All of the recipes with none of the ramblings!
2 very large heavy based pots
3 – 4 saucers (left to chill in the freezer)
As many jars with lids as you can lay your jammy mitts on, steeped in boiling water for 20 minutes (don’t touch the inners of the jars and lids to avoid contamination)
Ingredients (this recipe makes enough for about 2kg of jam or approximately 4 regular sized jars):
1kg of washed ripe mixed berries (I’d personally recommend combining strawberries and raspberries in equal quantities. Chop the strawberries if large and always ensure the fruit is devoid of insects, rot etc)
100g caster sugar
30g jam sugar (sugar with pectin)
Juice of 1 lemon
Place the pan over a medium heat and pour in the 100g of caster sugar. Heat until the sugar begins to dissolve on the base of the pan. Stir frequently to avoid the sugar burning on the base.
After about 5 minutes add the mixed berries to the pan and stir quickly to ensure all are evenly coated with the granulated syrup that’s formed in the pan. Turn the heat up and stir for a few times until the berries begin to release their juice.
Once the berries begin swimming in their own juice, give it one last stir and add a lid to the pan. The berries should now begin to boil rapidly.
After approximately 5-10 minutes, remove the lid and add the lemon juice and jam sugar. Boil for another 5-10 minutes until the berries are almost completely broken down (Don’t bother skimming the surface to remove the foam … it’s way too laborious and for me, achieves nothing).
Now remove one of the saucers from the freezer and using a teaspoon, carefully place a small dollop on the centre of the saucer. Return the saucer to the freezer.
After 2 minutes check the “jam” on the saucer to see if it is at all set (the surface of the jam should wrinkle slightly when pushed with your finger). If so remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. If not repeat the last step every 5 minutes until the desired consistency is reached.
Once you have your jam, begin filling every last receptacle with your spoils CAREFULLY!
Seal the jars with the lids and add to another large pan filled with cold water. For additional sterilisation, place the pan on a high heat and boil rapidly for about 20 minute.
Leave to cool completely, adorn the jars with any Lakeland Plastics labels and lumberjack shirt material you wish, store in a cool dark place and mention your homemade jam in polite company at every given opportunity.
Stuffed Courgette Flowers by Tom Dowson from
The marrow after the courgette before …
Ingredients (enough 2 as a large starter):
7-8 fresh courgette flowers (carefully washed if necessary)
For the filling:
200g ricotta cheese
75g Parmesan cheese
1tsp fresh shredded basil
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2tsp of lemon zest
freshly ground salt and pepper
For the batter:
100g plain flour mixed
110ml ice-cold water
extra lightly seasoned plain flour for dusting
For deep frying:
750ml sunflower oil
homemade Balsamic vinegar reduction or shop bought version
whole basil leaves and thyme sprigs
If necessary wash the courgette flowers carefully, lightly dry and set aside.
Pour the sunflower oil into a large pan and set over a medium heat.
Mix all of the filling ingredients together and carefully spoon into the courgette flowers. Twist the tips of the flowers to enclose the filling.
When the oil has reached a sufficient temperature (a cube of bread should brown and crisp in approximately 5-7 seconds), lightly roll the flowers in the seasoned flour and then holding the flower by the tips, dip into the batter mix and then straight into the hot oil. Fry in 2 batches.
When golden and crisp remove the flowers with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen roll.
Drop the basil leaves and thyme sprigs into the oil for literally 10 seconds to crisp and remove.
While still hot and crisp, plate up the courgette flowers, drizzle over the Balsamic reduction and top with the deep-fried herbs. Devour, making as many ridiculous breathy vocal sounds as possible when you inadvertently burn your mouth on the filling.
Courgette and Cheese Pilaf by DB
My top courgette recipe, however is a Courgette and Cheese Pilaf. Fry onion, garlic, red chilli, diced courgette in olive oil; put aside then add bulgar to oiled pan, coat grains then add stock and raisins and cook until bulgar is softened. Return courgette mixture and add pine nuts and heat through. Take off heat, add lumps of mozzarella cheese, cover for 5 to let cheese go really stringy, add mint and eat with warmed pitta – yum.
Courgette Flower Spaghetti by Lizzie B
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley leaves
900g/2lb ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
12 courgette flowers, pistils removed, cut into strips
450g/1lb dried spaghettini
freshly grated parmesan cheese
put the olive oil, garlic and red chilli flakes in a large saute pan. cook over gentle heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the aromas rise. add the parsley and cook for a moment. add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. add the courgette flower strips and cook over low heat until they are tender.
meanwhile cook the spaghettini in abundant salted boiling water. drain when al dente. toss with the sauce and serve immediately, sprinkly with paremesan cheese …
Courgette and Dolcelatte Soup by Max
My recipe is for courgette and dolcelatte soup which is simply divine.
1. Saute a finely chopped onion in olive oil until softened. Add 375g of finely chopped courgette and fry without browning for 5 mins until just beginning to soften.
2. Add 1 pint of vegetable stock and half a teaspoon of dried basil, bring to boil and simmer for 10 mins until the vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and and blitz. Add 125g of crumbled dolcelatte cheese (or other mild soft cheese), 5 fl. oz double cream and check for seasoning, adding plenty of black pepper.
3. Reheat, making sure the cheese has melted. Serve with parmesan croutons.
(A Cheats) Wild Mushroom and Goats Cheese Pasty by Tom Dowson from
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main meal):
400g wild mushrooms, wiped with any nasties removed and coarsely chopped (or try oyster, field, chestnut, or any other in season mushroom)
70g salted butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
100g pre-cooked chestnuts, finely chopped
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, woody stalks removed
splash of white wine
handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
zest of 1/2 lemon
100g tangy Welsh goats cheese
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
freshly ground salt and black pepper
1 beaten egg
1 handful each radicchio and frisee leaves
a glug of good olive oil
juice 1/2 lemon
Pre-heat a baking tray in the oven to 200℃.
In a large sauté pan over a medium to low heat, sweat the onions with a knob of butter for 10 minutes. Once translucent, add the thyme sprigs, the remaining butter, mushrooms and chestnuts.
Once the mushrooms have released their juices and reabsorbed them (approximately 15 minutes) add the splash of white wine to remoisten. Cook for a further 5 minutes and season to taste with freshly ground salt and black pepper.
Cut the puff pastry into a circle with a diameter of approximately 25cm. Add the parsley and the lemon zest to the to the pan and give one final stir. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the centre of the pastry disk, leaving a 5cm outer ring for crimping. Dot the mixture with the goat’s cheese and carefully fold one-side of the pastry to the other to make a bulging semi-circle.
From the bottom point of the semi circle, pull the 5cm rim over onto itself and tuck underneath each fold to completely encapsulate the mixture. Brush with the beaten egg and carefully transfer the pasty to the preheated baking tray. Dress the leaves with lemon juice and oil.
Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes until the pasty turns a golden biscuit colour.
Fanfare the pasty from the kitchen to the table on a wooden chopping board, Allow the chosen few to serve themselves and watch them happily fight for the corner you haven’t already laid claims to. Cleanse each pasty mouthful with a chomp on the dressed leaves.