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Sunday, August 4, 2019
Posted By: in Recipes

The all too brief season of figs will soon be upon us. Fig trees are a treasure of the European garden that are a surprisingly easy fruit to grow in the Pacific Northwest. These spreading, rambling trees can produce 1-2 crops of delicious fresh figs a year if given enough warmth and heat. Even in cooler temperatures you will be rewarded with at least 1 crop. 


An unusual but delicious fruit, figs possess a very dynamic flavor making them a great addition to a number of dishes. They are wonderful on puff pastry sheets with goat cheese, roasted with bacon & chile, fresh with blue cheese & a honeycomb, these are just a few of my favorites but options are endless! To assist in narrowing your search for the perfect fig combo here is a chutney I rather enjoy which also takes advantage of a co-season rarity to the fig: fresh quince.
 

Quince & Fig Chutney 


6 Large - Fresh
10 - Fresh
1
2 Cups
1 Tsp
 

Quince or 8 Medium Apples (about 3 lbs)
Figs
Lemon
Sugar
Green Cardamom Pods


Let’s Get Started!

Rub quince with a damp paper towel to remove fuzz. Cut 4 quince (6 apples) into large pieces (no need to peel, core, or remove seeds). Place in a large heavy pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until quince are very soft, 60–75 minutes. Halve the figs, or quarter if very large. Shell cardamom & grind in mortar & pestle; zest lemon, then juice (should yield about 1/4 cup)

Strain cooking liquid into a large bowl; discard quince. Wipe out pot; reserve.

Meanwhile peel, core, and thinly slice remaining 2 quince. Add to quince pot along with lemon zest and juice, sugar, cardamom, figs, and reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and very gently boil, stirring often and skimming surface occasionally, until quince is translucent and a spoon dragged across pot leaves a line that quickly disappears, 25–30 minutes, or 40–50 minutes if using apples.

Divide preserves among jars. Let cool; cover and chill. 
 

Do Ahead

Preserves can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Posted By: Marian Vaughan in Recipes

In July and August, all the stone fruits begin to ripen - there is an abundance of plums, apricots & peaches.  Sometimes the sheer amount can be over whelming and, in any case, what cook doesn't want to take advantage of these fruits while they are at their best? Here is a recipe I have been making for so many years I had to look up where it came from!

This recipe comes from "California Culinary Cuisine" a collection of thin little books I bought when I was quite young; they were at the bottom of in a bin at a hardware store that is no longer in business. I remember buying them quite well, I could only afford one a week and would return to the store anxiously hoping they weren't all gone yet. I think they were about $5. I've been using them for about 35 years now. What an investment!


 

Spiced Stone Fruit Chutney  


1 Cup
1½ Cups
2 Lb
2½ Lb
1 Lb
2 Tsp
2 Tsp
1½ Tsp
½ Tsp
1
2

White Baslsamic Vinegar
Sugar
Peaches, Nectarines
Apricots, Plums or Pluots
Cherries (pitted and halved)
Whole Cloves
Cardamom Pods
Black Peppercorns (crushed)
Anise Seeds
Organic Orange (for zest)
Cinnamon Sticks
 


Let’s Get Started!

Blanch & peel the peaches, then pit & slice thickly all the large stone fruits, halve the cherries. Crush or grind the peppercorns. Strip off 4 strips of zest from the orange, each about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long


In a large nonreactive saucepan, stir together the vinegar and sugar.  Add all the fruit to the pan and stir to coat with the vinegar-sugar mixture. Place the cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns and anise seeds on a square of cheesecloth. Tie the corners together with kitchen string and add to the pan along with the orange zest and cinnamon sticks. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and almost jamlike, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Discard the cloth bag and cinnamon sticks.

This can be refrigerated and kept for a month at least.  I like to make it ahead for festive dinners.  Great with duck, turkey, ham or roast pork! I have also served it over icecream, or with cream as a dessert.  In my opinion, this refrigerated chutney preserves the fresh taste of the fruit best.



Alternatively, If You Like Canning: 
Have ready 7 hot, clean half-pint jars and their lids.  Ladle the hot chutney into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.

Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Makes 7 half-pint jars.

Note: Non-reactive means does not react to citric acid.  Stainless steel is fine, enamel coated pans too, also glass.  No aluminum, no uncoated copper.

 
 

Monday, April 11, 2011
Posted By: Rebecca van der Zalm in Edibles

Lycium barbarum, or more commonly, the Goji Berry, is a large 7-10 foot high shrub grown for its incredibly nutrient rich orange berries. In short, these berries provide a laundry list of health benefits:

  • The berries are packed with vitamins B1 and 6 and Vitamin E, which is rare to find in a fruit.
  • The berries are also provide more protein than whole wheat and more beta carotene than carrots
  • They deliver 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges
  • A high iron content, 20 times more than than of grapes
  • 8-10% of the daily recommended intake (DRI) of calcium per 100mg of the dried fruit
  • 24% of the DRI of potassium / 100mg
  • 18% of DRI of Zinc / 100mg
  • 91% of DRI of Selenium / 100mg
  • 100% of DRI for Riboflavin / 100mg
  • Loaded with anti-oxidants. 3000 units is considered a good standard for healthy food. The Goji Berry is 25,300 units
  • 16% of DRI for dietary fiber per 100mg serving

Goji berry plants have an agressive root system and re quite drought tolerant once established. Full sun is best for growth and berry production. They will tolerate part shade. Goji berries are hardy in zones 2-7 and will tolerate a wide variety of soils, though they prefer higher quality soils with good drainage. Pruning of the plant will keep the plant shorter, thicker and will help increase flower and fruit production. Berries are borne on second year plants with maximum fruit production reached in the 4th and 5th years.

A limited quantity of Goji Berry plants are available at Art's Nursery for the spring 2011 season. Give us a call at 604.882.1201 or drop by to purchase yours today. Please confirm availability before visiting as availability is finite.

More information about Goji Berries can be found on these sites:


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Art's Nursery is a 10+ acre retail and wholesale garden centre located in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We've been in business at this same location since 1973 and we're proud to serve you today!

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8940 192nd Street,
Surrey, BC, Canada,
V4N 3W8

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