I’ve been wanting to create a stand out recipe for veggie meatballs for a very long time. Procrastination rarely pays off and now Heck have beaten me to it. There was nothing for it but to create a super delicious way of serving them. These green veggie meatballs in tomato sauce served as part of a Middle Eastern feast fits the bill beautifully. All vegan and so very tasty.
Following the publication of Diana Henry’s latest book, Salt, Sugar, Smoke, I noticed a flurry of tweets about her fig and pomegranate jam. Having become a bit of a fig addict recently whilst they’ve been selling reasonably cheaply, I was intrigued. I didn’t have all of the ingredients required but I did have figs, pomegranate molasses and apples from my mother’s garden. Being a bit of a purist, I didn’t want to use sugar with added pectin, so I adapted Diana’s recipe to omit the ingredients I didn’t have and use more apple & lemon than she had stated to help set the jam. I was going to add chocolate, but at the last minute decided I wanted to taste the fruity flavours in all their purity.
This is how I did it:
- Washed 12 fresh figs (600g), then removed the tops and quartered them.
- Peeled, cored and chopped 3 cooking apples.
- Placed in a pan with 12 fl oz water.
- Grated in the zest of two organic lemons, then added the juice of both.
- Added 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses.
- Brought to the boil, then simmered for a few minutes until everything was soft.
- Added 600g golden granulated sugar and stirred until dissolved.
- Boiled for about 15 minutes until setting point was reached. I tested this by placing a saucer in the freezer, spooning in a bit of jam and seeing if it wrinkled when pushed with my finger.
- Poured jam into warm sterilised jars. I made 4 standard jars and 4 mini ones to be used as Christmas presents.
Susan over at A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate is running her Home Made and Well Preserved Challenge again this year. Last year I entered apple and lemon curd, which I have made several times since as it is so good. There are two categories, Chutney and Jam and both will be judged with a lovely prize for the best in each category. I am, of course, entering this into the jam category which is, rather scarily to be judged by Vivian Lloyd, WI judge and author of First Preserves.
The letter for Alpha Bakes happens to be J this month, so I am submitting this as J for Jam. Alpha Bakes is a monthly challenge hosted alternately by Caroline Makes and The More Than Occasional Baker.
Random recipe maybe in the title of this post, but it’s actually a random ingredient we had to select this month for the Random Recipes challenge over at Belleau Kitchen. CT got the joy of sticking his arm in the cupboard and pulling something out – a half used packet of hemp flour! Hemp is a gorgeous green coloured flour, but it has a slight bitter edge and goes off fairly quickly. The whole point of the challenge was to use up things that tend to hang around at the back of the cupboard unnoticed, so the box was truly ticked on this score.
The next step was to enter hemp flour onto Eat Your Books. Not surprisingly, I only had one result and that was for Dan Lepard’s Marrakesh express loaf cake from Short and Sweet. As there was no chocolate in his recipe, I had to adapt it and what with one thing and another, it got adapted more than I’d originally intended.
This is how I made it:
- Placed a tsp of instant coffee in a large pan and poured 300ml of boiling water over it and stirred until dissolved.
- Added 150g chopped dried dates and left to simmer gently for a few minutes whilst I added some other ingredients.
- Added 130g molasses sugar, 1 tbsp honey and 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup.
- Stirred and removed from the heat.
- Added 75g unsalted butter and 100g Maya Gold (G&B dark orange spiced chocolate) – chopped.
- Grated in the zest of a lemon and then added the lemon juice as I thought the additional tartness would help cut through the richness of the cake.
- Beat in 2 small duck eggs (medium hens eggs).
- Sifted in 150g spelt flour, 75g hemp flour and 2 tsp of baking powder.
- Stirred this in followed by 100g chopped walnuts and 2 tbsp of sesame seeds.
- Poured into a 2lb loaf mould and baked for 45 minutes at 180C when a skewer inserted in the middle came out more or less clean.
The result was a dense but moist cake with a lovely fruity flavour. Overall it was quite tart and worked particularly well spread with a good layer of butter. It was hard to detect the dates specifically, but the walnuts had their usual delightful crunch. I felt I made the right decision not to include further spices, as there was plenty going on already. The hemp flour gave a distinctive nutty flavour, but also had a hint of bitterness about it. So if you happen to get the munchies on the night train to Marrakesh, CT reckons this is the ideal antidote – inadvertantly revealing some of his dark past.