Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Damson jam

A couple of weeks ago I spotted Damsons for sale at our local organic shop. (Yes it has taken me all this time to write about it sorry!). We do have a Damson plum tree but it is very small and a long way off fruiting, so I was thrilled to see Damsons for sale and promptly bought the lot!

These little tart plums are excellent for jams and sauces. They are definitely on the small side - almost the size of very large grapes, and as such it would have been a bit fiddly to try to remove the stones (I don't have an olive pitter, probably would be a good investment for next time!). Instead I just cut into the fruit before putting it in the pot, and spent a bit of time once the jam was set removing the stones prior to bottling. I used this recipe and made up several batches. I'm really pleased with the quality of the jam, it set really well and has a lovely dark colour and taste.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Busy bumble bees

Just sharing a couple of photos of a bumble bee. It is feeding on the flower of our native Hibiscus, which grows like a weed and forms a ground cover out the front here - it seems to love the stone we had put down when our driveway was formed. As you can see the bee is totally covered in dark orange pollen!

Here is the flower without the bee on it:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rangpur lime marmalade

It's been a while since I've made any marmalade. In fact, it seems I last made up a batch of lime marmalade in 2009 according to this blog!

The Rangpur limes have by far been the hardiest and quickest growing of all of our citrus trees. They have handled drought, storms and a bit of neglect pretty well. They consistently have fruit on them. All this is much appreciated since the other citrus, especially the lemons, are growing quite slowly.

Recently I was giving the lower branches a prune so that G could mow underneath and in the process knocked/chopped off a few fruit. It seemed appropriate to turn them into marmalade!

This time around I used a recipe from a fantastic book I received as a gift from my dear Mother and Father, The Gentle Art of Preserving, by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi.

The recipe I chose for this batch of marmalade was the Vivien Lloyd's Lemon and Lime Marmalade.

And I'm very pleased with the result. To some of the jars I added a tablespoon of Cointreau or Rum as per the "Merry" marmalade recipe this one refers to. Will make some very nice gifts. I will do this one again for sure.