Bergamot orange jam

February 28th, 2011 § Comments Off on Bergamot orange jam § permalink

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
  • 2 cups of water
  • 750 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 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 § Comments Off on Ruby red quince paste (membrillo) § permalink

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.

    Rose hip marmalade

    November 16th, 2010 § Comments Off on Rose hip marmalade § permalink

    Rose hips are the berry-like fruits of the rose bush left behind after the bloom has died. They are red or orange, but may also be dark purple in some species. Although nearly all rose bushes produce rose hips, for eating purposes we use the species Rugusa Rose. Rose hips have a tangy, fruity flavour similar to that of cranberries. The fruits are best harvested after the first frost, which makes them turn bright red and soft. Rose hips begin to form in spring and ripen in late summer through autumn. So is the season to prepare rose hip marmalade!

    There are many culinary uses for rose hips. They can be used fresh or dried as tea, soup and stew, syrup, pudding, marmalade, tart, bread, and pie. Each rose hip comprises an outer layer which may contain hundreds of seeds embedded in a matrix of fine hairs. The irritating hairs should be removed before using the rose hips in a recipe. 

    Rose hips contain high vitamin C, vitamin A and B. They have a higher content of vitamin C than citrus fruit. So are used for colds and influenza.

    • 1 kg rose hip
    • 600 gr sugar
    • 1 T lemon juice

    Wash the rose hips well.

    Cover with water and cook in a pressure cooker until the hips are very soft and mashable. Press through a food mill and a sieve to mash them until you get a puree.

    Put the puree into a pan, add the sugar and simmer for approximately 40 minutes. Before taking it from oven, add the lemon juice. Dip your first finger into the marmalade, if it sticks to your thumb finger, it means it is ready.

    Sterilize the jars by running them through the dishwasher. Put the marmalade in jars. If necessary, store in refrigerator.

    You can read the related rose petal jam from here.

    Quince marmalade

    November 1st, 2010 § Comments Off on Quince marmalade § permalink

    While we leave the hot weather behind, the nature prepares for a new order. The nutriments that the human metabolism need for the cold are now in the markets, like quince. The name quince originates from Greek, ??????? (kydonia) but the tree is native to Caucasus region.

    The term marmalade or marmelade in Portugese, refers quince marmalade from the word (marmelo) for this fruit.

    Also, the name of a seaside town on the northwest Aegean coast of Turkey is Ayvalık (ancient Greek name ????????) meaning the place of quince.

    I decided to prepare quince marmalade, when our neighbour at our summer house near Ayvalık brought us quinces picked from her tree.

    • 2 quinces (approximately 500 gr)
    • 2 T lemon juice
    • 500 gr sugar
    • clove

    Peel and slice the quinces and put them into a pan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Be careful it absorbs a lot of water. Cook until the quinces are soft and tender. After boiling without sugar, grate them or press them.

    Put the boiled quinces into a larger pan. Add sugar, clove, 2-3 pips and 250 gr water. Let the quince start to gel. When it will get a rich pink colour, add lemon juice and simmer for another 30 minutes.

    Put it into a sterilized jars, label and store.

    Sour cherry jam

    June 23rd, 2010 § Comments Off on Sour cherry jam § permalink

    The sour cherry or tart cherry is generally smaller than its sweet cousin, that is cherry. There are different varieties of sour cherry. The Early Richmond variety is available from June through August and has bright red in color, while the  dark red Morello variety has dark red in colour. In Turkey the main varieties are Kütahya and Hungarian (Macar) types. The sour cherry tree is a member of the Prunus genus in the rose family- Rosaceae that lives 40-50 years. Usually, they are not eaten fresh like sweet cherries. For that reason, it has a wide usage in culinary use and consumed as frozen, dried, juice, jam, can be a top of a pie or as a liqueur called Kirsch. The botanical name derives from Greek kerasia(???????) believing the name comes from a Blacksea city called Giresun in Turkey for the abundance of cherries there. Once Lucullus, the famous Roman politician and gourmet returned to Rome from East(Giresun) with enormous booty as well as cherry tree.

    They are one of the best antioxidants with high vitamin C and beta carotene, perfect for diabet patients.

  • 950 gr sugar
  • 1 kg sour cherry (when stoned weights~ 800 gr)
  • 1 lemon juice
  • Wash and stone the sour cherry with a cherry pitter. Put them into a wide pan. Add sugar and gently shake the pan to combine with cherries. Close the lid of the pan and let sit overnight or at least 6 hours. In the morning bring the sour cherry to a boil, stirring gently. Skim off the foam from the surface. Let stand medium low heat, but not more than 30 minutes . Then add lemon juice to help the jam gel. 

    Put in a shallow pan, cover with a sheet of glass and place in the sun for 1-2 days to be thickened without changing its beautiful colour. Be Careful, if it is over heated the colour changes. The proportion of sugar must be always more than the sour cherry, to keep the jam from spoilage.  

    Pour into sterilized jars. Label and store. I don’t store it in the refrigerator.

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