Luscious Peach and Raspberry Conserve

Luscious Peach and Raspberry Conserve

Luscious Peach and Raspberry Conserve

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True confessions time.  Peaches and Raspberries are fruits low in pectin, so even the addition of lemon makes it difficult to achieve a set much firmer than a thick, chunky sauce .. which is just fine by me. I reach for a jar anytime I am making Berry Nutty Tart or Apple Berry Flan. I fill muffins with it. I beat it into thick cream to fill sponges or cup-cakes. I put it into smoothies and stir it into yoghurt. However by far the most common fate is poured over ice-cream. Try it, you’ll see I am right.

Apple Berry Jam

Apple Berry Jam

Apple Berry Jam

March sees the end of the berry and the beginning of the pomfruit season. Juicy blackberries, raspberries and brambleberries can still be found alongside hilly creekbeds. The branches of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apple trees are heavy with fruit, the ground littered with windfalls. This bounty is too good an opportunity to waste, so here is one of my favourites. A not-too-sweet, lumpy, chunky, versatile dollop of cherry coloured bliss. 

The Best Strawberry Jam in the Known Universe

Best Strawberry Jam in the Known Universe

Best Strawberry Jam in the Known Universe

As strange as it seems, I do have family that don’t enjoy a conserve style preserve. Not for them the visceral pleasure of scooping chunks of fruit and mashing them onto toast. Not for them the thin jelly that drizzles perfectly over a pancake. Their preference is for a more uniform texture. If Strawberry Jam for Grown Ups is a little too runny for you, or you have an aversion to alcohol in your jam, try this one. I am reliably told it really is the best in the Known Universe 🙂

Jammy Shortbread Sandwich Biscuits

Jammy Shortbread Sandwich Biscuits

Jammy Shortbread Sandwich Biscuits

This is the easiest, cheapest biscuit you’ll ever make and quite possibly the most popular. I make huge batches of them while I have casseroles or roast cooking in the oven. I bought the fancy schmancy cookie cutters with the tiny fitted shapes to make the “holes”, but an apple corer does the job just as well

The dough lends itself to endless variations. Add a tablespoon of cocoa and a tablespoon of milk to make delicious chocolate shortbread that goes well with strawberry jam or apple curd. Substitute 1 cup of almond meal for the wholemeal flour to give it a nutty flavour that goes well with apricot jam or chocolate ganache. It makes a very nice sweet pie pastry too 🙂

Spiced Apple Curd

Spiced Apple Curd

Spiced Apple Curd

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Simple, versatile and delicious. Don’t horde it for your toast, this curd is the basis for custards, flans, cakes, muffins and fruit dips .. pretty much anywhere you’d use butter and eggs. (A favourite “instant” treat in Casa de Chaos is fresh strawberries dunked in the stuff). Treat it like butter, make it in small batches and keep it in the fridge because it goes off quickly. Not that it lasts long enough to go off in this place ..  do you have any idea how many times I have caught Beloved standing at the fridge door and eating it from the jar?