After a plum hunt on Pinterest I decided to have a go at these plum breakfast bars from Jen’s Favourite Cookies. I converted the recipe in to UK measures but had to adjust along the way to get them to stick together. I guessed this was down to difference in UK/US ingredients but as I came to fill the tin size suggested I was massively short of the mix – maybe mine were chunkier? Anyway, the disclaimer is out there, this is Jen’s recipe, converted and tweaked.
In essence they’re a crunchy crumble mix sandwiching a layer of gooey, sticky plum. Oh, and they’re good! Jen calls these Breakfast Bars but as I poured the sugar and butter in I’d sway more towards dessert.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin.
Combine the dry ingredients from the crumble in a bowl and pour over the melted butter. Use a spoon to ensure they’re well combined and none of the flour is left ‘dry’.
Spread three quarters of the mixture in the bottom of the baking tin, applying pressure to pack it together. Bake for 10 mins or until the top starts to turn golden brown.
Mix the plum layer ingredients together, adding an even layer to the base. Top with the remaining crumble mixture. Bake for around 20 mins or until the top has browned again.
Allow to cool before cutting or attempting to take it out of the tin.
These store in an airtight container in the fridge but are at their crunchy best on the day they’re made.
You could do this with any fruit. Apple and raisin would be lovely, maybe even a layer of jam. Adding different nuts and seeds would give them more of a crunch and you could dress them up with a drizzle of melted chocolate if you fancied.
You know you have a good dog when you can set up for blog photos on the floor, leave the food there and go off to find the knife you’ve forgotten.
I absolutely love this boy and his company. He’s so well behaved and gentle natured. My family have had two springers before him, both wonderful dogs in their own way but certainly not as loving as Fynn is.
I love this time of year for many things, but mainly because it’s time to get the jam pan out and watch my Mum whip up batches of her legendary jams and jellies.
The scent is better than any candle you could ever buy and the house fills with it. It smells like the best moments of my childhood. Of course over the years I’ve learnt that the best time to appear is just as the jam needs testing to see if it has set. That’s the earliest she’ll ever let you have a taste you see, before that point it’s just plain torture!
It was only natural that I set about to make some chilli jam with the gigantic crop that our chilli plants offered up this year. For the heat fearing, this isn’t a super hot recipe. It’s sweet and flavourful with just a kick at the end.
I know lots of people have given Nigella Lawson’s chilli jam recipe a go but I have two issues with hers. Issue 1 is the biggie for me. Nigella tells you to sterilise your jars but then she advises you to leave the jam to cool for almost an hour and then pour in to cold jars. I’m at a complete loss. Hot jam and hot jars create a seal. Cool jam and cold jars create a not very well preserved, preserve. Kind of pointless.
Issue 2 is more just a matter of preference for me. Nigella advises using pectin powder to set her jam, I’d rather use the unprocessed pectin found in apples because it’s natural and cheaper!
So yes, this chilli jam recipe is properly preserved. The jars are sterilised and sealed and the lids “pop” just like you’d expect anything from the supermarket to. It’s set naturally using the pectin from crab apples – like jam should be.
My Dad thinks it works a treat in a steak baguette. I love to dip beer battered king prawns in it or spread on hot crusty bread. Smother salmon fillets before baking, liven up a burger, serve with a cheese board or cold meats, spice up sausages, mix in to mayo… (more…)
Today I turn 24. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened so quickly when I still feel shifty buying alcohol. If any of you know, please do enlighten me.
I knew I wanted to post something today and I’d planned on doing a Birthday tag post, that is until I found something much more worthy. Ever found something you’ve done that you never knew existed?
Whilst digging out an old photo album in my Parent’s loft, I came across some treasure. It seems I always wanted to be a food blogger and prepared this beautifully illustrated Birthday Cake post nineteen years in advance:
Incase you can’t decipher my impeccable script and spelling, it reads: ” I made some cakes with Mrs Greenwood and I shared them with my Sister and we ate them”. Not the most enthralling post but I think I did pretty well all things considered. There’s even an action shot of bald, faceless me pouring something in to a mixing bowl and what I think is a top down view of two cakes.
Finding this made my day. I hope you don’t mind me sharing something different.
I’m off for tea and cakes this afternoon with some wonderful friends and probably a glass or three of something sparkling later on. After three weeks of assignments and exams the timing couldn’t be better. I love Birthdays!
The bramble has to be one of my favourite cocktails. The fact it has gin in is always a good pointer, add to that the sharpness of the lemon and it’s a winner for me. For those that aren’t familiar it’s Crème de Mûre, lemon juice, sugar syrup and gin.
Now, I don’t have any Crème de Mûre but I do have a heck of a lot of blackberry bushes in our field. Work with what you have right? What happens if I infuse gin with blackberries, add sugar and lemon juice? Bramble gin happens.
It seems everyone has a really good crop this year thanks to the sun we’ve had, so if you’ve never been picking now is the perfect time to start. The first rule is to wear old clothes. The really plump juicy ones explode like tiny bombs of impossibly steadfast stain and if you manage to avoid that, they’ll get you with their thorny second line of attack. Long sleeves work well as protection against the scratches and if you’re picking with heavy handed little ones, disposable gloves might be a good call. My final word of advice is to always pick above waist height, especially on road sides hedgerows (think great danes wee).
If you’re reading this in the future *wavy hands* and they aren’t in season, this should work fine with frozen blackberries stocked by most supermarkets.
For every 500ml of gin, you’ll need:
1tbsp lemon juice
a litre jar/bottle
Layer the sugar and berries in the bottom of a sterilised bottle. Pour over the lemon juice and gin. Seal tightly and give it your best shake.
Keep it somewhere cool and dark (like a kitchen cupboard) shaking once or twice a week to keep the berries infusing. Leave for around 3 months, just in time for Christmas parties.
When ready, the sugar will be fully dissolved, giving more body to the dark glossy gin. Strain through a muslin cloth or a fine sieve lined with kitchen roll in to sterilised bottles. Dish out to impress your guests or keep it hidden away all for yourself.
I’ll come back and update you with a photo when this batch is ready for drinking. I suggest trying it out with soda water, tonic or neat with plenty of ice.