Tuesday, 23 August 2011

More Plum Recipes

The first is a bit of a cheat as I said other than jams and chutneys,but for a really nice jam if you put
100gm elderberries to every
900gm plums
it gives you a really nice jam

Plum Pie
 275g plain flour
75gm cold butter
50g cold trex
2floz water
900gm plums
Grated rind of lemon
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
175g sugar
3tbsp quick cooking tapioca(soaks the juice up)
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp grated nutmeg

Sift flour,add butter and fat and rub until you have coarse breadcrumbs,stir in just enough water to bind.Make 2 balls and wrap and chill in fridge for about 20mins
Roll out and line 9" pie dish
Halve and stone the plums,chop roughly,mix all the filling ingredients then put into pasry case.
Roll out remaining pastry and cover dish remember to pierce top and decorate with any remaining pastry
Brush with milk and bake for 15mins Gas 7,reduce to Gas 4 and bake for a further 30-35mins

Plum & Port Sorbet
900gm red plums stoned and halved
75gm castor sugar
3tbsp water
3tbsp ruby port
Sweet biscuits to serve
Place plums,sugar and water into a saucepan,stir until sugar is dissolved,cover and simmer for 5 mins until fruit is soft
Blend into a puree until smooth,stir in port or wine.
Cool completley then tip into plastic container and freeze until firm around the edges(I usually leave it for 1.5hrs.whisk until smooth again and put back into freezer until solid
Allow to soften slightly at room temperature before serving with sweet biscuits

This is Dahlia 'floorinoor' again given to me by a really nice gardening friend who ordered 5 and did not need that many.Unfortunately hers were killed last winter so I have taken some cuttings,you can take Dahlia cuttings any time of the year.Most say they are best taken early spring when they first emerge

I take them all through the summer by just taking cuttings from the side shoots,try and take them without flower buds,insetr 3 around the edge of a 3" pot in  multi purpose compost,sit the pot in some water for 10 mins and put a bottle over the pot.I tend to use bottles rather than plastic bags as they tend to make too much condensation this time of year and end up collapsing.I use a 1ltr plastic bottle with the bottom cut off,if there is too much codensation in the bottle unscrew the lid.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

summer madness

These are a very few of the very many tomatoes I am picking now,I save all my own seed and from the top they are Purple Ukraine,(originally from The Real Seed catologue-very large and makes great sauce)Legend,(we eat loads of these with mozzarella oil and basil)Crystal Plum(Heritage seed-not so big this year for some reason) and if my memory is working Garden Pearl(Gardening Which trial,very sweet different taste to cherry tomatoes,I grow 4-5 in a hanging basket and eat them like sweets-they are right by the back door!). I have also grown a range of different basil this year,we use basil all year round so I always have a pot on the go but wanted to try something different
Sweet basil-I grow all year round
Greek basil-has a mint after taste to it,really like this one
Purple ruffles-aniseed flavour-my favourite,my only criticismis that its growth is a bit lax
Green ruffles-bitter and my least favourite,much better growth though than purple ruffles
Lime-does as it says very refreshing
Spice-very spicy actually has hairy leaves and looks more like mint
We have had great fun trying them with different foods,some I will let go to seed to save some but I dont think I will bother with green ruffles again
This is Abutilon x Milleri,I took it from a cutting from a plant in Bob Browns garden(Cotswold garden Flowers
He lives in the same village as me and has some fantastic flowers in the garden behind his barn,he had it grown up a wall but I kept mine in a pot last year not able to decide where to put it.I am glad I did as Bob lost his I had taken a couple of cuttings so was able to return him a cutting and gave my other one away to a really good gardening friend.Its growth does seem to be a bit lax in that it breaks on very windy days so I have taken some more cuttings and absolutley love the flowers.This is my favourite shrub,Cercis Canadensis
(Forest Pansy)I love the pea like flowers which come out first then the colour of the leaves which this year are absolutley enourmous!! I had to measure 15cm,it is in a border which has a soak away coming off the shed into it but like everyone else it has not seen much rain this year,I took this photo the other morning when we had just had a shower and the rain was glistening on the leaves like little jewels.
Also like everyone else what to do with the enormous plum harvest other than jam and chutney,so I am going to try and do as many different Plum Recipes as possible.The first one was last night and was Plum Crumble.I can hear you now, that's not different, but it had a very tasty twist.
1lb Plums
4tbsp Dark brown Sugar
2tsp cinnamon
1tbsp water
I put everything into a pan and heated until the plums were soft,I then strained the juice(lovely in my smoothie today)I then stirred in 3tbsp ground almonds
I put everything into a dish and covered with a crumble mixture
5oz flour
3oz sugar
3oz oats
3oz butter
3oz flaked almonds
a few almonds on top for decoration
There certainly was not much left.