Rhubarb Mousse

has an unexpected gentleness on the palate and a subtle flavour…

Rhubarb Mousse

  • 150 ml orange juice
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 50 g sugar
  • 350 g peeled rhubarb
  • 70 g powdered sugar
  • 200 ml whipped cream
  • 3 eggs
  • cinnamon
  • 5 leaves of gelatine (or an equivalent amount of vegetarian substitutes like agar)

Cut the rhubarb and mix it with the sugar and juice, boil until the rhubarb is soft and excess liquid evaporates, then purée the mixture. Separate the eggs, and beat the egg yolks and powdered sugar over a double-boiler until fluffy. Add a generous pinch of cinnamon. Dissolve chosen gelling agent into the egg mixture and and add it to the puréed rhubarb. Beat the egg whites and fold them into the rhubarb, then repeat this with the cream. Chill for 3-4 hours before serving.

From Joe Foster (many thanks to Franzisca!)

Golden Apple Mincemeat

Joan Croft’s delicious filling for tartlets, flans, sponge cake or topping to ice cream…

Makes about 6 lb.

  • 3 lb eating apples
  • 1/2 oz butter
  • 2 lb sultanas
  • 1 pint water
  • 1 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ground mace
  • 1 1/2 lb sugar
  • 4 oz chopped candied peal
  • juice of 1 lemon

Peel, core and slice the apples.  Butter the bottom of a saucepan and put the apples, sultanas and water in it and cook gently for 20 minutes.  Add the spices, sugar, candied peel and lemon juice.  Heat to dissolve the sugar, then boil, stirring until it reaches a thick consistency, about 20 minutes.  Pour into clean, warmed jars. Cover and label them.

Use it as a filling for tartlets, flans, sponge cake or as a topping to ice cream.

From Joan Croft

Apple Butter

Another good way of using up surplus or damaged apples …

Apple butter has always been associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch in America who have made it for several centuries. It is another good way of using up surplus or damaged apples, and you can try mixing in some crab apples.

  • 3 kg apples cleaned and quartered
  • 2.5 litres of water or apple juice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • sugar

Simmer the fruit and liquid until it is very tender. Rub it through a sieve and weigh the pulp you get. Weigh out and set aside 750 grams of sugar for every kilogram of pulp. Simmer the pulp until most of the water has evaporated, then add the sugar and spices and boil, stirring frequently, until the mix is creamy. Pour into hot jars and seal.

From Joe Foster

Apple Juice

What do you do with all those windfall apples? Make apple juice …

What do you do with all those windfall apples? We only recently discovered how easy it was to make apple juice if you have some form of mechanical juicer. Surprisingly, the apples from our old Bramley tree, normally too sour to eat, make the most delicious juice with just the right balance of sweetness, acid and tannin – like a fine wine. All we do is wash them in plain water, cut off the damaged bits and chop them small enough to go into our juicer. With our machine you get a lot of froth at the top of the juice which seems to hold most of the original tartness. Let it sit for a while, then scrape most of it off, and carefully decant the juice into a fresh bottle, taking care to fill it right to the top. Try putting a small wedge of lime through the machine for every litre of so of juice for an extra lift to the flavour.

From Joe Foster

Courgette Soup

What to do with the courgette that got away? Courgette soup …

You come home from your summer holiday, and your zucchinis (courgettes to you) have nothing -ini or -ette about them. Look at that one – what is it? A courge? A zucchalone? A zeppelin? And what can you do with it? Here is a recipe from the late Ric Masten of California, poet, folk singer, lover of food and all around great human being. Joe Foster

THE CHEF
Slice and boil
the one that got away
the one that would play the lead
in THE SQUASH THAT ATE CHICAGO
the monster
that always has the crowd wild eyed
and screaming
My god! Is that really
A zucchini.
Strain off the water
Adding one bouillion cube (any kind)
and one tablespoon of olive oil
to every quart of cooked squash.
Puree and serve hot and steaming
with a slug of cold sour cream
dumped into the center of each portion.
Top with a sprinkle of dill seed,
salt and season to taste.

and now let us praise the chef
the only artist whose creative work
must speak to every sense

the literary labors of Shakespeare are immense
feeding and filling the soul
but a steady diet of language
leaves the stomach growling

and although it would garnish your life
and delight your eye
a garden salad by Picasso
would be as tasty as old canvas and varnish

and whatever the sculpture Rodin
might put out on the table
would be a masterpiece for sure
but nothing you could get your teeth into

no doubt
the sound of a string quartet is more uplifting
than the sizzle of bacon in a pan
but by intermission a sweaty musician
doesn’t smell as good

the fine art of cookery demands the heart
hand and eye of a complete renaissance man

and as always
muttering into her napkin counterpoint to this
my wife
why is it when a woman cooks a meal
it’s just a meal
but when a man cooks a meal
it’s such a big big deal

Ric Masten

Scarpaccia

A Tuscan zucchini pie without pastry …

(a Tuscan zucchini pie without pastry):

  • 1 or 11/2 lb young courgettes (use flowers as well)
  • 4 or 5 large spring onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 or 5 tbspns finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Batter made from
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 oz brown flour
    • 4 fl oz skim milk or milk + water
    • Butter and olive oil

Finely chop or slice courgettes and finely slice spring onions. Crush garlic. Beat the eggs, flour and milk to make a thin batter. Add vegetables and Parmesan, and season and mix well. Butter a large shallow oven proof dish and pour in the mixture. Don’t make it too deep – rather use two dishes. Drizzle over some olive oil and bake in a hot oven (gas 6/ electric 400) until set, lightly browned and risen slightly. Serve warm or cold.

From Gillian North