Bowl of Blackberries
Malted Vinegar, enough to cover
1lb of white sugar to each pint of juice
- Take a nice walk and pick a bowl of blackberries. Make sure there are no critters in amongst the berries.
- Cover the berries with malt vinegar (I have also used cider vinegar which works just aswell).
- Leave to infuse for 3 days stirring it a couple of times a day.
- After the 3 days strain it through a fine siv squeezing the fruit to get as much of the juice out as possible.
- Pour the juice into a pan and add 1lb of white sugar to each pint of juice.
- Bring it to the boil and then simmer for about 15 mins.
- Bottle the vinegar in sterilised bottles and hey presto!
The vinegar does improve with time. I have done enough to always have a vinegar which is from the previous summer – works well!
Mamma Lise’s Orange Cake:
This is a quick but really great cake – fantastic whilst it is still a little bit warm!
50g desiccated coconut
200g ordinary flour
2 tsp baking powder
100ml of liquid (juice/milk)
Glaze: Icing sugar (the powder stuff) A bit of juice from either a lemon or orange
- Cream the butter and sugar until it is soft and a bit fluffy (I put the butter in the microwave for 10 sec’s – makes it a bit easier)
- Add one egg at a time and work in well.
- Grate the peel off the orange into the mix and then juice the orange. You need about 100ml of liquid so if you don’t have sufficient orange juice from your orange then top it up with milk to 100ml.
- Add the juice/milk to the mix and stir well. Add the coconut and stir.
- Add the baking powder to the flour and add this to the mix. Work in well.
- Line a 24cm/6” cake tin with greaseproof paper and pour the mix into this. Bake for about 45 mins in the oven pre-heated to about 175 degrees.
Check baking time depending on your oven – maybe use the toothpick trick to see if it is done.
For the glaze
- When the cake is cool, just mix a good cup of icing sugar with a little of the orange/lemon juice (add juice little by little so it doesn’t get too runny. It should be a nice paste which is soft enough that you can drizzle it over the middle of the cake and then just “help” it spread a bit with a butter knife so it covers the whole top of the cake.
- Grate a bit of lemon or orange peel on top of the glaze – looks great and tastes even better!
Monica’s Fish Pie:
This recipe feeds about 6 people in either a big dish or as I prefer, in 6 individual little pie dishes.
Everyone I serve this to seems to really love it. It is rich and creamy and just yummie!
6 large salmon filets (Skin taken off)
6 small handfuls of frozen peas
6 small handfuls of frozen or fresh spinach
100 g butter
3 heaped tbsp. of flour
Double cream ( about 500 ml)
1 Fish stock cube dissolved in about 200ml of boiling water (I use Knorr – it is really good)
Salt and pepper
1 good bunch of fresh dill chopped very finely
Potatoes, boiled and mashed (don’t hold back on the butter in the mash!)
- Grease the pie dishes, cut each salmon filet into 6 chunks and add to the pie dishes.
- Add peas and spinach to each dish. Set to one side and make the sauce.
Making the “roux”
- melt 75g of the butter in pan. When it is melted add the flour and stir briskly all the time. Let it cook whilst stirring for about 1 minute but be careful that it does not burn.
- Now add the fish stock and stir briskly then keep adding the cream little by little until you have a good consistency. Don’t make the sauce to thin as this can make the pie a bit watery. It needs to be a nice lush creamy sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper. Bear in mind that the fish stock is quite salty in itself so just check as you go along. When you are happy that the sauce is the right consistency then turn off the heat and add the chopped dill and give it a good stir.
- Now also add the remaining 25g of butter and stir until it is dissolved – this should now be delicious.
- Let the sauce cool.
- Do the mash and let it cool too.
- Pour the sauce over the fish and greens in the dishes.
- Then cover with the mash. I use a piping bag to do the mash in little peaks.
- Grate some parmesan over the top and a couple of grinds of black pepper.
- Bake in the oven for about ½ h – 45 mins until it is bubbling nicely at the sides and the mash has a nice golden colour.
- Serve with some nice vegetables and Bob is your uncle.
Summer Salad Dressing:
This is a dressing that I use for a lot of different salads. So many guests ask me about this dressing. It is a bit tricky to make as you need some fairly specific ingredients although they are very few so if you can get/make them then it is worth it! You need to make the Blackberry Vinegar first – see recipe below. The Lemon Olive Oil that I use can be difficult to find. In the UK you generally need to go to an Italian Deli or sometimes other Deli’s have it. As and example, if you have a Carluccio’s restaurant near you then they sell it there in their little Deli shops normally attached to the restaurants. The thing with this oil is that the lemons are actually pressed with the olives so the flavour is very different to an olive oil where the lemon extract has been added later – that is normally the kind of lemon oil you see in the super markets. So if you have managed to get the oil and we had a good year for Blackberries and you had time to do the vinegar then “voila”
2 parts Lemon Olive Oil
1 part Blackberry Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Shake it all together and drizzle over salads, particularly nice with serrano/parma ham and goats cheese and it also goes really well with salads that have fruits in them e.g. melon, kiwi etc.