Category Archives: Seasonal

Windfall Damson Jam

After my bread workshop at  The Artisan Bakehouse in Ashurst on Saturday, I couldn’t wait to make some Damson jam with a few windfall damsons from their tree, gorgeous little plump purpley fruits that would go to waste, languishing on the ground.  A few of us on the workshop picked some up, it will be interesting to see what everyone has made.

windfall damsons

I had around 800g of damsons but only used 600g for the jam, the rest I stewed and made a compote to add to our morning porridge, Miss ND has eaten plums but not damsons yet and they are good source of fibre and vitamin C, plus  B2, phosphorus, copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium.

damsons

jam making

I reduced the sugar in this jam too only using 35og as I find most jams teeth-curlingly sweet!   Damsons are high in pectin and by the end of the cook the damson jam had reached the desired setting point.   And for a little twist after cooling for a few minutes I added 2 tablespoons of Port.   I read the other day that damson plums can be made into gin or in some countries, damson wine, both of which I would love to sample!  

  

windfall jam 

Windfall Damson Jam, looks, smells and tastes delicious!

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Blackberry and Toasted Hazelnut Muffins

The garden has produced a bumper crop of apples this year, the cherries didn’t do so well and what little we had the birds got.  The blackberries have been so abundant in our garden that I’ve picked several bucketloads already and still they are coming!  We’ve made the usual Apple & Blackberry Pies and used a quite a few in our breakfasts and I can’t resist popping a few every time I pass the kitchen (allegedly they have super skin-tightening properties so hopefully no need for that facelift!) but I needed to use more and quite fast too as once picked they only last a couple of days in the fridge.

These Blackberry and Toasted Hazelnut Muffins from Tesco Real Food use 200g of blackberries and includes a fair amount of yoghurt  (we use Total Greek Yoghurt, it’s thick and stays on the spoon, vital when the toddler is aiming for her mouth and of course she loves it!)  in the recipe for a lovely moist, fruity muffin.  You can find their recipe here.

Blackberrymuffins Collage

I made a couple of adjustments to suit us, I used self-raising wholemeal flour instead of plain wholemeal flour and less baking powder to compensate.  Also swapped out 50g of the wholemeal flour for self-raising white flour, these muffins will be eaten by a toddler and the addition of a little white flour makes the muffins lighter.   And of course, no surprise I took the sugar down to 80g from 100g.

I shall be making another batch, it’s a great recipe, the softness of the fruit with a satisfying little crunch from the toasted hazelnuts.  Next time I will add more blackberries to the top, after all I have plenty!  

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Blackberry Yoghurt Muffins

Just when I thought I’d picked the last of the blackberries from the garden, another lot pops up all glossy, black and ripe waiting to be harvested.  The  birds don’t seem to want them, unlike my apples and cherries, maybe because of the thorny branches they grow on, I always seem to get a thorn or two attached to me when picking!

 

We’ve been having the blackberries with our breakfast and baked into the odd apple pie, but today I made a few, quick Blackberry Yoghurt Muffins, mostly for Toddler ND but also to satisfy my cakey cravings!  I do enjoy yoghurt in cakes for the moistness it brings and also the added protein to give it balance.  I’ve added orange and lemon juice and zests which give the cakes a lovely fruity tang.
Ingredients: *This recipe contains nuts*

120g Butter
90g Whitworths Golden Natural unrefined caster sugar
1 Organic free range egg
Zest of ½ lemon and orange
Juice of ½ lemon and orange
2 generous tablespoons of Total Greek Yoghurt
120g Self raising flour
½ Baking powder
60g Ground Almonds
100g Blackberries
Method:
Preheat your oven to 180°C. 
1.  Beat the butter and sugar together until lovely and smooth, I used my fabulous KitchenAid, so quick and easy to use.
2.  Add the egg, orange and lemon juices and zests plus the yoghurt and beat in.
3.  Stir in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds until well combined.  Stir in the blackberries carefully so as not to crush too much, some will break but you will get some lovely whole blackberries in each bite too.
4.  Dollop into a prepared 12 hole muffin tin lined with baking cases until ¾ full.  Bake for 20 minutes until risen and lightly golden.  Cool on a wire rack.  Makes 12 medium sized muffins.

Perfect tea-time treat for little fingers, full of fresh fruit goodness. 
Delicious!

Nuutritional Info:
Blackberries: 
Rich in antioxidants, high in fibre and flavonoids.  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackberry#Nutrient_content_of_seeds