Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mixed Fruit Jam & Spring Flowers

Sorry that my posts here have been few and far between... Work has been busy and with the gorgeous weather we've been having, we've been trying to have some outside fun that we missed out on during the cold winter months.... be it going out for walks, taking my daughter out cycling or the kids to the park, doing some small scale gardening or just being out on the deck blowing bubbles and popping them to our heart's content. Being Spring time, our neighborhood has been adorned with pretty pink, purple & white flowers.. here's a sample for your viewing pleasure.



Coming to the recipe, I got some perfect looking strawberries on sale a few weeks back and we ate 2 boxes just as is and the remaining 2 boxes was made into this heavenly jam. My husband is not a fan of the preserves and jellies that one gets here and is forever loyal to the Kissan Mixed Fruit Jam... so I tried to replicate that which is a bit different from the previous chunky mixed berry jam I made. It turned out great and for 2 weeks after, it was paired with everything possible or just eaten plain until it was all gone. I can't wait to make this again. My handy dandy candy thermometer was super helpful and it enabled me to stop at the correct stage - 220degF.

MIXED FRUIT JAM


Ingredients:
Strawberries - 2 lbs, washed and the top greens removed
Bananas - 2 ripe ones, peeled and cut into chunks
Apple - 1 large, washed, peeled & cored. Cut into big chunks
Sugar - 3 to 3.5 cups (depends on how sweet your fruit is)

Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp Update 30/Apr/2013 - Replace lemon juice with juice of 1 big orange/2 small oranges - ensures that there is sufficient pectin for the jam.

Method:1) Blend the fruits together (in batches) until smooth. You get a brilliant coloured puree, thanks to the strawberries, which when measured came to 6 cups for me.


2) In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the fruit puree and sugar and keep it on medium heat, stirring occassionally until it starts to boil and thicken.


3) After about 30 mins or so, you can check with a candy thermometer and also stir more frequently to avoid burning. Add lemon juice and continue to stir - We want to get a temperature of 220degF.


4) Once the temperature is reached, switch off the stove and allow to cool. I didn't use a sterilized container so I refrigerated the jam. If it feels too thick to spread right out of the fridge, just keep a small portion out at room temperature for about 15 mins or so or microwave for 10 seconds to get a spreadable consistency.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chocolate Chip Muffins

We have family visiting this week and it's been so much fun that I haven't had any time to post or blog-hop. There's been a fair bit of cooking going on and I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and Raaga's Nankhatai which disappeared in no time. I bought these cute cupcake liners at IKEA and got the perfect opportunity to use them when making these chocolate chip muffins.

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS


Ingredients:
All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Butter, melted - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Salt - half tsp
Semi sweet chocolate chips - 3/4 cup

Method:
1) Beat together the egg, milk & butter. Sift the flour, baking powder & salt.


2) Stir in the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips. When mixed, fold in the chocolate chips mixed with a tsp of flour. Batter may be a bit lumpy.


3) Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins and bake at 400degF for 15-20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes clean.


Allow to cool and serve.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Raw Papaya Salad

I'm some one who is not a fan of papayas, neither is my husband.... but when we first tasted a raw papaya salad at our friend's house we were hooked. I couldn't believe that it could taste that good. Since then, I've made it several times and it's almost a regular at home now.

Infact, for my husband's birthday today, when I asked him what special thing he'd like me to cook for him, he suggested this papaya salad! So, lunch today was this papaya salad with thai green curry and for the birthday cake he picked this tres leche cake...

This salad has the crunch from the papaya and has a slight spice from the chopped green chillies and a sweetness from honey and sugar balanced with some lemon juice - delicious!

RAW PAPAYA SALAD

Ingredients:
Raw Papaya (if it's slightly ripe, that's good too) - 1 small to medium, peeled and grated Tomato - 1 medium or half of a big one, chopped Green chillies - 3, minced Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped Lemon juice - from 1 lemon Honey - about 2 tbsp Sugar - 2 to 3 tsp or to taste Salt - to taste

Method: Combine all of the ingredients above and toss well... taste and adjust the sweetness and acidity by adding or reducing the honey and lemon juice.

A quick picture of the Thai green Curry A shot of the tres leche cake