Limoncello Part 3

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For those that have waited in anticipation for the end result, hold onto your seats because here is the finished product! Taaaaa daaaaaa! My very own bottled limoncello. I made 5 and a half bottles. Bottles are 750ml. If you notice the difference in colour the ever so slightly darker one is the big peel limoncello and the lighter one is made with smaller lemon peel, or the second batch. Oh and remember to stir the batches well before straining and pouring into the bottles so you have an even flavour throughout all the bottles.
Have I tasted it? No. Not yet.
Why not? Well it was 8am when I bottled it so I thought I would wait till later.
I have placed the half bottle in the freezer to freeze for the rest of the day.
I have put temporary labels on the bottles. I want to make fancy labels later.
I am now wondering what to do with the leftover lemon peel????
Sugar coated lemon peel recipes, perhaps.

Limoncello Recipe
If you want the recipe.
Limoncello Part 2
If you want to see what limoncello looks like during the process.

Spiced Plum Jam

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I have a plum tree at the bottom of the garden. Last year the birds got all the fruit. This year I made them share. I gathered enough fruit to make nine jars of jam. The tree is not in the best position. There is a lot of shade. It is on a lean and it is either stunted or it’s a miniature version. I don’t think they make them like that.  Despite all this, the tree pumps out fruit. I will take better care of it and see what happens next year. Mulch.

This is my first time to make jam. Plums were in the backyard so that was why I went with plums rather than strawberries or raspberries. I didn’t want to have anything too sweet and I wanted it to be as natural as possible. I chose raw sugar over white sugar. And I went with equal portions of plums to sugar. No pectin, lemon juice instead. I wanted flavour so plenty of spices. I grated nutmeg into the boiling pot and enjoyed the smell.
Already I have given away two jars of jam.
It tastes delicious by the way.  Plum jam making will become an annual event.

Spiced Plum Jam Recipe – No peeling and no pectin

Ingredients
1:1 ratio plums: raw sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1/8t ground cloves
1/8t ground cardamon
1/2t ground allspice
1/8t ground nutmeg

clean jars
cellophane covers
ladle
test plate (placed into the freezer)

Method
Place cold clean jars onto a tray into a COLD oven.
Set the oven to 100 degrees and let the jars and ladle sit for at least 15 minutes at temperature.
Wash plums and remove pits.
Cut into quarters and remove any blemishes.
Weigh the plums.
Place the plums into a stainless steel pot.
Add the same weight of raw sugar to the plums and stir well until all the plums are covered.
Let them sit for an hour or so.

Add the spices and the lemon.
Boil uncovered stirring.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes and remove the pot from the heat.
Test to see if the jam is ready.

Remove the jars and ladle from the oven and place on a wooden board. Do not place directly on a cold bench as the jars could shatter.
Remove the cinnamon stick. If you used whole cloves and whole cardamon then remove those too.
Ladle the jam into the hot jars.
Fill almost to the top.
Wipe the jars.
Place the cellophane covers in a shallow plate of a little water.
Place the wet cellophane covers onto the jars.
Place the rubber band to hold the cellophane cover into place.
Wipe again.
When cool place labels onto jam.

IS MY JAM READY?
Check to see if the jam is ready by placing a few drops of jam onto a frozen plate.
Watch the drop as you tilt the plate.
A film should form on the jam when it is ready.
You can run your finger through the jam and see if the smear holds its shape.
Note: If you have forgotten to freeze the plate, place the plate with the jam on it into the freezer and wait 5 minutes and test as above.
Jam will continue to set when it cools so don’t worry if it is too runny.

Plums washed and ready for the pot.
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Plums quartered and stones removed and soaking in sugar.

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Assortment of saved clean jars in the oven being cleansed. Adding the ladle to the oven is a good idea.
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Jam and sugar boiling on the stove. Lemon was added to thicken. Jars are on a tray.
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Jam ladled into the hot jars. Jars are on the same tray so the over flow mess is easier to wipe up. I placed the tray on a wooden board so that the jars wouldn’t crack with a sudden touch on a cold bench.
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Cellophane covers for the final seal.
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Cellophane covers on and waiting to cool. Jam does become thicker as it cools.
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Date Scones with Plum Jam

Ingredients:
3 c wholemeal flour
6 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
50g butter
1 1/4 c milk, skim or low-fat
milk to brush the tops
3/4 c date, chopped
1 T raw sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
cinnamon and raw sugar mix, about 1 T total

Preheat the oven to 220C (420F).
Soak the dates in water for 5 minutes. Drain.
Add the wholemeal flour, baking powder, raw sugar and cinnamon and salt to a bowl.
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients to resemble fine breadcrumbs.
Add the dates, stir, then add the milk.
Mix quickly with a knife to make a soft dough.
Lightly knead.
Line a tray with baking paper.
Lightly flour a board or bench top and press the dough out to roughly the thickness of your thumb sideways. Either cut the scones into squares or use a cookie cutter.

Now that I am blogging presentation is more important so I opted for the cookie cutters.
Recipes say makes 12 but I got 16. Goes to show that my portions are naturally getting smaller.
Leave 2cm between scones.
Brush tops with milk, then add a mixture of cinnamon and raw sugar to the top of each scone.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Cut in half and serve buttered with jam.

Cool and place into plastic bags and place in the freezer. I use the sandwich size bags and get 4 scones to a bag. I froze three bags full. Freezing just helps me remove the temptation to eat more and helps for on days that I don’t have something already made.

Recipe base taken from Edmonds Cookery Book, Scones, p30 and modified to make it my own.