Salt Sugar Smoke Recipes
Here are recipes to fill the larder with the most delicious conserves of all kinds. Award-winning food writer Diana Henry has sourced preserves from many different cuisines, from familiar fruit jams to more unusual recipes such as Georgian plum sauce, rhubarb schnapps and Middle Eastern pickled turnips.
There is expert advice and instruction on techniques where necessary - from successful smoking (without expensive equipment) to foolproof jellies. We have 2 recipes from the book for you to try at home.
Raspberry and Violet jam
Raspberry jam is one of the most delicious. Turning raspberries into jam intensifies their
flavour and, as they have a whiff of the flower, violet is a perfect addition. I don’t like it too
sweet so I don’t add the traditional quantity of sugar (I also use sugar with added pectin;
raspberries are low in pectin so it isn’t easy to get a set). I try to catch it at the optimum point,
I love a soft set but don’t want a coulis. With practice you get to judge when the jam is ready.
Once opened, keep this in the refrigerator.
For an easier life, use equal quantities of sugar
and fruit, but I think this gives a 'boiled sweet' flavour. You can add more violet syrup or liqueur, but remember you don’t want the jam to be too runny.
Fills 10 x 225g (8oz) jars
- 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) raspberries
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) granulated sugar with pectin ('jam sugar')
- juice of 1 lemon
- 75ml (2¾fl oz) violet syrup or violet liqueur
- Put the raspberries into a preserving pan with the sugar and lemon juice. Gently heat, stirring to
help the sugar dissolve. Once it has dissolved, whack the heat up and bring to a boil. Boil steadily
until the setting point is reached (do the wrinkle test too, see page 11), skimming off any scum.
- Stir in the violet syrup. Cool for 12 minutes so the seeds distribute evenly. Pot in warm, dry
sterilized jars, cover with waxed paper discs and seal. This keeps for a year; refrigerate once opened.
Quince and Star Anise jelly
Smoky and autumnal with just a whiff of anise, this is delicious with ham, pork, duck or
pheasant. Don’t use any more star anise than suggested or it will taste medicinal. It might
seem a hassle to cook the fruit twice, but it really does help extract more juice. The jelly is
a wonderful glowing russet colour.
Makes 1 x 500g (1lb 2oz) jar
- 1.8kg (4lb) quinces, washed
- 2 cooking apples, washed
- finely grated zest and juice of 3 unwaxed lemons
- about 500g (1lb 2oz) granulated sugar
- 2 star anise
- Chop the fruit roughly into big chunks (no need to peel or core) and put into a preserving pan or a
large saucepan with 2.5 litres (4½ pints) of water and the lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil, then
reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for one hour (you can use a double thickness of foil, wrapped
well over the top, if you are using a preserving pan, as they don’t come with lids).
- Stir from time to time to ensure that the fruit doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The liquid
shouldn’t reduce too much, so add some more if needed. When the fruit is completely soft and
mushy, leave to cool a little. Spoon the pulp into a jelly bag suspended over a large bowl and leave to
drain overnight. Keep the resulting liquid and put it in the refrigerator.
- Put the pulp from the jelly bag into a saucepan and add 1 litre (1¾ pints) of water. Bring to a
boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Again, strain this through a jelly bag
overnight. Discard the pulp from the jelly bag and measure the new liquid plus the liquid which you
refrigerated the previous day. For every 600ml (1 pint) of juice add 450g (1lb) of sugar and put both
into a preserving pan.
- Tie the star anise in a bit of muslin. Now hit it with a rolling pin to break the spice up. Put it in the
pan too. Heat gently, stirring from time to time to help the sugar dissolve, then boil it for 10 minutes
or until setting point is reached (check on a sugar thermometer and do the wrinkle test).
Skim off any scum and lift out the muslin bag of star anise.
- Pot in warm, dry sterilized jars and cover with waxed paper discs. You can add a star anise to each
pot, but it is more for decoration than flavour. Seal. This keeps for a year; refrigerate once opened.