Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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Pieday Friday ~ Blackberry & apple recipes for the Inspiration Challenge

Inspiration Challenge for October 2013 theme - apples

This month’s Inspiration Challenge theme was ‘apples’ and luckily enough I’ve since been given loads of apples from my mother’s apple tree which had bumper-crop this year. So I had a think about what I really wanted to make (after crumbles, of course!) and the answer was blackberry and apple jam. So I headed out into the cold, forraging in the hedgerows to find juicy blackberries in order to make some yummy jam – here’s the recipe I used:

making preserves - blackberry and apple jam recipe

This recipe makes enough for 4 x 500ml Kilner jars: 1kg blackberries, 375g cooking apples after peeling and coring, 1.3kg granulated sugar, 360ml water. Cook the blackberries and apples seperately, adding half of the water to each pan and allow to bubble away and simmer until soft. Add the blackberries and the sugar to the pan of apples. Stir to make sure the sugar has completely dissolved, then allow to boil and bubble until it reaches a jam consistency (around 20 minutes) but don’t allow it to boil over. The best way to check this is to put a couple of saucers in the freezer and test the jam by putting a small blog onto the cold saucer. Leave it for a minute and then push your finger through the jam. If the jam wrinkles, it’s ready and will set once it’s in the jar. If it doesn’t crinkle, boil the mixture for another 5 minutes and test it again. Sterilise your jars and while still hot carefully add the jam into them and seal immediately.

making preserves - blackberry and apple jam recipe process

As I was researching how to make jam, I came across this recipe for apple and blackberry flavoured vodka. I’m not a big fan of vodka but I AM a big fan of jam, and I thought that this sounded delicious – and really, it can only make the vodka taste better! So I headed back out to pick some more blackberries (there were loads on the hedges around the fields!) and created a fruity apple and blackberry syrup (basically another jam) to add to the vodka:

This recipe makes enough syrup to go with a 700ml bottle of vodka: 400g blackberries, 250g apples after peeling and coring, 600g caster sugar, 300ml water, 700ml vodka. Boil the blackberries and apples in the water, then add the caster sugar and simmer on a low heat until the apples are soft and mushy and the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool and then add to a large steralised jar before stirring in a whole bottle of vodka. Seal the jar and leave to infuse in a dark place, shaking it occasionally to release more jammy goodness into the vodka. After a couple of weeks (or months) strain off the liquid and bottle it up ready for Christmas!

Blackberry and Apple Vodka Making Fruit Alcohol Recipe

Luckily enough, the theme for October’s Inspiration Challenge was ‘apples’ so making these apple-based recipes fitted in nicely! Some of the lovely Inspiration Challenge contributers have sent in their autumn makes based on the apple theme and here’s what they came up with:

Andy from AndyGTheArtist blog created this piece of artwork – a charcoal drawing of an apple on an old map. I think that the composition of the image is great, with the apple just peeking into the frame.

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If anyone else has made something apple-based for the inspiration challenge (a craft, food, sewing project, art etc) please get in touch and I’ll share it on the blog, along with your links – email me with your photos to cassie@cassiefairy.co.uk. I thought that next month’s challenge would simply be “anything Christmassy” as I’m sure we’ll all be busy preparing for Christmas anyway, so on the 1st December I will share any festive projects that are sent in to me :)


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Recipe – Butterfly buns with a fruity surprise!

I made these cute butterfly buns last weekend as a birthday treat for my friend’s birthday and I personally can’t get enough of them, which is pretty dangerous – I can barely keep my hands off while I’m baking and decorating them! But I held back from scoffing the lot long enough to share them with my friends and to take a few photos to share with you.

I prepared 12 vanilla cupcakes with a standard sponge recipe and baked them in frilly paper cases. After they cooled I cut off the tops as normal for butterfly buns, but I also scoop down as I remove the tops in order to create a little dip in the cake for a nice blob of strawberry jam to hide in! I used vanilla butter icing to cover the jam and pushed the butterfly sponge into the icing and sprinkled a little edible glitter on top. You can use any kind of fruit preserve in the centre, and its a delicious surprise when someone bites into it! I think lemon curd and a lemon butter icing might be lovely – I’ll let you know when I try that one out, so watch this space!