January 06, 2011 by
Cooking delicious dishes for our friends and family is one of the things that I and Marika love doing during the Christmas holidays.
We though of starting the New Year with a recipe that has been very successful: mandarin marmalade, with ginger, cinnamon and Veuve Cliquot champagne.
The beauty of this recipe is that we used the Veuve Cliquot champagne leftover from Christmas Eve. To tell you the truth, there was not much left over, but it was enough to make this marmalade fantastic!
2 lb organic mandarins
1 lemon juice
1lb brown sugar
18 fl oz water
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2tbsp Veuve Cliquot Champagne
Wash the mandarins and peel them. Cut half of the peels in small strips.
Cut the mandarin inside in small pieces (you are free to remove the seeds. We don’t do that because seeds are full of pectin and we don’t mind finding them in our marmalade).
Boil the water with sugar, until the sugar is completely melted. Add the peel strips, mandarins and lemon juice and cook over medium heat for about two hours, stirring so that the marmalde does not stick.
Add the grated ginger, cinnamon and the Veuve champagne and keep cooking at low flame for other 15 minutes.
This marmalade is perfect to be eaten by itself on top of bread, or with cheese.
What is your favorite dish you make with leftovers?
May 24, 2009 by
Making pear jam is one of those things that brings me and Marika to our childhood, when we were preparing it with our Grandmother: not only the smell in the house while we prepare it, but also the taste when we spread the delicious on a piece of warm bread.
I and Marika belong to the very traditional school when we come to making preserves. We don’t use any pectin nor any water!
We know that the pectin would reduce the time to prepare our jam. But we really don’t care: you need time and patience if you want an excellent result. We want to know that anything else goes into our pear jam but organic pears (from our father’s garden) and sugar. You may also use honey, which is the ancient Roman way of preparing jams.
The key when you make your fruit preserve is the quantity of sugar you use.
Sugar is one of those ingredients (along with salt and vinegar) which have very important properties in preserving food. Sugar helps to preserve food by lowering the water activity, so preventing the growth of bacteria and fostering the microbiological stability of the product.
The quantity of sugar depends on the fruit you are using (which can have more or less sugar content). In general you need a minimum of 600 – 650 grams of sugar per each kg of fruit, if you want to store your jam for up to one year.
We totally agree with Christine Ferber: the secret for a very good jam is the quality of the fruit you are using. Therefore, our pears need to be of very high quality and not too ripe!
We also like to keep the skin of our pears, because of their high quantity of vitamins.
servings: about 20 little jars
4 kg pears
2,5 kg sugar
Cut the pears in small pieces, add the sugar and start cooking in a very big and tall steel pan. Cover with a lid and stir very often with a wooden spoon, so that the compound does not stick or burn.
Once the pears start boiling, reduce the flame to the minimum, cover and keep cooking. Stir very frequently. Cook at very low flame for at least 1 hour and half or until when the preserve reaches the right consistency.
To check the consistency, put a few drops of jam in a glass with some cold water. If the jam drops fall down to the bottom without melting, it means the jam is ready.
Our recipe is to keep some small pieces of pears, therefore we don’t pass it through a food processor.
In the meantime, sterilize the glass jars and lids in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Let the jars cool down. Fill them when the pear jam is still very warm and within ½ inch of the top! Close the jars very well.
Our Grandmother’s method is to keep the jears upside down for about 5 minutes.
I and Marika like to be super safe so we boil the jars again for about 40 minutes at low flame. Then, place the jars in a warm place and cover with a blanket so that they don’t break.
What is your favorite jam?