Holly Grove kitchen garden has been swinging into full production; amongst the produce have been raspberries and blackcurrants...lots of the little blighters! Yesterday, though the garden was tempting me out, I remained resolute and stayed in the kitchen for a bit of baking and preserving.
Starting with the raspberries, I made a very simple fruit yoghurt - basically greek yoghurt layered with raspberries. I used the ripest berries for this, leaving it overnight for the juices to run into the yoghurt and ready for my breakfast this morning. One and a half pounds of raspberries I used to make raspberry jam, only a small quantity, but full of fruit. The remainder of the raspberries together with some of the blackcurrants were used to make another Berry Crumble cake.
Then on to the blackberries; aside from the small quantity in the cake, one pound of fruit was used to make Blackberry jam and the rest, about two pounds, was juiced.
With the jam gleaming at me through the glass jars I felt that I really ought to make some scones - you can't spend time making jam and not have scones to eat it on.
So a productive day in the kitchen and here are the recipes for scones and jam...
Almost Seedless Raspberry Jam
Makes about 1lb
1tsp lemon juice
12ozs granulated sugar
Put the raspberries in a heavy-based pan and bring slowly to the boil, mashing the fruit with a wooden spoon to release the juices. Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the fruit is very soft and lots of juices have been released.
Press the fruit pulp and juice through a fine sieve into a bowl, this may take a while and you may end up with a few pips in the pulp if, like me, you press too hard to release the pulp for jam. Discard the raspberry pips left in the sieve and measure the pulp in a measuring jug - I had about three quarters of a pint.
Return the pulp to the clean pan and add the lemon juice together with the sugar - 1lb of sugar for every pint of pulp and juice. Bring slowly to the boil stirring to ensure that the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly until a set is achieved. Remove from the heat and stir in a knob of butter, this will help to clear the jam. The pour into prepared jam jars and seal and label.
Makes about 8
8ozs self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1oz castor sugar
a little milk
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a food processor. Add the butter and blitz to fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and pulse to mix through the crumb mixture. With the processor running, slowly add a small amount of milk until the mix comes together forming a soft dough. Be careful not to over process or you'll end up with dry scones.
Turn out the dough onto a floured board and bring together into a ball. Gently press the dough out into a round about two inches deep and cut out scones with a two inch cutter. Place the scones close together (but not touching) on a baking sheet and brush the tops with a little milk.
Place in the preheated oven at 230C for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a clean cloth on a cooling rack and cover with the cloth. This will ensure that your scones stay soft, that's if you can resist eating them almost immediately with that delicious raspberry jam that you've just jarred up!
Note: You can, of course, make the scones without a food processor. Simply create the crumb mix by rubbing in the butter with your fingers to make the fine breadcrumbs. Then add the sugar and stir in. Finally bring the dough together by hand using a little milk.