Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pear & Vanilla Jam

Pear and Vanilla Jam



This is just a small addition and adaption to Birgit's recipe in the Fed Up cookbook.  Most of the frillypantii love this jam and guests are always intrigued.  As if I've created jam from some exotic fruit.  Everyone loves it and it's probably because it's such a subtle flavour.

I added vanilla when I saw a 'gourmet jam' for a squillion dollars in a deli.  'Pear and vanilla'.  The second time I made it was for the school's Easter Fair.  I was going to take pity on the stall and buy them myself... but by the time I got there,  it was all gone!  Ridiculous!  People paid about $6 for a small jar.  The cost to produce this is so teeny tiny I can't even make my brain small enough to work it out.  And... even if you don't have a Thermomix,  the recipes I have read online show that the saucepan method is almost as simple.  (Except, I've walked away from my jam-making-Thermomix to type this.  Can't do that with a saucepan.  No,  I do not sell Thermomixes.)

I use tinned pear because I want it to be as easy as possible.  When pear is in season,  you might like to use fresh.  Either way... still easy.  You can use Vanilla extract, paste or 'proper' vanilla pods,  just depends on what you have.  (Just make sure it's not preserved.)

Ingredients:
  • 2x 825g tins of Pears in Syrup  (or 1kilo fresh, peeled and cored)
  • Seeds of 1-2 Vanilla Pods (or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract)
  • 750 g Sugar
  • 1 tsp Citric Acid or Ascorbic Acid
  • 50g packet 'Jamsetta'  (contains sugar, pectin and citric acid)
Method:
  • Drain pears (and retain syrup to make icypoles or use in other recipes)
  • Put all ingredients into Thermomix,  chop on Speed 3-4 for a few seconds to chop pears
  • Cook for 45 minutes,  100ºC Speed 2.
  • If it seems not to be setting enough when you test it,  try  5-10 minutes at Varoma temp.  *be careful of hot splashes,  place the steaming basket on top with MC out*
Verdict:  Universally loved
Tweeks:  Make this as vanilla-ry as you would like/can tolerate.  Or leave out the vanilla and just go all pear.

PS  if you have any doubt that you are saving yourself some money,  have a look at this price!!  I am not suggesting 'Hank' is gouging us,  just covering costs and making some money.  But...  woah!  Hank's pear and Vanilla Jam

Friday, February 1, 2013

Savoury Pinwheels


I was inspired by one of those 4 Ingredients style recipes. 

I thought "Well!  I can do that!!  With No-Tomato Sauce and Real Deli Chicken.  Easy!!"  (Yeah  I often think in exclamation marks.    !!!   Are you surprised?!?!?!) 

With the Deli Chicken,  to err on the side of caution we'll have to assume the amines are building up and up each time it is cooked...  so,  let's just consider this a 'moderate' amine dish and be careful if you're sensitive to amines. 

Ingredients:
Method:
  • While the sheets are still frozen and on their plastic sheet, spread a layer of the sauce,  all the way to the edges.  How thick depends on your preference
  • Sprinkle with chopped chicken,  making sure it's all the way to the edges.
  • Roll the pastry (it will have thawed by now) away from you, holding the plastic sheet with one hand to pull back while you roll the pastry forward with the other.
  • With a good, sharp knife, chop into desired size.  I like to go half, then half and then thirds. 
  • Place onto lined tray, lying down sidewards and bake for 20-30 minutes at 180ºC
  • Can be frozen to pop into school lunch boxes,  but best eaten fresh.
Verdict:  Ms D says "That is rooolly nice!  Can I have some more?"  She and her sleepover friend just polished off a few more while I was distracted. 

Tweeks:  If you can tolerate amines  you might like to add a small amount of grated tasty cheese.  And if amines really, really aren't a problem... you might use additive-free bacon.