Dried apricot paste (Kayısı pestili)

July 16th, 2011 § 0

Being the leading apricot producer, I think we are in the middle of the apricot season in Turkey.  The eastern province of Malatya produces the highest quality apricots, while several different species of apricots with fine taste and aroma are also produced.

For a classic method of preserving apricots, let’s make an apricot paste!

  • 1 kg apricot
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Halve the apricots and stone them.

    Put water in a saucepan. Add the apricots and bring to a simmer. After leaving enough water, cook until the apricots are soft and pulpy.

    Put the apricots to a food processor. Then pass them through a fine meshed sieve to extract the pulp.

    Spread the apricot puree to a buttered baking dish. Cover with a cheesecloth. Leave it under hot sun for several days until dry and leathery. 

    Otherwise, place the tray to a preheated to 90°C oven and bake slowly for about 2 hours until dry.

    When set, cut it into shapes and cover with parchment paper for use when required.

    Strawberry jam

    May 19th, 2011 § 0

    Celebrating our National Day ~19th May Youth and Sports DAY!!

  • 700 gr sugar
  • 1/2 kg strawberry(hulled)
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • Wash and remove the greenery from strawberries. Put them into a large heavy based pan. Add sugar, shake them gently to combine with strawberries and cover. Let sit overnight or at least 6 hours. In the morning, add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. If they left enough water, no need to add extra water. Stir gently time to time and skim any scum off the top of the surface. Let stand medium low heat not more than 30 minutes, otherwise the colour changes. Before leaving from heat, add lemon juice.   

    Pour into sterilized jars. Label and store. I never store jams in the refrigerator.

    May rose season

    May 18th, 2011 § 0

    You can find rose petal jam recipe, launched last year this time by clicking  here.

    Bergamot orange jam

    February 28th, 2011 § 0


    The bergamot orange fruit is between bitter orange, mandarin and a bit pear lemon(lime) with its distinctive flavour. 

    The word bergamot is said to be derived from Turkish. Commonly oil is extracted from its rind for the fragrance industry. Most commonly used in Earl Grey(the tea is devised by an earl, called Charles Grey) tea which is a blend of black tea and bergamot oil.

    It can be found in the market places from mid February through March.  

    • 4 bergamot oranges
    • 1/4 cup bergamot orange juice
    • 1 1/2 cup water
    • 250 gr sugar

    Wash bergamot oranges and smooth away the zest. Cut one bergamot orange in half and squeeze it to get the juice. If possible, tie 10 the pips up in a fine muslin (later to remove them easily) and set aside. Cut the bergamot orange halve rinds into slices. Roll each slice and sew from both edges with a sewing needle, string them all~make a necklace from them. In a large stockpot boil the rolled bergamot oranges with enough water for at least an hour to macerate. Remove them from the stockpot.  

    Put 1 1/2 cups of water and sugar into a pan and bring to a boil. When the syrup is dense enough, add the bergamot juice and the seeds. Then put the bergamot oranges into the pan. Heat slowly by strring occasionally and let boil all together. Cook at least 40 minutes over medium heat. Skim off foam, when necessary.  

    When it congeals instead of trickle from the spoon, the jam reaches the setting point. Continue cooking until it reaches the jelling point. Remove the muslin with pips that you stringed before.

    Sterilize the jars in dish washer before and ladle the jam into the jars by the help of a wooden spoon. Label the jars.  

    Ruby red quince paste (membrillo)

    January 8th, 2011 § 0

    Marmalade is a kind of fruit preserve, made from the peel of the fruit (mostly quince in Portugal)and sugar. The ancient times it was produced quite thick than how we prepare today, because it was cooked for long time. On the other hand, quince has a natural pectin that helps the marmalade to set easily. 

    In Portuguese marmelada means quince, while the same word is membrillo in Spanish. Marmelada is made of quince and sugar, a thick jellied paste. Dulce di membrillo is a kind of quince paste like marmelada and generally served as tapas or simply dessert in slices. 

    Plenty of quinces in the market, inspired me to cook this recipe.

  • 4 big quinces
  • sugar
  • vanilla powder
  • Stew the whole quinces in pressure cooker using  just enough water to cover them for 40 minutes. 

    Let the fruit cool to manage to peel easily, core and slice. Weight all the fruit to use an equal amount of sugar.

    Put the fruit into a pan and add the measured sugar with vanilla. The stewed quinces weighted 900 gr with a bit juice, so I put almost 700 gr of sugar. Put the pan over a very low heat and cover. Leave at least 4 hours to darken and to thicken. Stir time to time with a wooden spoon to check the colour and control the reduce of the water.

    During the last hour, the mixture darkens and starts to dense like a gel. At this stage, transfer the marmalade to a pan.

    Cut into slices and serve at the end of meal as a dessert. Or can be served with a slice of toast for breakfast.

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