Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
Damson and wild plum season is upon us and I am busy using them for my next Country Kitchen article. A lot of people in our village have damson trees in their gardens and as they know I am writing the article, I have received lots! Charlotte from the www.greatbigvegchallenge.blogspot.com asked yesterday for a recipe for damson jam as she had some to use. The problem I find with damson jam is removing all the stones and I have yet to find a method of doing this quickly! Any hints and tips let me know.
Damson and cinnamon jam
2 1/2lb damsons, washed
preserving sugar (according to quantity of fruit pulp)
1 1/2 pints of water
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tbsp butter
Place the damsons, water and cinnamon in a jam pan (or a large saucepan if you do not have a jam pan). Bring to the boil and then simmer for about half an hour until the damsons are soft. This is the fiddly bit - place the fruit in a sieve or strainer, a ladle full at a time and push the fruit through the sieve. Once you have removed all the stones and the cinnamon sticks, measure the fruit pulp and return it to the pan with 1kilo of preserving sugar for every 800ml of pulp. Simmer gently to dissolve the sugar and then rapidly boil for 15 - 20 minutes, testing for set using a saucer which has been chilled in the freezer. Drop a small amount of the jam on the cold saucer. If it wrinkles and a skin forms when you push it with your finger the jam is set. When the set has been reached add the butter and stir until melted. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.