I spent Sunday bottling the vodka tayberry mixture I put in a couple weeks ago. I split it into two parts. First part I added vanilla. Second part I added lemon peel and cloves. This was because the tayberry mixture on its own tasted a little bit too much like cough medicine.
The vanilla made quite a bit of difference to the cough medicine taste, and because I used vanilla essence, this vodka was ready almost immediately. I strained it through cloth and bottled it straight away.
So the recipe is like this. 1 L of vodka, 200 g of tayberries, 200 g of caster sugar. Leave that for two weeks and strain it through a cloth. Then there are two options.
First option would be to add vanilla extract. The ratio would be to add 4 teaspoons of vanilla to the recipe. This is ready immediately.
The second option is to add the juice of one lemon, the lemon peel of two lemons, and 4 cloves. This will need another few weeks before it is finished. That’s gone back into the garage to steep for a while longer.
I decided the lemon peel and clove recipe would be a good idea for the main tayberry gin idea this year. So I put together another 2 litres of tayberry and lemon & clove and stored that into the garage — ready in a few weeks.
This is the next step for the tayberries. It’s just past 9pm on Sunday night: 11th July 2021. I did a quick visit to the allotment this afternoon, before the rain set-in for the remainder of the day. The job was to cut-down the height of the tayberry trellis. I took the hand-held cut-saw and chopped off the top. That took all of 2 minutes.
But the main job for today is to start the tayberry jam.
The recipe is this: 1.25 litres of tayberries (compacted but not squashed); 800 g of sugar. Mix the berries and sugar in a pan. Allow to macerate for about 1 hour or until the tayberries start to break down and the berries and juices start to flow. Then place the pan over high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Use a small slice of butter (unsalted) to stop the scum from forming on the surface of the boiling mixture.
After 5 minutes of boiling test the mixture for setting and then strain through a sieve and muslin cloth to clean out the large and small pieces of tayberry. I strained directly into a sanitised 1 litre jar.
Easy one. Take 1 kg of rhubarb chopped up into 2 cm pieces. Then, take a litre of gin and pour it in. Mixing 250 g of sugar and then put a slice of ginger in. Mix it up, then store in a dark place for a month to 6 weeks.
That’s it! That’s all it took to make some of the nicest gin I’ve tasted in awhile.
The apples, cored and cut up into small cubes. A bowl of tayberries. Three spoonfuls of sugar. Crumble mix topping.
I followed the same recipe as last time.
Line the dish with tayberries. Then chop the apples and use a handful of tayberries with three tablespoons of sugar to stew it down until soft. Pour the stewed mixture over the berries in the dish, cover with crumble mix and cook on 180degC for 30 minutes.
The idea of stewing the apples and tayberries is to create enough liquid to stop the crumble from going dry and gooey while in the oven. Lining the bottom of the dish is to ensure those berries don’t go too soft.
I’ve taken the last of the gin recipe out of the garage where it been since last year. Steeping away with the damsons at the back half of the garage in the dark.
I’ve just bottled it up into six small bottles, and I will take those to the allotment and pass them out. There are a few allotment holders who are new this year and didn’t get any from the Christmas run. I think they deserve a few bottles with the effort they have put in recently.
The recipe is the usual. Damson 50 g, golden caster sugar 250 g, gin 70 cl. Mix up in a mason jar and leave it for six months!
Over the weekend I bought some gin to go with the damsons that came off the wind battered tree at the allotment.
Ingredients for each… 500g damsons; 250g golden caster sugar; 700 ml bottle(s) of gin.
Rinse the damsons and remove any leaves and stalks; pat then dry, and put them in a freezer bag; freeze overnight or until solid. When solid bash the bag of damsons with a rolling pin and then tip everything into 1.2 litre jar.
Freezing the damsons and then giving them a good whacking helps to release the damson juice. I didn’t stop at a couple of hits, but I bashed the frozen fruits up until they were all damaged in some way. Since I intend to filter the condition before I bottle them up, I didn’t see the need to get dainty with a toothpick and individually prick each damson.
They will stay in a cool dark cupboard until Christmas. So, about 4 months away.
Tonight’s treat is crumble made from the tayberries I picked the other day and three apples we had in the fridge. Very, very definitely the nicest dessert I’ve ever made.
Enough tayberries to line the bottom of the dish. Three apples peeled and cored, chopped up with a handful of tayberries and stewed down with three table spoons of sugar, for about 10 minutes until soft.
Pour the stewed mixture over the berries in the dish. Cover with crumble mix and cook on 180degC for 25 minutes.