While preparing my regular recipe for our local paper The Gisborne Herald, I went into the local shops I frequent to make sure all the ingredients were still available. A while ago I had purchased a large bottle of Giffard Strawberry Syrup and had plans to add the Peach Syrup to my pantry. However, as it often goes, products come and products go. And the Giffard range of syrups has disappeared from our local stockist which upset my muesli plans.
So what to do….. I had a search all around our fair city for another Strawberry syrup that would suffice. Other than the Barkers Fruit Syrups (in particular the Squeezed Rhubarb with Raspberry & Rosehip, which isn’t Strawberry but is a red berry fruit so was a good option in my mind), or Baker Halls & Co Fruit Syrups (I have used the Apple & Pomegranate in my homemade muesli), the next best option was the Raspberry & Boysenberry Compote from The Dollop Kitchen. It must be fairly popular compote as the shelf was empty.
Other ideas were to buy strawberry jam and heat it until liquid (I often use jam in my muesli as it is a great way to use up jam flavours that the kids haven’t appreciated); use a icecream topping such as Delmaine Strawberry Topping or try to track down some Milkshake Syrup (such as Supreme or Six Barrel Soda Co. – the later requiring a trip to Napier or Havelock North). I could order online but I needed it, like, yesterday and I also wanted something available locally. On another note, the Raspberry & Lemon or Cherry & Pomegranate from Six Barrel Soda Co. both sound really good, maybe I’ll order some anyway).
The only other option was to make some strawberry syrup. I make fruit syrups regularly as they are easy and use three ingredients: fruit, sugar, water. So here is my strawberry syrup recipe (the muesli recipe is coming in the next few posts). I have used frozen strawberries as NZ-grown frozen strawberries were preferable to tasteless imported fresh strawberries. This coming summer I will make sure I freeze plenty of strawberries so I can whip up this syrup. I thought about adding a vanilla pod, or some black pepper. Both are well suited to strawberries but I decided in this instance to stay with simple strawberry. It doesn’t get much better than that.
250 ml water
225 g (1 cup) white sugar
250 g frozen strawberries
Place all the ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan.
Bring the ingredients to a boil then turn down and simmer until the fruit is soft and pulpy (about 25-30 minutes).
Strain the mixture through a sieve or jelly bag.
Pour the syrup into a bottle and store in the fridge once cooled.
Makes about 325 ml.
Use to make muesli or add to cold milk for a strawberry milkshake. It is also delicious poured over ice-cream.
Mash the leftover strawberry pulp and add to 2 cups of unsweetened natural yoghurt or add them to a smoothie.
The syrup can be used in many ways – not just in muesli. Put a tablespoon in a glass and top up with cold milk for a strawberry milk drink, or add some vanilla icecream and use the blender to make a strawberry milk shake. We use it to flavour our natural unsweetened yoghurt and serve with muesli for breakfast. It is also nice with vanilla ice-cream.
Curd, Honey, Butter or Cheese – they all have the same ingredients: eggs, sugar, butter & fruit (usually lemons). It seems they are all the same although sometimes Lemon Honey really is Honey with Lemon flavouring it (I have a tub in the cupboard). I’ve always called it curd in our house and I usually make Lemon or Tangelo Curd. I have several recipes that I keep on hand – one is a microwave recipe for when I’m feeling lazy and the whole double boiler-whisking thing isn’t going to happen. I also have a Lemon Curd recipe using whole eggs and one that uses only the yolks – perfect for making after whipping up a batch of meringues. We had some guests for dinner and I needed a make-ahead dessert that I could make the day before and forget about. So meringues it was – and I made some lemon curd to go with. I also made a passionfruit sauce and a blueberry honey sauce; so in all, a very yummy but super easy dessert. I used up the remaining lemon curd the following week by spreading it thickly on my toast. Yum! Continue reading
In the latest Australian Women’s Weekly issue (New Zealand edition (November 2015)), Nigella speaks about the therapy of baking. I don’t often buy the AWW as I have to limit my magazine purchases in order to keep to my assigned budget but occasionally something on the cover calls out to me. Most often it is a kiwi food writer or chef and I always buy the December issue because I LOVE the recipes. In my experience, AWW recipes are very good and so they should be, triple tested and all. I triple test my own recipes because I want them to be as “good” and fail-safe (and because the piglets in my house eat all the baking as I’ve forgotten I need to take photo’s. I still haven’t posted my Apple Caramel Slice recipe because as soon as I make it, it is demolished).
Apples are included in a lot of jam recipes – not usually as the star but as the supporting act. They are great to stretch out a small quantity of more expensive fruits. However apple jam, with apple as the star, is also possible. There are many recipes for Caramel Apple Jam, Apple & Vanilla Jam, Apple Pie Jam – they all sound delicious. I couldn’t find an Apple Pie Jam recipe without added-pectin – apples are really high in pectin so I don’t know why extra pectin is required. Stay tuned for Apple Pie Jam with no added pectin.
After a visit to our local ‘early bird’ market, we came home with a super large bag of Red Delicious & Royal Gala apples. The apple purée I made with this apple mixture turned out a lovely pink hue. It started me thinking about single variety apple jam and how that would taste. I selected the reddest rosiest Red Delicious apples and got out the jam pot. Continue reading
Apple purée / Apple Sauce / Applesauce
Unsweetened apple purée and apple juice
Apple purée is also known as apple sauce or applesauce. I always use unsweetened apple purée in my recipes – so basically cooked apples which are sieved or processed to a fine texture. Nothing else – just apples…… maybe a little water to get the apples softening up but that’s all. I see no reason to sweeten the apples – even if I am making Granny Smith apple purée, the resulting purée is quite sweet enough without added sugar. However apple purée, apple sauce or applesauce can include sugar or honey, as well as spices for flavouring. Continue reading
The level of the spiced apple syrup jar drops alarmingly fast as we are busy making pikelets, hot drinks and generally testing it in any recipe that looks like it could benefit from a spoonful or three. This syrup is something I will be sure to have on hand at all times as it is so versatile – the next task is to convert it from using apple juice to using apples – taking the processing back one further step to use whole fresh produce. But right now, I am onwards in the quest to reproduce appelstroop and it is time to try the second appelstroop recipe.
As I have already used apple syrup in some form in this blog, I thought I’d take a closer look at the different products available. Apple syrup comes in many guises – a little like apples really. When comparing a Granny Smith with a Cox’s Orange – it is almost as if Continue reading