continue to boil for 5 minutes.  

Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  (Your jars should be ready to come out of the oven by now as well).

Fill your jars and allow to cool completely.  You can put the kids to work making labels :)

Monday, 29 July 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Pie seems to be in fashion at the moment.  I was actually thinking of making one last week but put it off.  But in the last week I've seen post after post on FB, etc of Lemon and Key Lime pies so I have given in and whipped up my favorite version....


For the crust:
1 packet digestive biscuits crushed
3 tablespoons butter melted

For the filling:
2 14oz cans sweetend condensed milk
200ml fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
8 egg yolks

For the topping:
8 egg whites
100 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon cream of tartar


Crush the digestive biscuits into a fine crumb.  You can use a food processor, but I just poured mine into a bowl and crushed with a heavy drinking glass until I had a fine crumb.  Melt 3 tablespoons butter and pour into the biscuit.  Mix well and press into a 9 inch pie plate.  Bake at 180C /350F/ Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes.   Remove from oven and prepare your filling.

Combine the condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest in a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Pour filling into prepared pie crust.  Bake at 180C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes.  While your filling is in the oven prepare the meringue topping.

Place eggwhites, sugar and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Remove pie from oven after first 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/ 300F/ Gas Mark 2.  Spoon meringue onto the top of pie spreading all the way to the ends.  Use as much as you like, you may not need to use all of the meringue.  Use the back of a spoon to form peaks on the meringue.  Place pie back in oven and bake for approx 20 minues.  Keep an eye on it and remove when meringue is golden.

Cool completely then refridgerate over night (or at least 4 hours) before serving.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Probably the most delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe ever ...............

and its sooooo simple to make!

What you'll need:
225ml whole milk
160g sugar
a big hand full of fresh mint, washed
5 egg yolks
600ml double cream
chocolate chips

In a saucepan, heat the milk and sugar while stirring until the sugar is dissolved, do not boil.

Remove from heat, set aside a couple of mint sprigs and add the rest of the mint to the milk mixture.  Let sit covered for 1 hour.

Seperate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a small bowl.

Return mixture to medium heat and stir for 1 minute.  Add a bit of the milk mixture (about 60ml) to the eggs a little at a time.  This is to slowly raise the temperature of the eggs so they won't cook when you add them to the milk.  Add egg mixture to the milk stirring constantly until the mixture thickens into a custard that coats the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.

Pour the double cream into a medium bowl.  Put a fine sieve on top and pour the milk mixture into the cream through the sieve.  Discard any bits that do not go through the sieve.

Give it a stir and add the reserved mint sprigs to the mixure.  Refridgerate over night.

Remove the fresh mint  and add a bit of green food colouring, if desired,
before freezing in an ice cream maker.  Mix in chocolate chips and pour into a freezer container.  Freeze for 4 hours before serving.

Don't have an Ice Cream Maker? Don't worry!  You can still have yummy home made ice cream, it just requires a bit more elbow grease.   Pour the Ice Cream mixture into a freezer container.  Remove after 30 minutes and give it a good stir making sure the break up any frozen bits.  Continue this process every 30 minutes for 3 hours.  Then let the mixture freeze for 4 hours before serving.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Mommy I want Dora Cake...

I don't know why I thought I could talk him out of it.  My Son LOVES Dora.  And truthfully, it doesn't bother me that he is a bit obsessed with the cartoon.  I could think of worse things.  But all the party stuff looks so girly.  So I tried for over a month to convince him he wanted something else.  A conversation would typically go something like this.

Me browsing at pics on the computer:  Ohhh Evren, look at these cakes.  Do you like Spiderman?
Evren walking over to the computer:  I like cake.
Me while showing him pics of various cakes on the computer: What kind of cake do you want for your Birthday?  Do you want a Spiderman Cake
Evren: Nooo
Me: Do you want a Super Hero Cake
Evren: Noooo
Me: How about a Monster Cake?
Evren:  No Mommy, I want Dora Cake!

I might manage to distract him for a brief moment, but he would always come back to it.  So I gave in.  It had to be Dora.  So here is my attempt at a hopefully not too girly Dora Cake.

And just look at that grin :)  Priceless!

 Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet little Man.