Blood orange & lemon jellies

Blood orange & lemon jellies

Home made gelatine jellies

Using up leftover gelatine wasn’t the easiest of challenges. I wasn’t about to start investigating the heritage of American jelly salads, though I’m sure they’re dear to people’s hearts. Our gelatine recipe choices are sweet, fun – and there’s no avoiding some sugar. Tamar Adlar does have set jelly salads in her latest book, though they’re more sun ripened tomatoes in aspic than tuna in pineapple jelly.  I’ll try them in the summer when it’s not stormy and not horizontal rain and bedsocks in the day.

Making these home-made jelly sweets was easy and fun. I tried using a shop-bought juice but the flavour, to me, was too dull and flat. I wanted something sharper and with the 10930825 lemons I had leftover from a Hubbub pancake day workshop, the decision was easy. Any leftover, sharp fruit or fruit juice would be excellent but I’d default to freshly squeezed or pulped if poss.

These jellies aren’t as set as a haribo but that’s what I like. They’re oddly satisfying. One or two after lunch and my sweet tooth is satisfied.  Are they good for gut health? A lot of wellness bloggers are talking about gelatine and gut health. I dunno, and I eat for joy and fun not wellness bullshit. These little guys used my citrus, they used my lovely Reduction Raider gelatine and they are tasty.

Note: don’t try to make these like fruit pastilles and roll in sugar; the sugar causes the set to melt and isn’t pretty. Like a sticky blood bath TBH.

So a little grown up sweetie, a hot cuppa and we have a zero waste, low-ish sugar, sweet. Which is hot pink. HOT PINK. You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

Citrus jellies

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 pint freshly squeezed citrus/grapefruit (you need something with bite - orange juice won't cut it)
  • 8 leaves leaf gelatine
  • 90 grams caster sugar

Tools

  • Measuring jug
  • Bowl
  • Scissors
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Cake tin or plastic pot

Instructions

  • Cut the gelatine strips into pieces. Place them in the bowl and cover with cold water for 5 minutes
  • Whilst the gelatine softens, warm the juice and sugar in the saucepan. 
  • Use the whisk to make sure that the sugar is dissolved. Taste the juice. If it's super sharp you might want to add a little more.
  • After 5 minutes, squish the water out of the gelatine. Place it into the warm juice and whisk, baby.
  • When the gelatine has fully disolved, pour the mixture into the tub/tin. Leave to cool to room temperature then refrigerate.
  • When set, cut into little pieces and enjoy!

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Fruity jelly

Fruity jelly

Leftover gelatine jelly

A few weeks back, the most wonderful Laura Reduction Rader messaged me and asked if I’d like to take ownership of a packet of leaf gelatine from a recent Olio stash that she had.  As a vegan, that was one leftover Laura couldn’t shift and lucky me, I got it! Hoo-bloody-ra!

A packet of way outta date gelatine arrived and, like anyone a little stumped, I put it on my desk and had a think. And a think.

I didn’t research about whether or not the gelatine was safe. A product so highly processed and stable (i.e. it’s not ‘live’ like yoghurt, more like a spice or pasta) and still sealed in its original packaging … honestly I’ve probably eaten ancient gelatine many times. I’m in full health and have a lifetime of eating questionable s=food stuffs. If pregnant, or poorly or elderly or feeding little ones, use your own judgement.

When my kids were little I’d sometimes make them jelly from scratch because I was always trying to make sure they ate more fruit & veg (and, honestly, trying to avoid sugar. Now the eldest eats it from a packet with a spoon…). Homemade jelly, often with some segments of orange stirred through, would be made once, and then not again for yonks. It just felt an effort, and juice isn’t that cheap.

But sometimes we buy a pack of gelatine, or feta, or peppers, for *one* thing and then the rest is just a proper pain in the arse. So this week we’re all about gelatine (yes, if you’d asked me 20, 15 or even 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought my life would rely so much on leftovers).

If you’ve ever experimented with jelly, and like some fruit juice, get creative and make layers and have fun. Or be like me. Just make it and add hundreds and thousands and eat it at 11am when you should be working but the jelly is calling…

 

 

Fruit Jelly

Use up your leftover gelatine to make this healthy-ish, fruity jelly
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients

  • for every 1 leaf gelatine
  • you need 140ml fruit juice

Tools

  • Measuring jug
  • Saucepan
  • Plate/shallow bowl
  • Bowls for jelly!

Ratio

  • If you have 2 leaves of gelatine, you'll need around 280 ml juice, 3 leaves 420 ml and so on

Instructions

  • Take the gelatine leaves, snip them up
  • Place them on a plate/shallow bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 5 minutes
  • In a saucepan, gently heat the juice. Don't let it boil as boiled fruit tastes nasty
  • After 5 minutes squeeze the water from the gelatine. Place the gelatine leaves into the hot juice
  • Using a whisk or spoon, stir the gelatine in until fully melted
  • Pour into the serving bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  • When room temperature, place in the fridge & leave to set

Storage

  • Will keep for up to a week or so but best eaten within a couple of days

Lemon Heart Vinegar

Lemon Heart Vinegar

Leftover lemon heart vinegar

I started obsessing about food waste when my kids were little and I was determined to give them as much organic produce as possible. Not everyone’s priority or privilege. I got by on spending around £60 a week on food and honestly, I was proud that I did manage.  Family or friends would raise their eyebrows and roll their eyes when I talked about my veg box, but I knew I was giving us good food. I learned to ignore the eye rolls. Using every scrap of a leftover lemon, half a sausage or pot of sour yoghurt made sure we could eat home-cooked food and I’m grateful that I learned to cook at home and school.

Lemons are so normal in our fridges but travel from Spain, Italy, Israel and, TBH, who knows where, just so we can put a little wedge in our gin & tonic or have a sweet and sour pancake. Leftover lemons deserve more than going hard inside your fridge door – let’s use every last scrap.

I came across this recipe in the James Beard Waste Not Cookbook. I have a growing collection of food waste books which makes me happy. Some focus on the scraps and others on how to cook one meal and then use those leftovers. For me it’s a mixture of both.

This ‘recipe’ is great and so thrifty. A 50p bottle of white vinegar. Lemon rinds. That’s it. You likely will use about 10 pence worth of vinegar in this recipe. You can use your leftover lemon vinegar in dressings, marinades or even mixed with sugar syrup and lightly poured over ice cream (especially good for those of us who don’t have the sweetest tooth).

The eco-cleaners out there know that distilled white vinegar is *the* hot cleaning product. I use mine in place of laundry detergent and for cleaning my bathroom (along with washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda). Eco often means cheap because a spangly new product isn’t necessarily going to do a better job than some cheap bicarb (I say this as a person whose mum bought her a ££dress££ on Sunday and I enjoyed every second). 50p well spent, no?

Using every last scrap of your food saves you money which sometimes means you can buy that nice dress (over time), or, for me, means I can buy the organic butter or lemons. Every purchase we make is a choice, one way or another. Every leftover we make the most of helps the planet one little choice at a time.

 

 

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Lemon Zest Sugar

Lemon Zest Sugar

Leftover lemon zest sugar

Lemon and sugar are, to my mind, the best pancake day filling. Sweet and sour, everyone can add more lemon or sugar to their taste. Simple. Minimum effort required by the cook. But what about the leftover lemon zest and juice-less fruit? What next?

I’ll tell you.

Lemon sugar, and two more ideas to come. Having a jar of delicately scented lemon sugar will be heaven for an elderflower and gin drink. How about profiteroles with lemon scented cream whipped up inside those craggy shells? I think I’m going to have to make those this weekend. Also – last minute gifts to friends or teachers can be easily and cheaply dealt with by 250 grams of lemon sugar in a leftover jar. Pennies people, this costs pennies.

If you have a fancy pants microplane, this will be easy. You don’t? No worries. The side of your box grater that does the thin strips will be best here.

Let me know what you use your leftover lemon zest sugar for, I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Leftover heart vinegar

Adapted, barely, from James Beard 'Waste Not' p188
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Author: Ann Storr

Ingredients

  • 2 lemon hearts
  • Distilled white vinegar

To finish the vinegar

  • Caster sugar (to taste)
  • Salt, to taste

Tools, to soak

  • Jar of the right size to fit lemons

Tools, to finish

  • Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  • Squish lemon hearts into the jar and cover with vinegar
  • Store in the fridge for at least 2 weeks (for the lemon flavour)

After 2 weeks...

  • Strain the lemons from the vinegar, straight into the saucepan
  • For every 100ml of vinegar start with 25 grams of sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil and taste, adding a little more if needs be
  • Simmer for 3 minutes and then add a little salt, to taste
  • Allow to cool. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge

Storage

  • Will keep for a few months

Notes

You can use any citrus - lime, grapefruit, oranges, tangerines... watch your fridge fill with delicate vinegars!

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Pea fritters

Pea fritters

I love a fritter.  Basically a more filling pancake.  With a poached or fried egg you’ve got a light meal, or as an alternative to chips or a jacket potato with your sausages. Got sweetcorn and peas?  Would totally work – just use the same total weight of veg.

Pea fritters

Serves 4
Based on Jane Baxter for Riverford

Ingredients

100g thawed/leftover peas
75g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 egg
65ml milk
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 red chilli/1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
6 spring onions
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley or chives (optional)
salt & pepper
Vegetable/sunflower oil for frying

Tools

Scales
Sharp knife
Whisk/fork
Mixing bowl
Measuring jug
Frying pan
Flipper
Skewer

Time

30 minutes

Level

Medium

Prep

If your peas are frozen, leave to defrost
Finely chop the chilli (if using a fresh one)
Slice the dark green tops off the spring onions (if you ever make stock, chuck them in a bag for another day; otherwise chuck). Cut the white and pale green parts of the onion into rounds

Method

Put flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl
Add egg and beat in
Gradually beat the milk in with a whisk until you get a thick, smooth batter
Melt half the butter in a saucepan
Pour the melted butter into the mixture
Add chilli (optional), herbs (optional), onions and peas to the batter and season well with plenty of salt and pepper
Heat the veg oil and a pinch of the butter in a frying pan until quite hot
Drop tablespoons of mixture into the frying pan and fry over a medium heat for about 2 minutes
You’ll see that the fritter looks a bit set, and a few bubbles will appear: that’s good!
Flip it to the other side; it’ll probably be a bit splatty on the bottom but that’s okay
Cook for another 2-3 minutes
If you’re not sure if it’s cooked, stick the point of a sharp knife or skewer into the middle; if it’s clean it’s cooked, if not, it’s not!
If it’s not cooked and you’re worried that it’s burning, flip back to the first side and give it another minute or so. You might want to turn the heat down
Pop to one side and repeat until you have used all the mixture
Serve with eggs and bacon for brunch, or as an alternative to your mash or jacket potato

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com

Leftover peas and pasta

Leftover peas and pasta

After all that Easter gluttony, we need some more green goodness. Peas are a huge part of our shopping, our dinners and after school teas.

When I was a kid, one of my brothers and I would eat little pots of frozen peas straight from the freezer (a habit that my youngest has picked up, I’m happy to say).  Peas are so small!  And sweet!  And I usually will just eat them all with a spoon (esp if there’s a little butter and salt on there.

 

But not always, so you can quite often find little Chinese takeaway containers with a couple of handfuls of peas waiting for their starring role…

 

Peas will keep for a couple of days; make sure that they are in a lidded container in the fridge. Do no re-freeze cooked peas.

 

A little pasta; some grated cheese and butter. That’s it.  Cook your pasta as usual; put a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water in a mug then drain the pasta.  Stir the pasta, a little of the water, a teaspoon of butter and the peas together.  If it’s a little dry, add a little more water.  Cover with whatever cheese you have/like and enjoy.

Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch:

ann@storrcupboard.com