Strawberry Preserve

This is the season of strawberry and I also got too many strawberries from my garden. So, I thought of making strawberry preserve and share the recipe with you all. The only thing you have to do is to chop the strawberries and mix them with sugar and stir them continuously.

Preserves or Jams that are made fresh from fruits have their own unique flavour than the store bought jams. This is a simple and easy 2 ingredient recipe of strawberry preserve.

Strawberry preserves can be used to toast, can be added as a layer in between the cakes, can be used as toppings for icecreams and cheesecakes.

When you start preparing the jams or preserves in your home, then you won’t go to the store to buy them. The taste is so much different for both. You will get a softer and looser texture if you make this preserve at your home. Do try this 2 ingredient recipe and enjoy !

Ingredients :

  • Strawberry – 500 g
  • Sugar            – 750 g

Method of preparation:

  • Wash and clean the organic strawberries
  • Discard the caps and leaves of all the strawberries
  • Chop them to half or quarter lengthwise depending on the size of the strawberry
  • Combine the berries with sugar in a large stainless steel container
  • Allow the berries to rest overnight
  • On next day, take a saucepan and add the berries in sugar
  • Let it slowly boil till the sugar dissolves,  by stirring occasionally
  • Increase the heat and bring the mix to a full rolling boil
  • Using a spoon, skim off the foam from the surface
  • Once cooled, transfer it to a glass container.

How to test whether the strawberry preserve is done :

To know whether strawberry preserves are ready, you may dip a spoon into the sauce pan. Takr out the spoon and run your finger along the back. If there is a clear path and the jam doesn’t cover that spot, it’s done!

Soaking fruits for Christmas cake

Fruit soaking for cake

Christmas bells are ringing and the most wonderful time of the year has come. The spirit of Christmas has made me to try out new recipes in cakes. So,I started this month with the fruit soaking for Christmas fruit cakes. Traditional plum cake or Christmas fruit cake requires soaking of dried fruits and nuts for weeks or months in advance. If you like rich and moist fruit cake, then this recipe is for you.

This fruit mix is super easy to prepare. The only thing is you have to shop different kinds of dried fruits and nuts and then chop it into very fine pieces. Christmas cakes are very common across the globe but the timeline for fruit soaking are different in different places. Some may soak before one year, 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks, and even 2 days in advance.

The most commonly used dried fruits are raisins, prunes, cranberries, dried cherries, candied oranges, candied ginger, dried pineapple, dried apricots, etc. You can choose them as per the market availability and your taste. Almonds, Walnuts, and cashew nuts can also be used along with these dried fruits.

Soaking can be done in rum, wine or juices. The commonly used juices for soaking are grape juice, orange juice and apple juice. But, I always do soaking in homemade wines. If you do not have wine at home, you can go for these bottle juices available in shops. The only thing to keep in mind is that you have to refrigerate the dry fruits if they are soaked in juice. If soaked in wine or rum, they can be stored outside in a cool place.

Even though it is a very simple and easy process, the whole process which starts from shopping of dry fruits to cutting them and finally soaking them takes me to a Christmas mood and it is simply amazing. Wishing you all a happy and blessed season !

Ingredients:

  • Black raisins – 250 g
  • Golden raisins – 250 g
  • Dates chopped – 300 g
  • Tutti-frutti red,green and yellow- 250 g, each
  • Chopped cashew nuts – 200 g
  • Home made grape wine – 2 cups

Method of soaking :

  • Clean dry fruits as required, remove the stems from raisins if there are any. Also, use seedless raisins. Deseed the dates and chop them into fine pieces
  • Add all the chopped dry fruits and cashewnuts to a large glass jar or ceramic jar. Do not use any metal containers
  • Pour the home made wine to the mixture and mix them properly using a spatula
  • Cover with a lid
  • Store in a cool dark place of your kitchen
  • Stir the fruits daily so that they get evenly coated with wine
  • Then, you can use it as per your cake recipe requirements.

Notes :

  • If you want a crunchy nut in cake, avoid soaking of nuts. You can add them directly during cake baking.
  • Some recipe calls for the addition of spices powder (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) also to this fruit jar. But I add this spice powder during baking, based on the recipe requirements.
  • The quantity of alcohol or juice should be just enough to immerse the dry fruits.

Pineapple bread pudding

Pineapple bread pudding

Pineapple bread pudding is a dessert which is mainly made of bread slices, pineapple jam and milk. In this pudding, bread slices are simply soaked in the milk with other ingredients and is then steamed or baked.

This is a very simple recipe of pudding. We no need to add any gelatin or agar agar to this pudding. Here, we are steaming the pudding using a steamer. You can also bake the same.

Be careful while preparing caramel for this pudding. You have to stir the sugar continuously in low flame. Or else, the sugar may get burnt and the caramel will become bitter in taste.

I had used homemade pineapple jam in this recipe. I will be uploading the recipe of pineapple jam in my site soon. So, if you do not have homemade jam, you can go for readymade jam which is available in our markets.

The speciality of this pudding is, you can serve it either hot or the remaining can be refrigerated and serve cold. You can store the pudding for 3 to 4 days in refrigerator.

Ingredients :

  • Bread – 8 slices
  • Milk – 500 ml
  • Egg – 2
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Pineapple jam – 1/2 cup
  • Butter – 2 teaspoon
  • Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon

For caramel :

  • Sugar – 4 tablespoon
  • Water – 2 tablespoon

Method of preparation:

  • Mix milk, sugar, 1/4 cup of pineapple jam, vanilla essence and make a custard
  • Add butter and the beaten eggs also
  • Stir till the sugar dissolves completely in milk
  • Soak the bread slices in the milk mixture
  • Mix well till the bread becomes soft
  • Take a pan and add 4 tablespoon sugar
  • In low flame stir the sugar along with 2 tablespoon of water
  • Switch off the flame when the sugar becomes golden brown in colour
  • Transfer the caramel to a vessel and spread evenly on the base of the vessel
  • Then add the milk mixture to the vessel
  • Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of pineapple jam randomly on the top of the milk mixture
  • Cover the vessel with an aluminum foil, and make small holes on the foil
  • Keep the vessel in a steamer for 25 minutes or bake the pudding in oven
  • If the pudding gets detached from the edge of vessel, it means that the pudding is cooked
  • Further, allow the pudding to cool
  • Transfer the pudding to a refrigerator for 2 hours
  • After 2 hours, invert the pudding to a plate
  • Cut it into pieces and serve.

Guava Jelly

Here is the simplest recipe of a guava Jelly which you can easily prepare at your home. This Jelly will be loved by all the guava lovers. You can also have it with bread if needed. It can also be consumed directly. Jelly’s are made of nothing more than fruit and sugar, boiled in water. It is the pectin in fruit that is the magical setting or gumming, agent-a hydrocolloid that causes the fruit syrup to set firm as it cools. We extract the chemical glue, pectin, from fruits by boiling them. Because there is just a small amount of pectin in most fruits, it needs to be concentrated, then coaxed into a gel. When boiled gently in water for a few minutes until soft, the fruit cells start to rupture and  much of the pectin escapes and dissolves into the water. Adding sugar with the fruit sweetens and thickens the mixture, drawing water away from the pectin molecules and forcing pectin strands to knit. Turning the heat up  causes the mixture to boil and froth vigorously. During this time the syrup thickens and pectin reforms into a gel-like configuration.

Guava Jelly

Ingredients

  • 1½ kg .ripe guavas – good variety with less seeds
  • 1/4 kg sugar
  • 2 lime’s juice

Method of preparation

Cut the guavas into four pieces each. Put them in a clean degchi and pour enough water to cover the fruits. Cover and cook till tender. Strain the cooked fruits through a musline without crushing them. (to get the clear juice). Add sugar to the juice and boil till a syrup consistancy is formed. Add lime juice and cook again for 5 minutes. Store in bottles when it is still warm, but do not close them with the lids before it becomes quite cold.

Jackfruit Halwa

It is the time of Jackfruit and for all the Halwa lovers I am introducing Jackfruit halwa. I will make it a bit tasty,this will be really delicious for all the sweet tooth out there. Its a long and time consuming process for a sweet, but worth the hardwork.As jackfruit is a seasonal fruit, my mother prepares in bulk and uses for the off seasons.

Ingredients :

  • Chopped Jackfruit – 4 cups
  • Sugar – 2 cups
  • Cornflour – 1/4 cup
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 1/4 cup
  • Cashewnuts – 15

Method of preparation:

  • Add the chopped jackfruit in a blender
  • Blend it by adding small amount of water and make Jackfruit puree
  • Switch on the flame and add this puree to a kadai
  • Add sugar
  • Mix the cornflour in milk
  • Add milk to the kadai,when the sugar dissolves completely
  • Now add ghee and mix well
  • Cook in a medium flame until you get a thick consistency
  • Check the taste and add sugar and ghee as per your taste(if needed)
  • Roast cashewnuts in ghee and add it to kadai
  • Mix well
  • Switch off the flame when halwa consistency is reached
  • Allow the Halwa to cool
  • Our jackfruit halwa is ready to serve
  • Refrigerate it.

Mango Jam

Mangoes are the best fruit which is available during summer. Using mangoes, varieties of dishes and sweets can be prepared. Here is the recipe of Mango Jam using 3 ingredients and is 100 percent natural. No preservatives or coloring agent is added. This home made jam is super tastier than the jam which we buy from shops. You can refrigerate this jam for 1 to 2 months and can use whenever required with breads and chappathis.

Ingredients :

  • Ripe Mangoes –  1/2 kg
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Lime juice – 1 tspn
Mango Jam

Method of preparation :

  • Wash,Peel of the mangoes and cut it into pieces
  • Add these mango pieces into mixer grinder
  • Blend the mangoes to a fine paste
  • Add the mango puree to a pan and heat it
  • Add sugar once the bubble forms from the puree
  • Mix well
  • Once the sugar dissolves,add lime juice
  • Stir continuously so that it does not stick to the pan
  • Cook till it becomes thicker and reaches Jam consistency
  • Remove from the heat
  • Transfer it to a glass jar when it is lukewarm
  • Close the glass jar after the jam cools completely
  • Refrigerate the jam
  • Have this delicious jam with bread,Chappathis,etc.

NB :

  • Semi-ripe mangoes are best for making jams
  • Use a glass jar to store jam
  • Refrigerate jam since no preservatives are added
  • Take out jam using dry spoon only