Preserves

Apple Marmalade

This recipe is from my trusty "Household Book of Domestic Economy" printed in 1866.

Peel and cut thirty apples in slices, taking out the core, and if for preserving to every pound of fruit put three quarters of a pound of broken sugar, ( but if for immediate use half a pound would be quite sufficient,) place the whole into a large preserving pan, with half a spoonful of powdered cinnamon and the rind of a lemon chopped very fine, stirring it occasionally until boiling, when keep stirring until becoming rather thick, it is then done; if for immediate use a smaller quantitiy would be sufficient , which put by in a basin until cold, but if to keep any time put it in jars, which cover over with paper, and tie down until wanted.

I suggest using 7 apples, (approximately 1 kg of apples) and 1 kg of sugar unless you want a shelf full of apple maramalade. Add a pinch of cinnamon powder and a quarter teaspoon of lemon zest.Boil till the sugar sets and bottle in sterilised jam jars.


Passion Fruit Jam

 

Passion_fruit_in_basket_jss

My sister brought some passion fruit from the farm having picked them this morning.They were the yellow type, which grow more commonly in India, with an average size of a small orange or, to be exact ,about 8" around the circumference of each fruit. These were organic and too precious to eat just like that. In any case I find the fruit too tart, a bit like eating a green lime.

Some of them had already begun to crinkle and that was a sign that they were getting ripe. The ones that are really crinkled and rather rotten looking are just perfect for eating.

 

Passion_fruit_in_halves

When cut its structure is very interesting and the seeds and pulp remind me of fish roe or something a bit alien,out of "The X factor",with a life of its own and a rather carnivorous one at that...…. not completely plant like. However, vegetable it is and rich in potassium, Vitamin A and C. It is believed to have healing properties, one of which is to calm the nerves.

Passion fruit keep fairly well even at room temperature which, in Pune, is now around 25 degrees C . Did you know that if you cut the fruit and remove the pulp, mixing it with half its weight in sugar, it will keep for ages in the fridge and for up to a year in the freezer?
Passiflora edulis var flavicarpa, the yellow fruited variety, is not to be confused with Passiflora foetida or Vel Ghani as it is rightly known in Maharashtra, for its stink or foetid smell. Several varieties of Passiflora exist, in fact about 400, but the 50 odd varieties with edible fruit are prized.Some of these have different coloured flowers and the ones with blue flowers are called Krishna Kamal here for obvious reasons.
Passiflora got its name in Brazil where it is indigenous. The story goes that Spanish missionaries were struck by the similiarities the flower had to signs of the Crown of Thorns and the Passion of Christ on the Cross.The word Passion comes from the Latin passio. The Brazilian variety, also called the granadilla,or the Maracuja, is purple in colour and is different from the Indian yellow fruited one but both have the same orange pulp and seeds.The yellow passion fruit is pretty acidic compared to the granadilla and its skin is rich in pectin so it makes a very good jam. The point is, how does one get the pectin in without having to eat the brittle, papery skin? Here's how.

 

Pass_fruit_jam

Ingredients

6 passion fruit: (makes 2 1/3 cup of pulp, fruit pulp and seeds)

2 cups water

¼ cup water

2 1/3 cup sugar

Juice of 1/2  a lime

 

 

Wash the fruit thoroughly.Then cut  in half and scoop out  the fruit pulp and seeds.  This makes 1 and 1/3 cups of fruit pulp. Keep covered in the fridge. Take half the number of shells and put in a bowl with 2 cups of  water and let it soak for 24 hours in the fridge.

Next day boil the shells for 12 minutes till almost all the water is absorbed. Now the fruit should peel easily . The thin outer skin somes off. Reserve the inner part of the shells and blend to a pulp. with a quarter cup water. Return the pulp to a stainless steel pan and add  the reserved juice and seeds.This makes 2 and 1/3 cups of pulp,seeds and juice. Add an equivalent amount of sugar, juice of a 1/2 a lime and boil briskly  for about 15 minutes till set.

Now transfer to dry sterilized jars . Fill till ¼ inch below the lip of the jar.Let cool for 10 minutes. Seal. Makes about  750 gms of jam. 

The nice thing about this jam is that it has the texture and bite of a good thick cut marmalade with the bits of inner pulp forming the equivalent of an orange rind.


Anjali Wagle's Tomato Lonche

Meeting Anjali is a delight. At sixty she is just as enthusiatic about cooking as she was when she began many years ago.
Anjali Wagle's interest in cooking began in childhood. She helped her aunts in the preparation of food for the joint family in which she was brought up.  They would all work together from early in the morning to get the meals ready for ten families! Anjali insisted on helping, even though it was not expected of the  children. In spite of many remonstrations to be careful, as the cooking was done on coal fired  'chulahs' and could be dangerous for an inexperienced young person, she hung around the kitchen picking up her culinary skills along the way.
She was married at the age of 18 and came to settle in Pune. Her mother in law was a doctor and had no time to attend to the kitchen, relying on several bai's to produce the meals for the forty family members. Anjali insisted on taking on the kitchen and managed the cooking for her huge, new family.To their amazement, she did this with relative ease. Her in laws insisted that she finish her education and enrolled her in classes which she was initially reluctant to attend as she was not used to moving about freely with strangers in institutions where women and men studied in the same class.. But she did study and learned to become used to her new world. She remembers her mother and father in law gratefully for all their encouragement.
She tells me she has won innumerable prizes for her cookery and has taken part in many events. At a recent cooking competition she attended, where the chief guest was Sanjeev Kapoor, he gave her a lot of credit for sharing her recipes so generously with him. She had refused to take any payment for the many recipes he has used in several of his books. He said, she quotes " You are unusual. Most people today are after money. And you refuse even when it is offered to you.
" What use do I have for money", she says to me "its here today and gone tomorrow. If people remember me with gratitude or treat me like a mother, as Sanjeev does, that is far more valuable to me."
Anjali is known for her tried and tested recipes which appear in several Marathi magazines. She loves to experiment and  has adapted an amazing  number of Indian recipes to  microwave cooking. She gave me several wonderful pickle recipes to try and was happy to allow me to post them here.

Tomatoesforpickling


Tomato Lonche/ Pickle

Ingredients:

15-16 firm, large, red tomatoes
1/4 cup red chilli powder
1/2 cup mohri / black mustard seeds
100 gms lasun /garlic
100 gms adrak/ ginger
100 gms green chillies
2 spoons jeera / cumin seeds
1 spoon methi / fenugreek seeds
1 cup salt
2 cups dark vinegar
1 handful of karipatta / curry leaves
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

Wash tomatoes and cut into large pieces. Mince the kari leaves. Chop the ginger, garlic and green chillies into fine bits.Put the chopped, ginger, garlic and chillies into 1 cup vinegar and blend ito a paste n a mixie . Heat oil in a large pan and add all the garlic, ginger and chill including the minced curry leaves. Add the cup of masalas. Stir well . Now add the tomato pieces, salt and the rest of the vinegar. Cook the achar on a low fire for some time. Keep stirring till the oil seperates from the rest of the mixture. This pickle keeps for a long time.

If you like these recipes do give me your feedback which I would love to share with Anjali.