It will soon be that time of year when your tummies will be full and your fingers will be flushed from picking ripe summer berries. July is the best month for harvesting raspberries; a wonderful sweet treat that is high in fibre, low in calories and jam packed full of vitamin C!
Of course you can use them in baking, serve them with cream or why not make our simple cordial? Perfect for adding to lemonade or soda to make an ice-cold refreshing drink, drizzled over fruit and ice-cream for a summer treat or even used as a cocktail mixer if you’re feeling indulgent!
- 500g raspberries
- 500g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Put the raspberries in a pan with the sugar and vinegar. Mash over a low heat for 10 mins until smooth and syrupy. Rub through a sieve into a clean pan.
- Tip the seeds from the sieve into a bowl and stir in 300ml water, then sieve again to remove the last of the pulp from seeds. Pour the liquid into the pan with the sieved pulp, stir well and boil for 1 min. Pour into small sterilised bottles and seal. The cordial will keep unopened for a few months, however once opened, store in the fridge.
- Add ice to long glass, fill with lemonade, top with raspberry cordial and make your way outside, book optional! Enjoy x
*Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food Guide.
Remember remember the 5th of November!
Make sure your Bonfire Night party gets off to the right start with my favourite tried and (very much) tested home made toffee apples. (Courtesy of BBC Good Food Guide).
Home Made Toffee Apples
- 8 Granny Smiths Apples
- 400g golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp golden syrup
- Place the apples in a large bowl, then cover with boiling water (you may have to do this in 2 batches). This will remove the waxy coating and help the caramel to stick (incredibly important!). Dry thoroughly and twist off any stalks. Push a wooden skewer or lolly stick into the stalk end of each apple.
- Lay out a sheet of baking parchment and place the apples on this, close to your stovetop. Tip the sugar into a pan along with 100ml water and set over a medium heat. Cook for 5 mins until the sugar dissolves, then stir in the vinegar and syrup. Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil to 140C or ‘hard crack’ stage. If you don’t have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.
- Working quickly and carefully, dip and twist each apple in the hot toffee until covered, let any excess drip away, then place on the baking parchment to harden. You may have to heat the toffee a little if the temperature drops and it starts to feel thick and viscous. Leave the toffee to cool before eating. Can be made up to 2 days in advance, stored in a dry place.
A really nice ending to a wonderful evening is to hand out small gifts, and what better gift than showing off your clever culinary skills! Bonfire night just wouldn’t be complete with out Bonfire toffee! Another of my favourite recipes is below, this is a really easy recipe, great for those starting out in toffee making!
Home Made Bonfire Toffee (also know as Plot Toffee)
- 4oz (100g) butter
- 8oz (200g) sugar
- 4oz (100g) treacle
- 4oz (100g) golden syrup
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- When melted stir in the sugar, syrup & treacle.
- Boil steadily without stirring until the mixture reaches the ‘hard crack stage’. To test this simply drop a teaspoonful of the hot mixture into a saucer of cold water. If the toffee starts to harden then it’s ready. If it doesn’t, keep boiling and testing it until this stage is reached. The longer you boil the mixture the harder the toffee will become, but keep the heat at medium so it doesn’t burn.
- Once ready pour the toffee mixture into a lightly greased baking tray and leave to cool.
- Once cool, break into pieces with a toffee hammer and serve or wrap in cellophane bags to give as a gift.
Remember take extra care as the mixture will be extremely hot.
Our 100% Homemade Storage Jars are great for pickling and preserving, not only are they the perfect size they look stylish too! To get you started I have added my favourite Seedless Raspberry Jam recipe (courtesy of Good Food Magazine) below. Not only is this the perfect recipe for first time jammers it tastes super duper too!
- 1kg raspberries
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1kg bag jam sugar (the one with pectin added)
- Before you start, sterilise your jars and put a plate in the freezer to chill. Tip half the raspberries into a preserving pan and add the lemon juice. Mash the berries to a pulp over the heat with a potato masher, then leave to cook for 5 mins. Tip the cooked berries into a sieve over a bowl, then once all of the juice has drained off, firmly work the pulp through the sieve with a wooden spoon until you are left with just the seeds.
- Tip the juice and pulp back into the preserving pan and stir in the sugar. Heat gently, then add the remaining whole raspberries. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and drop a little jam onto the chilled plate. Now push your finger through itâ it should wrinkle and look like jam. If it doesn’t, boil for 2 mins, then test again.
- The top of the jam may look like it has sediment on it, but I find that if you stir it well as it cools, a little of this disappears. Pour into your 100% Homemade Jars and seal. It will keep unopened for a year, although the lovely bright colour will darken a little. Once open, keep in the fridge.