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Asparagus Soup · Rhubarb Streusel Cake · Courgette Dip · Sweetcorn · Strawberry Jam · Grandma's Apple Chutney · Rhubarb Tiramisu · Rhubarb Chutney ·

Asparagus Soup

Quantities are approximate and can be varied - These quantities make about 10 servings.

Ingredients

1 kg Kitchen grade asparagus
2 Potatoes
3 Sticks celery
3 Carrots
1 Onion
2 Cloves garlic - optional
3 Chicken stock cubes
Pepper & salt to taste

Chop and fry celery and onion in a little butter in a large saucepan until soft. Slice carrots, potatoes and the asparagus and add to the pan. Add sufficient boiling water to cover everything. Add the stock cubes and the crushed garlic. Cook until soft, then carefully blitz with a food processor or hand held blender. Add pepper and salt to taste. Can be consumed immediately or frozen in large yogurt pots or similar for later in the year.

Rhubarb Streusel Cake - To make a 9" cake

Streusel Topping
100g S.R. Flour
75g Butter
75g Sugar

Heat the oven to 350f, 180c, gas mk4. Grease a round 9" tin..
Sift the flour for the topping into a bowl, add the butter in pieces and mix with two table knives in a scissor action until it is crumbly. Add the sugar and a few crushed cornflakes if you like a crunchy topping, mix and set aside.

The Base
500g Rhubarb
175g S.R. Flour + pinch of salt
100g Butter
100g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence and 1 - 2 tablespoons milk

Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Lightly mix the eggs and vanilla and add to the creamed mixture a little at a time. Then fold in the flour and the milk. Spoon this mixture into the greased tin and level. Wash the rhubarb, cut into 1" bits and cover the mixture evenly. Sprinkle the topping over the rhubarb and place in the centre of the oven for approx 1 hour.

When cool turn out onto a plate, then back onto another and dust with icing sugar. It is best kept for 24 hours before serving with cream, but can be eaten immediately, hot or cold.

Try using other fruits instead of the rhubarb if you like.

Dipping Sauce For Courgettes

Mix equal amounts of Set Plain Yoghurt and Mayonnaise together. Add Chopped Paqrsley, Lemon Juice, Salt, Ground Pepper and Crushed Garlic to taste. (250g Yogurt, 250g Mayonnaise, Juice of 1/2 a Lemon and 1 clove of Garlic + Salt, Pepper & Parsley)

Top and tail some small courgettes and boil till just soft. Dip in sauce and eat with fingers or pour over the top and use a fork.

Cooking Sweetcorn

We have found that cooking the cob in it's leaves gives better tasting corn. It works well either in the oven or on the barbeque. Just 20 mins in a medium oven or on the barbeque turning every 5 mins till all sides have browned leaves. Then just peel the leaves back to give a handle to hold while eating.

Strawberry Jam

Our method uses equal amounts of fruit and jam sugar - important to use the sugar with added pectin to get a good set.
It is important to not make too big a batch as there may not be enough heat output from your cooker to get a hot enough boil to make it set. We find 1.5 kg fruit, 1.5kg jam sugar, juice of 1 lemon and a knob of butter is all that is needed. Halve the strawberries and mash slightly to give some juice in the bottom of the pan, add the sugar and lemon juice and start to heat. Bring to a full rolling boil and add the butter. Continue to boil for 5 - 10 mins.

Test for setting by putting some jam onto a plate which has been chilled in the fridge. If it doesn't set, boil for a little longer and retest. When the setting point has been reached, leave to cool for 15 mins and then pour carefully into clean, warmed jars and seal immediately.

Grandma's Apple Chutney

1.25kg Thickly sliced Bramleys
500g Brown Sugar
500g Sultanas
15g Salt
15g Mustard Seeds
15g Crushed Garlic
15g Ground Ginger
5 - 10g Cayenne Pepper (Depends how hot you like it)
570ml Vinegar

Simmer vinegar, sugar and apples gently till reduced to a pulp.
Stir in the remaining ingredients & when well mixed pour carefully into a non metallic container. Allow to cool and cover. Stir 2-3 times daily for a week. Pour into jars for storage.
Should keep well in a cool dark place for up to a year.

RHUBARB TIRAMISU

400g Rhubarb stewed or baked with sugar to taste
3 tbs Orange juice or orange liqueur
1 tsp vanilla essence
250g mascarpone
125ml single cream
4 tbs Icing sugar
200g boudoir biscuits, (sponge fingers)
50g flaked almonds

Whisk the single cream with the icing sugar.
In a separate bowl whisk the mascarpone and vanilla essence.
Fold the mascarpone into the cream.
Remove some syrup from the rhubarb. Add the orange juice to the rhubarb syrup.
Dip half the biscuits in the syrup and use to line the base of a 28cm gratin dish or glass bowl. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits and top with half the rhubarb. Cover the rhubarb with another layer of biscuits dipped in syrup. Spread with the rest of the rhubarb, followed by the remaining mascarpone mixture.
Cover with cling film and chill for about 6 hours, or overnight.
Toast the almonds in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes until they turn golden brown. Set aside to cool before scattering over the tiramisu.


RHUBARB CHUTNEY

2 lb rhubarb cut in 1inch lengths
cup vinegar
cup water
2 lb sugar
lb stoneless raisins
tsp nutmeg
tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
tsp mixed spices

Put vinegar, sugar and water in preserving pan. Tie spices in muslin bag and add. Simmer for 25 minutes and remove bag.
Add rhubarb and raisins. Simmer until thick.
Put in jars and seal when cold.
Good with cold meats and cheese.