Autumn is well and truly here now. I love this time of year, I feel like moving into September is like starting the year again; a new school term, cooler evenings, crisp leaves underfoot, warming casseroles and apple crumble. The hedgerows are full of golden leaves and if you look in the right spots, heavy bramble branches full of blackberries. Last week we took a drive down to Laois to combine a walk, some photography and blackberry picking. It was Chub’s first time to go blackberry picking and while he was a good picker for a novice he managed to get himself tangled in a big pile of brambles which I had to pull him out of, we both ended up with a few scratches thanks to that little emergency. We picked a little over a kilo of berries and after very close inspection by me when we got home to find any little critters lurking in them, they were washed and ready for making jam. I am really not a jam expert, I didn’t have much success with the gooseberry jam I tried last year and ended up caramelising the sugar after boiling it for too long, so with great it was with great trepidation that I tried Kristin’s jam recipe and guess what – it worked perfectly! A taste of success that nearly tasted as good as the jam.
So with four sticky pots of jam, a scary amount of which has been eaten on toast with peanut butter and stirred through porridge, I decided to try something else for the first time; doughnuts! I can rarely resist a good jam doughnut, particularly from Super Quinn. I used a Paul Hollywood recipe; which I will use again but it makes HUGE doughnuts, like bigger than football doughnuts, which you mightn’t think is a bad thing but I found it was too much of a good thing. Next time around I will divide the dough into 12-13 rounds or even just do a half batch as doughnuts really have to be super fresh to be enjoyed at their best, they just don’t taste as good the following day. I have frozen a few of the leftovers but I’m not sure how well they will survive the process but I will update this post when I find out. The only adaption I made was to roll them in vanilla caster sugar as opposed to the suggested, erm, regular caster sugar.
Paul recommends 2 jars of seedless strawberry or raspberry jam, but I used one jar of my home-made blackberry jam. I warmed the jam through with a splash of water and then sieved it to remove the seeds before cooling it down. I then piped the jam into the doughnuts. I’m not gonna lie, it was messy.
- Blackberry jam by Edible Ireland
- Doughnuts by Paul Hollywood
- How to test if jam is ready – BBC Good Food
- Doughnut tutorial – Paul Hollywood Great British Bake Off
Good News To Share
I’m delighted to share that Bake for the Border has been shortlisted in the Best Food/Drink Blog category sponsored by Glenisk in the Blog Awards Ireland 2013. Greig has been shortlisted in the Best Photography Blog category. Lots of great talent in both of these categories so the competition is fierce!
The Great Irish Bake Off is starting on TV3 on Thursday September 19th, really looking forward to a double dose of Great Bake Off action for the next few weeks!