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Make your Own Mayonnaise

Yesterday I made mayonnaise for the first time and was simply shocked at how easy and simple it was. Mayonnaise is in essence just egg yolks and oil. Because of this it does last more than a week or two, but these ingredients we always have in our home so it’s easy to make as and when required. It also makes you think what they must put in commercial mayonnaise to make it last forever!

Here is the recipe I used to make mayonnaise. I have reduced the amount of Mustard in it because it was very strong but as an optional flavour enhancer you can put more in if you wish.

The vinegar will allow you to add more oil to the mixture and help preserve it a little, but careful not to add too much as it can spoil the flavour. Taste test frequently when playing with the ingredients.

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Ingrediants

  • 500ml Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Tsp vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Lemon and salt
  • Dijon Mustard to taste

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Method

Whisk the egg yolks and mustard if using. Slowly add half the oil while whisking.When thick add half the vinegar and then continue with the rest of the oil. Add lemon and salt and store in a jar in the fridge.

Lasts for 1-2 weeks.

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Quince Paste Jellies

These little christmas treats are packed full of flavour and goodness. We received such a great response to these this year I thought I’d share the recipe I use.
Fruit pastes are densely packed with fruit you may otherwise be unable to eat raw (like Quince), and even better than this they store up to a year because of the sugar content. Quince pastes may be a bit sweet on their own for some people, but are excellent additions to your christmas cheeseboard or game meats.

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Use baking paper or silicon mats on a tray to ensure you can easily peel off the paste after cooking.

Ingredients

  • 500ml water
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemons Juice
  • 2kg Quinces
  • Sugar (Check method for quantity)

Method

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  • Chop and core the Quinces. Don’t worry about peeling. Coring I found was also very tricky as the cores are larger than apples are, I ended up just roughly hacking away at the middle and getting all the seeds out.
  • Add to a pan of 500ml water and the lemon juice and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  • Cool, then blend with a processor.
  • Press the mixture through a fine sieve to create the puree.
  • Weigh the puree and add the same weight in sugar. (e.g. If the puree weighs 1kg, add 1kg sugar). The sugar is key here to ensuring preservation.
  • Stir the sugar in over a low heat until dissolved and the mixture is thick and coats the spoon (around 45-60 minutes).
  • Spread into trays and spread evenly. Allow to fully cool. Cut into small bite size portions.
  • If the paste “sweats” too much, further reduce the water content by dehydrating.

Store in a cool, dry place preferably in paper or foil tins.

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Oregon Grape Mahonia Wine

Once you have identified a Mahonia Bush and picked enough Mahonia berries (oregon grapes), you can get started processing them into even more exciting things. You can do many things with these little berries but my favourite so far has to be turn them into wine. They do not call these little fantastic berries Oregon Grapes for nothing! We used a 1 gallon demijohn to test out our recipe this year but the resulting wine was so successful we are definitely planning to fill a couple of 5 gallon drums next year instead.

These berries make a full flavoured red wine that is simply scrumptious and high professional quality. We found it went nicely with game meat in particular.

Minimum Equipment Requirement

  • 1 Gal Demijohn or Drum/Tub
  • 1 Airlock
  • 1 Siphon Tube

Ingredients for 1 Gallon Mahonia Wine

  • 2kg Oregon Grapes
  • 1350g Sugar
  • 2 stewed tea bags
  • top up with water

Method

 

  • Sterilise your equipment
  • Pass Boiling Water through the grapes and mash them up
  • Strain off the juice – do this several times to get the most out of the berries. It should be a super dark red.
  • Place into the primary fermentation bucket/Demijohn
  • Add sugar
  • Top up with water
  • Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches around 21C
  • Add yeast and yeast nutrient
  • Cover and place airlock
  • Keep in a warm dry place
  • After 8 weeks, test the mixture with a hydrometer. Add sugar according to taste if it’s ready to bottle.
  • Add a crushed Campden tablet to clear according to the tablet instructions and allow to settle
  • Rack Off and bottle.

As you can see from our current demijohn we have been so surprised at the wonderful flavour of this wine we have started taking one too many “Test Samples” before bottling! Oh dear!

mahonia wine

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Silver Birch Sap Wine

So now you have your Silver Birch Sap you may think what could you possibly do with such a sugar rich liquid. The answer is of course, make wine! Unfortunately we do not have any pictures of the batch we made this year but I can tell you it ended up being an off-white coloured wine and one of our more enjoyable brews. We will definitely be making this one again next spring.

Minimum Equipment Requirement

  • 1 Gal Demijohn or Drum/Tub
  • 1 Airlock
  • 1 Siphon Tube

Ingredients for 1 Gallon Silver Birch Wine

  • 1 Gallon Silver Birch Sap Unprocessed (not boiled down or anything).
  • 1133g Sugar
  • 2 Lemons
  • 277g Raisins

Method

 

  • Sterilise your equipment
  • Boil the Sap and Lemon together for 20 minutes
  • Add the sugar and raisins and stir in while still warm
  • Strain the flowers – keep the liquid but not the flowers themselves
  • Place into the primary fermentation bucket/Demijohn
  • Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches around 21C
  • Add yeast and yeast nutrient
  • Cover and place airlock
  • Keep in a warm dry place
  • After 8 weeks, test the mixture with a hydrometer. Add sugar according to taste if it’s ready to bottle.
  • Add a crushed Campden tablet to clear according to the tablet instructions and allow to settle
  • Rack Off and bottle.
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Dandelion Flower Wine

Dandelion Flower wine is best made when the dandelion flowers are in full bloom in the spring and fully open on a sunny day. The wine requires acidifying for the yeast so it tends to become a very citrus flavoured wine. For this reason we called this batch the Citrus Bang. We aren’t usually very fond of overly citrus flavours so we may change or ignore this recipe next year or use it as “Filler” wine only (wine we make only when we have made everything else available and have spare drums/demijohns).

Dandelion Flower Wine Dandelion Flower Wine

Minimum Equipment Requirement

  • 1 Gal Demijohn or Drum/Tub
  • 1 Airlock
  • 1 Siphon Tube

Ingredients for 1 Gallon Dandelion Wine

  • 1.136 Litres of pressed dandelion petals (follow the instructions for how to prepare the petals in our post on dandelion cordial if you are unsure)
  • 340g Raisins
  • 907g Sugar
  • 3 Lemons
  • 3 Oranges
  • Water as required

Method

 

  • Sterilise your equipment
  • Boil the Petals
  • Allow petals to steep for a minimum of 2 hours (we did overnight to increase flavour)
  • Strain the flowers – keep the liquid but not the flowers themselves
  • Add raisins, Lemon Juice, Orange Juice, sugar and orange/lemon zest to the liquid and place on a low boil for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Mix thoroughly and add to the Primary Fermentation Bucket/Demijohn and top up with water.
  • Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches around 21C
  • Add yeast and yeast nutrient
  • Cover and place airlock
  • Keep in a warm dry place
  • After 8 weeks, test the mixture with a hydrometer. Add sugar according to taste if it’s ready to bottle.
  • Add a crushed Campden tablet to clear according to the tablet instructions and allow to settle
  • Rack Off up to three times, or less if you don’t mind it cloudy. Top up with water and bottle when finished.