Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam

What do you do when you have a punnet or two of strawberries in the fridge that are on the verge of becoming overripe? – Make jam of course! I’m pretty sure you can do many other things with them, but today, I made jam.

I’ve actually had the strawberries in the fridge for almost 2 weeks before I decided to do something of them. I got them from my friend Pam; she was leaving to go back to Singapore that day. I wasn’t going to eat them only because I’m a bit sceptical of any fruit lasting beyond a week. The strawberries were actually still quite firm. They were very dark red in colour and the outside looked like it was starting to dry up. They were nonetheless still quite juicy when I cut them open.

Homemade Strawberry Jam Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS MAKES 2 JARS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x 125g punnets of strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2/3 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of one lemon

METHOD

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until thickened.
  2. Pour carefully into sterilised canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated (see below on sterilising jars).

Sterilising Jars:

Jars should be made from glass with a metal lid that has a rubber seal. To sterilise the jars and lids, wash with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 80C oven for 25 minutes, or boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Remember as a rule:

Hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Peach Crumble

Peach Crumble

For my 21st Birthday (which was like a year and a half ago), one of my friend’s from church, Tom, got me a set of 4 mini-cocottes with an accompanying cookbook. It was probably one of the best gifts I’ve ever received – a lot of people back then knew that I am a foodie and that I love to cook. The mistake they always make is that they get me food, such as chocolates and even gingerbread cookies (since my birthday was towards the end of the year, they thought they’d give me a birthday and Christmas gift too). I never really liked receiving food as gifts as I always say “I’m just gonna poop it out later anyway”, but cookware or even tableware? Best.

Note, I’m actually not a very big fan of chocolate. Moist, warm, oozy, chocolate cake: Yes. Chocolate bars, candies: No.

Peach Crumble

From this cookbook, I’ve only actually made two recipes, Shepard’s Pie and of course today’s post, Peach Crumble – which I have made numerous times because I just love it! Even my friends love it! It’s also simple and requires no more than 10 ingredients. I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit in terms of lessening the amount of sugar (I don’t really like my desserts too sweet and sometimes when I see ‘1 cup of sugar’ it scares me a bit). I also used less peaches than what the recipe calls for, and discarded the juice of lemon – in the past I have found the lemon too overpowering, making the dessert very sour. I think the zest adds enough lemony flavour to the crumble.

This is usually a dessert I pull out during the summer as peaches are in season then here in Australia. To my surprise, when I went shopping a few days ago at Coles, I found peaches! At first I was a bit skeptical knowing that they weren’t in season, and then I realised they had been imported from the US. I bought them anyway despite it being a tad bit more expensive than the local peaches during the summertime, because I needed peach crumble in my life right now and I couldn’t sit around and wait for summer to come along. But a warm peach crumble dessert fits perfectly with the cold weather don’t you think?

Peach Crumble Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large ripe peaches
  • 100g cold unsalted butter, cut into little cubes
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup crumbed walnuts
  • 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Zest of one lemon

Peach Crumble

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 190C. Lightly butter 4 mini-cocottes.
  2. Bring a saucepan on water to a boil and plunge the peaches in one by one for 2 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a deep dish to cool. Once cool, the skin should easily peel off. Cut into generous chunks or slices and mix with the lemon zest, cinnamon, and half of the sugar. Set aside.
  3. Mix the remaining sugar together with the butter, flour, and walnuts in a bowl. With your fingertips, quickly mix the ingredients together until looks like rough bread crumbs. If your mixture is too warm, put the bowl into the refrigerator for 15 minutes and start again when it has chilled.
  4. Fill each mini-cocottes with the peaches and top with the crumble mixture. Place any remain peach slices on the top.
  5. Place the cocottes on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. This is to catch any juices that may overflow from the cocottes; saves having to clean the tray later. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  6. Serve hot out of the oven or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream (optional).

Peach Crumble

Peach Crumble

Additionally, you can use any stone fruit besides peaches, such as apricots and plums – anything that is ripe, available locally, and in season. Reserve and leftover crumble by freezing it in a small ziplock bag.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles

Happy June everyone! There is no doubt that my Dutch housemates Kevin and Sam, as well as myself, share an unconditional love for peanut butter. I also know that Kevin loves bananas and Sam loves popsicles. All these into account, I was almost certain that there is something out there that incorporates the three together.

I did some research and I found a recipe by Megan via Detoxinista, for Peanut Butter Banana Ice Pops. I shared the recipe with my housemates and we all agreed that we should make this – well, more like I make it and then they eat it. So that’s what I did yesterday, made the popsicles and let them to set in the freezer overnight for a happy Sunday afternoon snack 🙂

The recipe makes 8 popsicles, but I only had a mould that is good for 6, also it depends on the side of your moulds. I just kept the rest of the mixture in a container in the refrigerator to later pour into the mould as we consume them.

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles: Procedure

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME  SERVES 6 POPSICLES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large bananas (or 4 if small)
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 1 tbsp honey and maple syrup blend
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional only if you are using unsalted peanut butter)

METHOD

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until very smooth and creamy. If necessary, adjust the sweetness to taste keeping in mind that the frozen version will taste less sweet than the mixture.
  2. Pour the batter into the popsicle moulds and freeze for at least 6 hours, or until solid. When removing the frozen popsicles from their moulds, submerge them in hot water for about 20 seconds to allow them to loosen.

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com