Damson Jam

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I love jam, all flavours whether it’s store-bought or homemade I can’t resist it. Spread it on hot croissants, brioche, swirl through porridge, sandwiched with  peanut butter or my favourite on good crusty bread, it’s my favourite way to eat it. Sometimes simple things are better.

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Speaking of simple things, like most jam recipes this one is very simple and easy to prepare, however you do need to prepare the damsons in advance by leaving them to macerate in the sugar and lemon juice refrigerated for up to 2 days before you make the jam. Once its had it’s two days in the fridge and is ready to be used simply put them into a preserving pan, add some Amaretto and bubble away. Macerating the jam makes the flavour more concentrated and intense.

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I adore the smell and taste of Amaretto and added a decent amount, 3 tablespoons to be exact. Use as much or little as you like. It’s there to bring out the fruitiness of the fruit. To test for the setting point I use a thermometer. I find this method more accurate and this way your always going to have a jam that sets. Damson Jam 4

When we first viewed our house the little tree outside it had a few round, purple hued fruits hanging from it. Originally I thought them to be plums but when they started fruiting this year they we so much smaller than regular plums and darker too. We tried a couple and found them to be really tart and sour. Our investigation began!

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I fell in love with our home as soon as we saw it and I’m so delighted to have a lovely tree bearing fruit in the garden. We’ve seen it blossom in beautiful little pink flowers this past spring then gradually fruits began to develop on the tree. How exciting!

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We googled different types of plums and found out that we had a damson tree in the garden. These smaller than average plums are in prime season during late August, early September and are a deep purple shade. A tad too bitter to eat as they are, they are however perfect to bake with and what better way to put them to good use then make jam.

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The book this recipe is from in The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook – Rachel Saunders. If you like making jam both classic and ones with slight twists then I highly recommend this book. It’s listed in seasons and month’s for each chapter and it filled with delicious recipes. Marmalade and jams both in such mouth-watering flavours will make you wanting to try each and everyone. It’s a real jam lovers book.

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While making this tart preserve I forgot how much I love making jam. I was fortunate enough to get my preserving pan from my mum and recommend you seeking one out if you enjoy canning and preserving. The smell, the soft gentle bubbling of fruit and then the taste of freshly made jam is somewhat indescribable.

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Making jam is perfect for rainy, quite days. You can lose yourself in the soft simmer of jam and ponder on what to use it for other than smearing it over a nice slice of bread. I’ve already bookmarked a portion of this precious preserve for a scrumptious recipe, stay tuned to find out what it will be. For now I’m going to enjoy my ruby-red jam on a nice slice of sourdough, yum!

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Yields – Six 225 grams (8 ounce) Jars

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 pounds Damsons (pitted)
  • 1 1/2 pounds Caster sugar
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup – 5 teaspoons) Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur

Method

  1. Place the pitted damsons along with the sugar and lemon juice in a large container with a tight-fitting lid and leave to macerate in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
  2. Place damsons with all the juices and sugar into a preserving pan followed by the amaretto and bring to a boil. Simmer until you reach setting point 105C (220F). Keep on stirring frequently to make sure the sugar doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Transfer to sterilized jars and seal.

Notes

* To sterilise my jars I soak the jars and there lids in very hot soapy water for around 10-15 minutes. I then rinse them of under hot water and set them and the lids on a baking tray. Place them in a 160C, 140C(fan), 320F for 10 minutes to dry out. Be very careful not to touch the inside of any of the jars throughout this process as this will de-sterilise them.

* Recipe from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook – Rachel Saunders

* This Jam will last unopened for up to one year.

* Once opened store in the fridge for up to one month.

Honey Caramel Apple Bundt Cake #BundtBakers

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Nothing say’s hello to Autumn more than caramel and apples right? Slather some honey into the mix and you’ve got yourself a spruced up take on a sticky toffee apple but in cake form!

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This recipe is my entry in August’s Bundt Bakers which I am hosting. I chose this month’s theme which is honey and could not be happier with the outcome of this cake. I love honey and rarely bake with it. Things have gotta change here. I adore the smell of honey and the taste of it when baked into a cake, however make a honey caramel and you’ll be transported to a new level of caramel heavens.

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We’ve been experiencing some cooler weather here in the UK (thanks heavens) and it’s making me think and feel like autumn isn’t to far off. I love love love autumn, it’s my favourite season. I love baking autumn cakes and bakes and will grasp any opportunity to do so.

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In the last few months I’ve made a certain golden confection that I thought I’d never make myself. Caramel! I always thought it was really tricky and that I wouldn’t be able to make it but I’ve got news for you, it’s not hard at all. All you need to do is follow the instructions and always pay attention.

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So far I’ve made Salted Caramel which I used for my Salted Caramel Crunch Banana Bread, butterscotch caramel which I used for these amazing Brown Butter Peanut Butter Cookies Bars with Butterscotch Caramel Sauce and I also made a simple caramel for these Caramel Crunch Brownies. So as you can see I like my caramel a lot! Honey Caramel Apple Bundt Cake 6

If like me, you love your caramel then this recipe has your name on it. It also makes more caramel then you need, so perfect for drizzling on more tasty treats. One which I’ll have for you shortly which makes use of the honey caramel for this recipe. This recipe uses a method I’ve used a number of times when making my own caramel. Follow these easy steps and you’ll have a delicious homemade honey caramel.

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Get yourself a medium-sized, heavy based pan and to this add your sugar, honey and some water. Place over a medium and let it bubble until it turns an amber shade. Do not stir, but swirl the pan instead and if any sugar clings to the side of the pan, brush it off with a pastry brush dipped in water. Once it’s reached amber, remove from the heat right away, step back making sure you don’t put your face too close to the pan and add your butter and cream. It will foam and bubble up, simply stir to form a thick glossy caramel and transfer to a heat proof bowl to cool down. This will get drizzled all over your cake, sinking into the cake where it will meet more honey, crunchy apples and apple pie spice.

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The cake smells of honey, apple pie spice and once you cut in and take a bit you’ll be met with crunchy apples. It’s a very simple recipe which takes no time at all putting together. It’s oil based therefore it doesn’t contain butter or milk. As with moist oil recipes it’s a quick method of mixing all the wet ingredients together in one bowl and in another bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Stir the wet into the dry mixing until the dry ingredients just disappear. If you over mix this you’ll end up with a heavy and tough cake.

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Once you’ve mixed your ingredients together, you then add your diced apples. Scrape it into a pretty bundt tin and bake. Your on your way to a flavoursome autumnal cake.

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Whether your ready for autumn baking or not, this honey laced cake complete with apples, spice and caramel is what you’ve been waiting for to get you ready for autumn.

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Yields – One bundt cake

Ingredients

{cake}

  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) Rapeseed oil
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) Caster sugar
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) Honey
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla extract
  • 240 grams (2 cups) Plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of Maldon sea salt
  • 1 Bramley Apple (peeled, cored and diced)

{honey caramel}

  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) Caster sugar
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) Honey
  • 3 tablespoons Whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (325F) and spray a 10 inch bundt tin with cake release spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, caster sugar, honey, eggs and pure vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, apple pie spice, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together. Add this to the wet ingredients and gently fold together. Stop once the dry ingredients have just disappeared. Stir through the apple and scrape into your bundt tin. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the deepest part of the tin comes out clean.
  4. Once baked, transfer to a wire rack and leave for 15 minutes before inverting to the wire rack to cool completely. You can make the caramel while the cake is cooling.
  5. For the caramel, add the sugar, honey and 2 tablespoons of water to a medium, heavy based pan. Set over a medium heat and let it bubble until it reaches an amber colour. Do not stir, swirl the pan instead. If any sugar clings to the side of the pan brush down with a pastry brush dipped in water.
  6. Once the colour reaches amber remove from the heat right away and standing back add the cream and butter. Stir until smooth then transfer to a heat proof bowl. Once it’s cooled down slightly drizzle warm caramel over the cake.

Notes

* The recipe is from CSA.COM

* This will last for up to 3 days stored in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid.

* Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

* Extra honey caramel will last for 1 week stored covered in a bowl.

 

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

 

BundtBakers

 

No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream

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Five minutes are all it takes to make this ice cream and there is only one step involved. Don’t believe me, then try it for yourself!

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This summer has been about ice cream in this house. I’ve made four different kinds and devoured them all in record time. First there was the Rhubarb Frozen Yoghurt I made for Rhubarb month back in May, then I made the ultimate chocolate lovers ice cream in the form of The Darkest Chocolate ice cream in the World which I proceeded to stuff with these Caramel Crunch Brownies. So good!

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Followed by that I made a S’more themed Ice cream and lastly but by no means least I made up a batch of Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. So as you can imagine my ice cream machine has got quite the workout this Summer, so I thought it only fair to give it a rest and make a ridiculously easy no-churn version. No Churn Coffee Ice Cream 4

Four ingredients makes up this smooth and punchy ice cream. If you’re in dire need of a cool treat with a hit of espresso then this recipe is exactly what you may be looking for. Cream, condensed milk, instant espresso and Kahlua is a you need for this easy peasy recipe. Tip it all into the bowl of an electric mixer and whip until soft peaks form and that’s it!

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Seriously that’s all you need to do to make this ice cream. No ice cream machine required, you don’t need to mess around with making a custard base or heating mixtures to certain temperatures. Just whip it up, transfer it to a plastic container and pop it in the freezer until scoopable. It’s embarrassingly easy really. No Churn Coffee Ice Cream 6

Even though it’s not a proper ice cream if you’re getting all technical here, it tastes and has the texture of the ice cream your used to. Smooth, creamy, silky, all the trademarks of a proper ice cream.

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Be sure to use a good quality espresso as you will be able to taste the difference in the finished product. I adore coffee and this ice cream certainly has a kick. If you like your coffee a little less strong then reduce the espresso and Kahlua a tad. I love the smell of Kahlua. I first used it for my Kahlua based bundt cake and plan again on using it this weekend in a glaze for another cake.

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Stay tuned for the recipe this upcoming Wednesday. If you’ve never tried Kahlua before then I urge you to seek some out. The smell alone will win you over and the taste will send your coffee loving self over the edge. Your going to want to use it in all kinds of things, trust me. This ice cream show’s off this liqueur perfectly. So it’s a good recipe to start with.

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This ice cream is quite simple in the fact that it has nothing swirled through it or no add ins, but the flavour alone is enough to hold its own. By all means feel free to drizzle over some hot fudge sauce or swirl through some m&ms or choc chips. Whatever you choose, enjoy this ice cream and the last few weeks of summer. Autumn is closing in but that doesn’t mean ice cream will stop being churned.

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Yields – One litre (1 quart)

Ingredients

  • 300 ml (1 cup + 1/4 cup – 1 tbsp) Whipping cream
  • 175 grams (6 ounces) Condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons Espresso powder
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until soft peaks form. Transfer to a freezable container and freeze for 6 hours or until the desired consistency.

Notes

* Recipe from Nigellissima – Nigella Lawson

* Use good quality espresso powder

 

This recipe was featured here;

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