Some cranberries were taunting me. I'd bought them to make cranberry sauce just after Christmas and simply never got round to making it. There were two bags, two MONTHS out of date. The cranberries however looked really fresh still and were not wrinkled / shrivelled or squishy.
Mid February, I decided I'd better get on and make something with them fast and turned them into some vivid cranberry curd.
650g of fresh cranberries (makes approx 400g sieved puree)
juice and zest of 1 large orange
200g melted butter
2 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
Add the orange juice and zest to the cranberries. Put in a covered saucepan and simmer until the berries burst.
Remove from heat and press the berries through a sieve to remove skins and seeds. Don't worry if some passed through. I normally sieve it again just before I jar it.
Beat the eggs and mix in the slightly warm melted butter. set aside
Put this back into the saucepan along with the sugar and start to heat through gently. Mix in the butter / egg mix over a low heat. Cook very gently (stirring all the time) on a low heat until the mixture thickens. This curd is a bit thicker than my normal as it uses puree rather than fruit juice.
Strain again through a sieve and put into warm sterilised jars.
Makes around 4 small jars.
On the same day, I also made Boudoir biscuits with a crispy sugary top - more commonly also known as LADY FINGERS and often used in making trifles and tiramisu. Yes, lady fingers are finger shaped, but I reckon there is no reason not to make them round if you want to.....
Boudoir Biscuits (adapted from Becksposhnosh.blogspot.com)
4 tablespoons caster sugar
6 tablespoons icing sugar
3/4 cup plain (cake) flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup caster sugar (for later)
preheat the oven to 170deg C fan
Separate the eggs.
Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and then beat in the sugar and vanilla until glossy. Fold in the sieved flour. Pipe fingers on to a tray lined with baking paper - or on into the circles on our Double Sided Macaron Mat like I did. Do note - this mixture doesn't spread out too much - but it will rise a fair bit.
Douse all the tops well with caster sugar. Leave for about 5 mins and then give them a good dousing with yet more caster sugar.
Pop in the oven for around 12 > 15 minutes until turning a pale golden colour.
These are more like little crispy sugar coated plain sponge drops. They are a very fine and light sponge texture. Nothing like sponge cake !
Aren't they cute ? Leave for 5 mins to cool and then peel off the mats and finish cooling on a wore rack. Use them to nibble with a cup of tea or to make tiramusi or trifle.
Setting Sun in Norfolk, mid February
Sarah-Jane Nash - www.siliconemoulds.com