Showing posts with label Lemon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lemon. Show all posts

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cherry Lemon Jam #SundaySupper

Juicy summer cherries and fresh lemon, cooked down with lemon zest and sugar, are the perfect jammy marriage of sweet and sharp, as delicious on a piece of buttered toast as spooned over cold vanilla ice cream or stirred into a pot of natural yogurt. 

One of my pet peeves is waste. That’s not to say that I don’t throw out my share of things in the refrigerator that somehow manage to work their way to the back, get forgotten, and grow legs on occasion, but it makes me sad when that happens. Especially when it’s something I really love to eat.

Here in Dubai, where temperatures rarely fall below an average low winter temperature of 57°F or 14°C, growing cherries, which require a chill time of 700-800 hours in order to flower and produce fruit, is just not an option. So all of the cherries that appear in our supermarkets are flown in at great expense from countries that enjoy near or freezing temperatures in winter. As you might guess, those costs are passed on to consumers and cherries are crazy expensive to buy here. So one of my favorite summer rituals is buying and eating my not inconsiderable weight in cherries when I am in the States on holiday.

As I packed up to head back to Dubai this summer – and if you follow me on Instagram you know I mean that quite literally – I still had a big bowl of cherries on the kitchen counter. There was just no way I could leave those behind! So I got out the cherry pitter and went to work. Jamming is so much more satisfying than packing suitcases!


Jam making is really easy, with the right tools.
A digital scale and a thermometer are going to simplify the process. One of the secrets to easy fruit jam, that is jam that sets, is to add something acidic, like lemons which have natural pectin, and to cook the fruit with an appropriate amount of sugar until it reaches a temperature of 220°F or 105°C. And since the amount of sugar depends on the weight of your cooked fruit, I’d like to suggest you buy a digital kitchen scale. < Amazon affiliate link to the one I use, but, honestly, any scale which can toggle between metric and imperial measures will do, giving you the freedom to use recipes from all over the world. (You can measure by volume but weighing is a lot less messy.) And if you don’t have one, may I suggest you get a thermometer as well? < Once again, that's an affiliate link to mine - costs about $14 and I use it ALL THE TIME. A thermometer takes the stress and worry of “will it set?” completely out of the jam making equation. Reaching the proper temperature hasn't failed me yet.

Ingredients
A bunch of cherries (mine weighed 2 lbs 5 oz or 1050g unpitted, with stems, 2 lbs 1 1/2 oz or 950g without pits and stems)
2 small lemons (about one per pound or half kilo of other fruit)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
Sugar - an amount equivalent to 3/4 the weight of your cooked cherries and lemons and their juice – this batch was 2 lbs 2 1/2 oz or 978g – so I used 3 1/2 cups or 734g sugar

Method
Sterilize your jars and lids and put them at the ready, metal teaspoon in each, canning funnel perched in one, before you begin. Sterilize your ladle as well. The amounts given above made two pint jars and one half pint.



Pit your cherries and put them in a large non-reactive pot. (If you have a scale, go ahead and weigh the empty pot first and make a note of the weight for later.) Grate in the zest of your two lemons.

Cut the peels and pith (the white stuff) off of your lemons with a sharp knife. Remove all the seeds and chop the flesh into small chunks.

Scrape the chopped lemons and any juice on the cutting board, into the cherry pot.





Add the extra two tablespoons of lemon juice into the pot.

Cook the pitted cherries and lemons, covered, over a medium flame for about 15 or 20 minutes, until they have released some juice and the cherries have softened.

Use a potato masher to mash them lightly, leaving some cherries whole.

Measure your cooked fruit, juices and all, by volume or weight and then do a little math. Add 3/4 that amount of sugar, along with the salt.

My calculation looked like this:
Pot weighs 1300g empty.
With cooked cherries and lemon, it weighs 2278g.  2278-1300 = 978g.
Weight of cooked fruit and juice = 978g x .75 = 734g or about 3 1/2 cups sugar to add

Cook the fruit, sugar and salt over a medium to high heat, uncovered, till the mixture starts to thicken. Stir frequently and set your thermometer in the pot. Cook quickly until the temperature reaches setting point for jam: 220°F or 105°C.



Quickly ladle the hot, sweet jam into your prepared jars and screw the lids on as tightly as you can manage.

Turn the jars upside down and leave to cool. The scalding cooked fruit further sterilizes the jars and as the jam cools, a suction forms and the lids are firmly sealed. The little circles on the lids should pop in and keep the jam safe for consumption for many months. If any of the seals don’t create a sufficient vacuum and the circles don’t pop in, store those jars in the refrigerator.



Enjoy!



This week I am delighted to be hosting Sunday Supper with my friend and fellow blogger, Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks. It’s our goal to encourage everyone to Save Summer Harvest with a number of methods, and in keeping with the mission of Sunday Supper, to enjoy the bounty of summer around your family table for months to come.

Canning
Dehydrating
Fermentation
Freezing
Infusing
Pickling
Preserving in oil or butter
And for even more help and support


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.



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Monday, June 22, 2015

Cherry Lemon Muffins #MuffinMonday


Chock full of fresh cherries with a hit of tart lemon, these muffins go equally well with a cup of tea or coffee or even a glass of milk, making breakfast or snack time special. 

I started doing Muffin Monday almost three years ago today with this Banana Bacon Peanut Butter Chip Muffin. Until these last few weeks, when I’ve been traveling, I had not missed a single week since then. Even so, this is my 150th Muffin Monday!  Muffins are so easy to bake. They can be relatively healthy, made with less sugar than a cupcake with none of the cloyingly sweet icing that a cupcake requires, the batter filled with a variety of fruit, nuts and other add-ins like chocolate, bacon, jam and cheese. Yes, the flexible muffin can be sweet or savory. If you tell me you can’t bake, I’m going to suggest you start with muffins. One bowl holds your wet ingredients, the other your dry. Mix them together and bake. Nothing is more simple yet creates a fluffy, tender baked good in under 30 minutes.

For the first time in many years, cherries in Houston are on sale for $1.87 a pound which is less than one dollar per kilo. And I just can’t get enough of them! This muffin is a celebration of the seasonal Bing cherries, brightened with fresh lemon juice and zest. I baked them yesterday morning and, after they cooled, popped them in a plastic container to take along to the beach. It was a lovely day, watching my little nieces seine for fish with their father on Galveston Bay, while chatting with my sister, mother and daughter from the high perch of their beautiful front porch, where the wind cooled us off and the sea view went on forever and ever.

Ingredients
2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 115g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small lemon (for zest and 4 teaspoons juice)
2 eggs
3/4 cup or 180ml milk
1/3 cup or 75ml canola or other light oil
5 2/3 oz or 160g 125g pitted fresh cherries (about 3/4 cup once quartered)

Method
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Butter or grease your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Grate in the lemon zest and mix.

Juice your lemon. Quarter your cherries and set 12 pieces aside for topping the muffins.



Put the bigger pile of cut cherries in the flour mixture and toss well to cover.



In another smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and lemon juice.



Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through.



Divide the mixture between the muffin cups in pan.  Top with reserved cherry quarters.



Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.  Allow them to cool for a few minutes then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.



Enjoy!


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bee's Knees Lemon Honey Bundt #BundtBakers


Based on the Prohibition era cocktail called Bee’s Knees, this lovely buttermilk-pound-cake textured Bundt is flavored with honey and lemon, spiked with gin and finished with a gin honey lemon glaze sprinkled with lemon zest. 

A couple of weeks ago, one of my fellow Bundt Bakers asked for a Pimm’s cake recipe in another Facebook group. I had never heard of such a thing so I did a quick web search and found several. Pimm’s is one of our favorite summer drinks, made with lots of fresh fruit and cucumber so I was most intrigued. Deon’s cake is not on the list list below but you can see his Pimm's Bundt here.  I was inspired to check out some other lemony cocktails to recreate as a Bundt and settled on this one called Bee’s Knees popular during the American Prohibition.

Ingredients
For the cake batter:
1 cup or 226g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups or 300g sugar
2 2/3 cups or 335g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest one small lemon
1 cup or 240ml buttermilk
1/4 cup or 60ml gin
1/4 cup or 60ml honey
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon juice
3 large eggs, at room temperature

For the lemon honey gin glaze:
3/4 cup or 95g confectioners' sugar or as needed to get the consistency you’d like.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons gin
2 teaspoons honey
Pinch salt

To decorate:
Zest one lemon

Method
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Generously grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan. Mine is a Nordic Ware Chrysanthemum pan. I’d love to put an affiliate link for that one but it’s been discontinued. Sorry!

In a stand mixer cream your butter combine the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Zest one lemon into the flour and mix.



Zest your second lemon on to a paper towel and set aside.


Measure out your honey, gin and lemon juice and add it to the buttermilk. Mix well.


Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.



In three additions, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and one third of the liquid mixture, beating well in between. Scrape the bowl down before each new addition.



Spoon the batter into your prepared Bundt pan, making sure to fill all the little crevices.



Bake until the center of cake springs back when touched and a skewer inserted near the center comes out clean, around 55 or 65 minutes.



Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


In a small bowl, combine, the lemon juice, gin, honey and pinch of salt. Add in the icing sugar a little at a time, whisking well between additions until all the sugar is dissolved. Keep adding icing sugar and whisking until you reach your desired consistency.


Drizzle the glaze over the cake. Sprinkle with the zest of the second lemon which should have dried out somewhat from sitting on the paper towel.


Enjoy!



If you are a fan of lemon in baked goods, this is the Bundt Baker month for you! Many thanks to our host Anne of From My Sweet Heart!

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving Bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers can be found on our homepage.


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Friday, May 15, 2015

Roasted Lemon Garlic Parmesan Artichokes #VegFlavorBible #Giveaway

Roasting artichokes filled with garlic and well drizzled with olive oil and lemon gives them a lovely smoky sweetness that is complemented by some salty Parmesan. 

I’ve written in this space many times before about the short year we lived in Cairo. Very little produce was imported because the Nile Valley was so richly fertile and vegetables and fruit could be grown year round. (Check out this post for a photo of the valley from space. It is amazing!) Our favorite time was artichoke season. (January/February, in case you are planning a trip.) They were so cheap that I must confess, we ate more than our share, trimmed and steamed, with garlic lemon butter to dip or pan-roasted and marinated with herbs and garlic. Occasionally here in Dubai, I see Egyptian strawberries in the stores but, for some reason, the other gorgeous produce is not imported. Goodness knows that the Egyptian farmers could use the income, but perhaps the infrastructure just isn’t there for exporting more. So, from an overabundance of fresh artichokes, we’ve gone back to having them occasionally, one each, as a treat.

A few months back I joined some fellow food bloggers in a Valentine’s Day cookbook giveaway which, through the magic of social media, ended up leading to an opportunity for another giveaway. This time it’s for a grand prize of three fabulous books, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, The Flavor Bible and What to Drink with What You Eat! The authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg happened to see a tweet from the February giveaway, which included one of their books, and they generously offered to sponsor this one. Best of all, six runners-up will each win a copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible too so there will be seven winners in all.

Like its predecessor, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is all about which flavors and ingredients complement others. It’s not a cookbook in the traditional sense, but a framework to build deliciousness by combining ingredients to get the best out of them all. Along with the flavor affinities, the authors also suggest cooking methods and dishes to try. The list of what best accompanies or complements artichokes is long and varied so I chose to go with some of my own favorites: lemon and garlic. But then I added Parmesan, which I had not considered before. It contributes both saltiness and flavor and kicked the artichokes several more notches up the flavor chart.

Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this recipe to learn more about The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, its authors and to enter the rafflecopter to win your copy!

Ingredients
4 whole fresh artichokes
6-7 cloves garlic
Olive oil
1 oz or 28g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 lemons
Parsley for garnish, if desired

Choosing fresh artichokes: Pick artichokes with thick green leaves, no dried bits and a stem of 4-5 inches or 10-13cm. Many shops cut the stems off and so did I for many years, following instructions in cookbooks for steaming. But while living in Egypt and researching artichokes, I discovered that the inside of the stem is not just edible, but delicious.

Method
Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the top one-third off of each artichoke and discard. Cut one lemon in half and rub the cut end of the artichokes with the lemon juice. This helps to keep them from turning brown.



Cut the very end off of the stems then use a potato peeler to take off their tough outer peels. Rub the stems all over with the cut lemon, squeezing out a little juice if necessary.



Turn on your oven to preheat to 400°F or 200°F.

Cut each artichoke in half, straight through the middle of the bulb and down through the stem. Once again, rub the cut parts with lemon juice.



Use a small spoon to scoop and scrape the hairy choke out of each artichoke half.

Squeeze in some lemon juice into the hole and rub it around to cover.



Place the artichokes halves, hole side up, in a large baking pan.

Peel and chop your garlic finely and divide it between the holes in the artichokes.



Drizzle the artichokes liberally with more lemon juice and olive oil, making sure to get some up amongst the leaves and cover the garlic.

Roast for 25 minutes uncovered in your preheated oven.



Remove the pan from the oven and turn the temperature down to 350°F or 180°F.

Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and poke the artichokes with a fork to check for tenderness. They should be done but, if necessary, cover them again and continue baking until they are tender.

Once they are tender, remove the pan from the oven and squeeze a little more lemon juice on them.



Then sprinkle the hot artichokes with the freshly grated Parmesan and another drizzle of olive oil.



Add a little chopped parsley, if desired, for color.



Allow them to rest until they are cool enough to handle, then eat as you would a normal steamed artichoke by pulling off the leaves one or two at a time and scraping the “meat” off with your teeth. Once you get to the heart, with the choke already removed, the whole thing, stem and all, can be eaten! Serve with additional lemon wedges, if desired.


Enjoy!


More about the authors and The Vegetarian Flavor Bible  
Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are not only the two-time James Beard Award winning authors of The Flavor Bible and Becoming a Chef, but also coauthored What to Drink with What You Eat, which was named the IACP Cookbook of the Year and the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year, while also winning a Gourmand World Cookbook Award. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible has been cited as one of the five best cookbooks of 2014 based on 300+ reviews in media including Bloomberg, The Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

Connect with Karen & Andrew: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest


                                              
Using the flavor affinities and pairings recommended by The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, my fellow bloggers have some amazingly flavorful recipes for you today, so make sure to check them out! Here's our whole list:



And don't forget to enter the giveaway!




**Giveaway runs May 15 until May 29, 2015. Giveaway is open to anyone 18 years of age or older with a US or APO shipping address only. See the rafflecopter for more complete rules of participation.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: I was sent one copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible for review purposes. This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the books mentioned.


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