Pickling and Jamming

I’ve often thought about making jams, chutneys, pickling things, jarring things, but it seemed a bit scary and I had no idea where to start. I saw a workshop here in Sydney where they teach you how to pickle, so I booked myself in, it was only an hour, but I learnt so much, I ended up with 5 pages of notes about pickling and it really didn’t seem as hard as I had thought – our teacher said if we can bake a cake then we can definitely pickle.

So yesterday I went to The Chef and the Cook in Camperdown and picked up some jars, and a little pickling toolkit, and today I pickled!

First up was pickled young ginger – basically you finely slice some young ginger, pop it in a jar, boil up some rice vinegar, salt and sugar and pour it over the sliced ginger, then seal the jar, that’s it!

I really wanted to have a go at bread and butter pickles too, so I picked up some beautiful baby cucumbers from Eveleigh markets, sliced them up with some white onion, made a brine of white wine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, mustard seeds and dill and filled the jars with it, it smells delicious and I can’t wait to see how they taste. I’ll be having a burger night very soon!

The other thing I wanted to make was quince jelly because I had all this leftover quince stock from poaching the quinces for my tart! All I did was boil the stock (1 litre) for around 20 minutes, add 100g of oven-warmed sugar, then boil for another 20 minutes and fill and seal the jar, it tastes delicious.

Once all the sealing was done and I was happy with how they’d turned out, I wanted to make them look a bit special, so I gave them cute little tags which were leftover from my wedding last year!

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Quince and Frangipane Tart

Another of Lorraine’s recipes, this is truly delicious!

I poached the quinces the night before (I didn’t read the recipe all the way through and it turns out this is a 3 hour process!) so that they would be ready to use in the morning. I also made the frangipane filling and stored it in the fridge overnight.

The pastry for this tart is sweetened – a ‘Pate Sucree’ as the French call it. This isn’t a shortcrust pastry though, it’s still lovely and flakey.

After lining the tart tin with the pastry, I popped it in the freezer for 5 minutes so that it would set nicely. Lorraine suggests not blind baking this particular tart though as the frangipane takes a long time to cook, this may cause your base to overcook if you’ve already blind baked it. I filled the frozen and uncooked tart case with the frangipane (although I think I overfilled it as I wasn’t expecting the frangipane to puff up so much in the oven!), then pulled out my poached quinces, cored them and sliced them and placed them on top of the frangipane and popped them in the oven for around an hour. I then glazed the tart whilst it was still hot.

Lorraine suggests making a quince jelly out of the leftover stock from poaching the quince, which I decided to do, see my next post for details!

Pear and Ginger Brown Butter Tart

This is Lorraine Godsmark’s Pear and Ginger Brown Butter Tart. It uses an unsweetened cream cheese pastry which comes out beautifully crisp and flaky.

I lined the tart tin the night before and froze the whole thing. Then in the morning I blind baked the tart shell (straight from the freezer) before filling it, on the bottom shelf of my oven, on top of a pizza stone for 20 minutes. I then removed the pie weights, egg washed the shell and baked it for another 10 minutes. Unfortunately I don’t think I blind baked the shell for long enough as it was still underdone and the pastry puffed up. I’d say this is because the pastry started frozen.

The night before I also made the pear and ginger compote, the recipe didn’t have too much sugar so the compote was still quite tart which I liked. I also made the brown butter topping the night before.

After the shell had cooled, I filled it with the compote and then piped the brown butter topping. I baked the tart for around 40 minutes. Here are some photos I managed to capture during the process.

Pastry workshop with Lorraine Godsmark

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending a pastry class with Lorraine Godsmark at Accoutrement in Mosman. It was a fantastic class where I learnt a lot of handy tips, as well as some amazing recipes. The next couple of posts will be the products of that class.