Tag Archives: jellies

What did I do with the medlars?

So, what did I do with the medlars? In my previous post on medlars, I left you with a hint of my intentions. Here is the hint, again, in this photo. Time for the next stepHere’s another hint; it involves a little time, plus pears, medlars, sugar, lemon, water, plate, spoon, pot, stove top, bowls, frying pan, a strainer, and absolutely no autumn leaves. Their purpose in the photo was decorative only.  So, yes, you guessed it. I made medlar pear jelly. Actually, more pear than medlar because I had 3 pears to brew, and only 2 medlars.

I chopped and chunked the fruit, skin and all; placed it in a small pot with a quarter of a lemon, skin and all; barely covered the fruit with water and, then, had a merry boil-up, till the fruit was soft. Next the contents of the pot were sieved through a cheese cloth . More shoved than sieved because I am not patient with jelly making and rarely do the proper thing, which is to let the fruit liquid seep very, very slowly through the cheese cloth into a container.

The end result was a lovely, pale amber extraction which made me think of mead, or honey wine. It didn’t taste like mead;  it did taste like soft, sweet pear juice, flavoured with a drop of medlar  essence and a squeeze of lemon.

The next stage was to take one cup of the juice, a quarter cup of lemon juice and one and a quarter cups of sugar and boil the mixture until it jellied ie until a small splodge of it set freely on a cold plate. I like to make jelly, or jam, in small quantities and in a small frying pan, as I find that I get a quicker set that way.  And here is the result; three small bowls of golden jelly, ever so firm and smooth and subtlely  pear-ish, spiced with the lightest touch of medlar. Would you like some? It is scrumptious on toast.

Don’t mind if I do! Jelly with Mead would be nice, thank you.

Footnote: Mead, like the medlar, has a long history. Mead has ancient origins throughout Africa, Asia and Europe and, most likely, pre-dates culitvation of the soil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead  Cats have  an ancient history too 🙂

© silkannthreades

Milk pudding; the mighty comfort food

Milk puddings. You either love them or hate them. My offspring hate them.Baked Rice Pudding

I LOVE them.  I love milk puddings for  themselves.  I love them for their association with grandparents and great aunts and happy memories of long gone kitchens, full of jellies and jams, bottled fruit, and pikelets, sponge cakes, roast dinners, cream, new peas, strawberries, boxes of apricots, flummeries, sponge kisses, sausages  homemade tomato sauce, porridge with cream on top and…….. milk puddings!

Tonight I made a baked rice milk pudding, or a baked rice custard, one of my favourite milk puddings.

Ingredients: I cup of cooked rice; 2 eggs; pinch of salt, 4 tablespoons of sugar; 2 cups of whole milk; a few drops of vanilla essence and some freshly grated nutmeg.

Method: Preheat the oven to 325F (not fanbake) or 140C ( fanbake). Grease a rectangular pie dish. Mine is 21cm by 15cm.   Place the cooked rice in the dish.  Lightly whisk the eggs with the salt and add the sugar and milk and whisk a little more till the ingredients are combined. Don’t over whisk. Add the essence and then pour the mixture over the rice. Grate a little nutmeg over the top of the ingredients.  Place the dish in a dish of water and bake in the oven until the custard is firm and set and golden.  Takes about 45 minutes to an hour in my oven. I like to eat my pudding with stewed fruit and cream.

Milk puddings are extremely good for older people so that means I can eat lots of them 🙂

© silkannthreades