This week we welcome Siobhan Curran to the Guest Blog! You might know Siobhan from her many excellent blogs- The Novocastrian Files, Far Out Brussel Sprout and Cooking from the Heart. This week Siobhan will be sharing some of her favourite fool-proof recipes with a side dish of beautiful photos. – Jenny x
Makes about 5 cups
Versatility? Granola has it in spades. With a base of oats you can add just about anything in the seed, nut and fruit department to mix it up. In this case I’ve added chocolate. Given as a gift you are basically telling your loved one “You are so amazing, you deserve chocolate for breakfast”.
I package fresh granola in a large screw top jar, which I get from Plasdene. Add a sticky label and, voila, ready for giving.
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup triticale
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raw almonds
½ cup pepitas
½ tsp cinnamon
4 tbs brown sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
½ cup cranberries
½ cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
½ cup, or more, finely chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Add all dry ingredients, except the cranberries, apricots and chocolate, in a bowl and mix well to combine. In another bowl, add the vegetable oil and honey and mix well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
Spread the mixture over the tray. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until evenly browned. Remove tray from the oven and stir occasionally as it cools to avoid forming one big clump of granola. Once cooled add the cranberries, apricots and chocolate and mix to combine.
Store granola in an airtight container or zip lock bag in the fridge or cupboard for up to two weeks. Serve with milk.
Makes 4 cups
I may not have placed a win at The Newcastle Show with my marmalade, but I’ve been practicing hard and think I’ve come up with a fail-safe recipe. The addition of whiskey is completely optional, but I think it adds a little extra something to get you started on these soon-to-be-freezing mornings. Marmalade on toasted sourdough… yes please. You can add it to your yoghurt or ice cream too. How about a layer in a homemade trifle or tart? Oh, yes indeed.
If you’ve never made jam or marmalade before read this post for a bit of background preparation. But I promise, after one go you’ll have the jamming bug and getting your nanna on in the kitchen every couple of months. It really is quite simple and satisfying, all the more so because sharing is so easy when you make a big batch.
1kg Seville oranges
500g sugar for every 500ml fruit pulp
30ml whiskey (optional)
You’ll need to start this recipe a day in advance. Halve and juice the oranges and lemon, taking as much of the pulp along with the juice as possible. Reserve any pips and tie in a muslin bag with cooking twine. The pips contain the pectin required to set the liquid to jam. Cut orange skins in half and with skin side down cut away any remaining pulp and white pith as you can. Thinly slice the skin and place in a large ceramic or glass bowl with the juice, pips in the muslin bag and 500ml of water. Cover with wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Place the contents of the bowl, including the muslin bag in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 1.5hours. Skim the surface of any foam and remove the muslin bag squeezing out any excess liquid. Measure out the remaining liquid and add 500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid (so 1L juice equals 1kg sugar and so on). Add the whiskey, return to the boil and then simmer for another 35-40 minutes or until set.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 120°C. Wash the jars in warm, soapy water and rinse clean. Place upright on a tray and warm in oven for 10 minutes. Your jars will be dry and sterilized by the time your jam has set.
To test if the jam is set, place a couple of saucers in the freezer. After a few minutes remove one and spoon some of the jam onto the plate. Wait 15 seconds and run your finger through the liquid. If the jam does not fill the channel left behind from your finger, it is set.
Remove your sterilised jars from the oven and ladle jam into jars until you reach the screw lines in the glass. Be careful, hot sugar burns. Pop on the lids using a cloth to hold the hot jams jars. Turn the jars upside down for five minutes and then turn back upright. Will keep unopened in the pantry for up to 6 months. Once opened refrigerate and use within a month.
Tie some pretty cloth squares over the lids and secure with twine, or add a sticky label or shipping tag around the neck.
– Siobhan x