The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...

Followers

Friday, August 01, 2008

Frog A La Peche

Our current freezer cannot cope with the summer fruit crops. I found room for two pound bags of gooseberries but still had four pounds left. I gave a pound to Jean and she has put the remainder in her freezer for me. Roll on getting the utility room finished...

I made the mistake of mentioning that Gordon Ramsay had made a gooseberry and elderflower crumble on The f word a couple of weeks back. 'Oh good' said Jean, 'You can make it and bring it to our barbecue on Wednesday'.

Tuesday was alpine strawberry sorbet day. I used the Joy of Baking recipe - I refuse to call it Jamie Oliver's recipe. I struggled with getting our food processor out of the cupboard and then all the bits from the box. Aha I thought - there is a blender attachment. I piled in a load of strawberries and turned it on. The bottom half a centimetre of strawberries got blitzed but that was about all. I scraped it out into the main bowl and started again, this time with a lot greater success. Made the sugar syrup, mixed it all together and put bowl in the freezer. Back out in the evening into the food processor and re-blitzed. Back into bowl and freezer over night. I repeated the process in the morning and put resulting gloop into a proper freezer container. A very messy process - strawberry puree seems to have a life of its own - but a lot easier than the previous recipe. Haven't tried it yet, and still got strawberries coming out of my ears...

Wednesday - Gooseberry crumble day. I really would have liked to have a practice run before having to present it to Jean - she would have no qualms in telling me if it was not up to scratch...

I wasn't sure how this would work out. For a start he was using fresh gooseberries whilst I had defrosted the two pounds from my freezer. His crumble topping was using equal quantities of flour, butter and sugar. My trusted recipe used 2/1/1 so I compromised - even so it felt like too much butter as I was rubbing it in. He had added hazelnuts to the topping - I didn't have any but I did have a good supply of walnuts...

I was doubling up on quantities from his recipe and decided straight away I was going to have to prepare the gooseberries in two batches - it just would not all fit in the pan. So, preheat a frying pan and heat sugar and orange zest. I have never done this before. I think the first batch I hadn't heated the pan enough and it took an age for the sugar to melt. And then when I added the gooseberries, fresh orange juice and elderflower cordial it formed big lumps. However, when I turned the heat right up it did seem to melt back into the mixture. I was a lot better at this on the second batch. I put all the fruit and syrupy mixture into my new large pie dish.

So we headed over to Jean's, with me balancing the pie dish on my lap, and the crumble in a bowl on the floor of the car. It was all assembled at Jean's. I wasn't sure how long it needed to be cooked for as Gordon Ramsay had divided his into separate small individual dishes. In the end it took about half an hour, as opposed to 10-12 minutes on his recipe - I guess my crumble topping was a lot thicker than his. Luckily it was a success, and the dish was scraped clean...

Today has been raspberry jam day. Morrisons was out of jam sugar yet again when we went shopping yesterday so I bought some pectin and normal sugar. As we headed home it started to rain and did not stop for the rest of the day. This morning was the same until about 11 a.m. when it stopped and the sun broke through. When Paul got back from Duns I went straight out to the wild raspberry stand. An hour and a half and three pounds picked. I could easily have picked as much again. Just over five pounds of jam made after lunch. I think the jam pan can be put away now until the brambles are ready - I am also running out of room in the 'jam cupboard'.

There are only so many things you can do with wild raspberries and alpine strawberries. But maybe I should be more adventurous - there appears to be an abundant supply of toads around at the moment...

1 comment:

Paul said...

For those who do not understand the title, you may wish to read Peter Cook and Dudley Moore - The Frog and Peach

Blog Archive

Contributors