Last week, just before a very wet and windy day, I picked elderflowers so I could make cordial. I love the scent of the flowers!
As well as making a refreshing drink for the summer, I use the cordial in recipes with gooseberries as the two flavours go together so well. Our family favourite is gooseberry cobbler.
The flowers are soaked in a sugar syrup with lemons and citric acid before being strained and bottled. The cordial keeps well in the fridge once opened and lasts longer than most recipes say it will – I have tried it after 2 years and it still tastes of elderflower!
I am selling 500ml bottles for £4 each – please contact me via this post of you are interested as numbers are limited.
Finally, I have made three flavours of my savoury muffins – pancetta and olive, goats cheese and sundried tomato and onion and pepper. These freeze excellently and can be added to packed lunches. They also go well with soup in the winter.
These muffins have been made for selling at the Penshurst Farmers’ Market on 3 June. If you are in the area, come along and taste before you buy!
The last batch of biscuits have been baked for Penshurst Farmers Market on Saturday 3 June – now they just need to be packaged. These are ginger biscuits, topped with stem ginger and would be delicious with ice cream, fruit, a cup of tea or even with a crumbly white cheese!
I have lost count of how many biscuits that is in total, but I think it is somewhere in the region of 1,000.
I will have tasters available for most of the biscuits so if you are near Penshurst tomorrow morning between 9:30 and 12:00, why not come along and try before you buy.
This evening, I have made savoury seeded biscuits and cheesy biscuits – all are made with buckwheat flour so are suitable for gluten free diets.
These are being packaged up ready for selling at Penshurst Farmers Market on Saturday 3 June.
Tomorrow will be my last day in the kitchen for this event – more biscuits and maybe something different!
This afternoon, the kitchen has been filled with the aroma of chocolate biscuits baking in the Rayburn. Rather tempting! Luckily for my waistline, these will be packaged up ready for Penshurst Farmers Market this Saturday 3 June.
All my biscuits are made with organic flour and eggs. I use butter in most of them, as I think it improves the flavour.
Back to baking …… next batch is a savoury one. Watch this space!
I always make biscuits at Christmas and I make savoury biscuits regularly, but I haven’t made sweet biscuits for a while so I thought I would try out a few this afternoon.
Pictured here are vanilla, ginger and lemon biscuits. They may not have the shelf life of shop bought ones, but they do taste good! Try them with your afternoon cup of tea or perhaps with ice cream and fruit for a midweek pudding.
I will be selling these and other types of biscuit at the Penshurst Farmers Market on Saturday 3 June (market is open 9:30 until 12:00) – I hope to see you there!
In order to make space for new chutneys and other preserves, I am having a stock clearance sale . All items are available on a first come first served basis, so if there is something you particularly want, please contact me as soon as possible.
Stock available : 300g jars
1 x Apple and sultana chutney £2.50
1 x Pumpkin and raisin chutney £2.50
1 x Apricot apple and hazelnut chutney £2.50
5 x Victoria plum jam £2.00 each
5 x Raspberry jam £2.00 each
7 x Luxury apricot and brandy mincemeat £2.00 each
4 x Seville orange marmalade £2.00 each
8 x Dark Seville orange marmalade £2.00 each
Stock available : 200g/190g jars
18 x Spiced Damson chutney £1.50 each
12 x Blackberry jelly £1.50 each
4 x Cranberry and orange compôte £2.00 each
1 x Spiced redcurrant jelly £1.50
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Each Christmas, I make savoury biscuits for hampers sold by South Downs Cellars. Initially, I made oatcakes flavoured with fresh thyme or rosemary. Last year, I tried a different recipe for oat and walnut biscuits. These contain a small amount of sugar but are not sweet and go well with soft blue cheeses like Gorgonzola or Dolcelatte as well as other rinded soft cheeses like Brie or Taleggio.
As another experiment, I made a batch replacing the wheat flour with buckwheat flour. They are gluten free and taste delicious. The oats and chopped walnuts give them an interesting texture.
I will be adding these to my list of products available to buy – either with buckwheat or wheat flour, depending on your preference.
The Seville orange season is short, so in January or February when they make their brief appearance in our shops, I buy some to make marmalade and a couple of family favourite puddings.
However, like many, I don’t usually eat toast in the mornings so jars of marmalade accumulate! This year, I decided to try using marmalade in other recipes to see whether they would taste good.
First, I made a bread and butter pudding by spreading marmalade on panettone that was left over from Christmas, and baking with a mixture of eggs and cream. It was so delicious that it was eaten before I could photograph it! I made a second and the same thing happened. The fruit in the panettone meant I didn’t add any extra but I chopped the strips of orange peel in the marmalade into small pieces before adding them to the pudding.
Second, I tried a marmalade drizzle cake, using my normal lemon drizzle cake recipe and replacing the lemon zest in the sponge with Seville orange zest and spreading a mixture of marmalade and Seville orange juice over the top of the cake as soon as it came out of the oven. I think the cake works very well – the bitter orange tang comes through the sponge making a delicious variation on drizzle cakes.
I usually freeze the zest and juice of Seville oranges to use later in the year and will report back on future experiments with marmalade and the zest and juice.