Lulu’s Christmas Part I….Redcurrant Sauce & Christmas Brittle

Good afternoon!! It’s the start of the week and the last week of October!! We are nearly in true winter season. Which means Christmas is not too far away.

I want to be organised and start sharing recipes with you in advance so you have time to make them before Christmas. My first recipe is Redcurrant sauce, this can be made now and stored in a sterilised jar ready for Christmas, the colour is amazing and ever so pretty, it would make a great stocking filler!!

This recipe is such a simple and quick accompaniment for your Christmas day dinner or cheese board.

Redcurrants are such a beautiful fruit, so vibrant and the taste is tart and tangy. Therefore when making this recipe I made sure I didn’t add too much sugar as it would be a shame to lose the flavour and the tartness.

I also added a little zest of orange for a slight orange flavour, and lemon zest as a thickener…..this is not a jam so I am not using too much lemon/ or any pectin or jam sugar, but at the same time I do not want the sauce to be too runny. This is more like a chutney consistency in between a jam and a sauce.  The colour is amazing, bright and the taste is delicious….

Redcurrant Sauce

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Servings 1 jar

Time 20-25 minutes 

Difficulty easy

Ingredients:

400g Fresh Redcurrants

250g Caster Sugar

1 Orange

1 Lemon

Method:

Pull the fruit off the stalks and wash, you can leave the heads on them.

Take a potato peeler and peel 3 strips of orange zest and 2 of lemon.

Take a couple of spoonfuls of the redcurrants and set aside for later.

Put the rest of the fruit in a pan with the sugar and all of the zest.  Bring to a boil.

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Let this bubble away for 10 minutes.  Skim away any foam from the pan as this will dis-colour your sauce.

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Add the rest of the redcurrants, simmer for another 5-10 minutes but no longer as you want the fruit to keep its form.

Carefully remove the lemon and orange.

Jar up!! You can pop into a sterilised jar if making in advance.

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Look at that colour!!

I LOVE peanut brittle, I have made it so many times in the past and once had to make a whole batch of it as wedding favours for my sister!  A few years ago I had a Christmas tea party where I made cakes, jams etc for Christmas gifts, this is where I first made this brittle.

You can add any nut or fruit to this, and I had contemplated macadamia, but I stuck with the peanuts as they do taste great in the brittle….make sure they are salted!! I also added some dried cranberries for the festive touch, and a few drops of gold sugar beads.

This is a perfect simple and easy homemade gift for the Christmas dinner table, or makes a great stocking filler…

Christmas Brittle

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Serving makes one oven tray

Time about 10 minutes

Difficulty Easy

Ingredients:

40g Cranberries

100g Salted Peanuts

300g Caster Sugar

10g Gold sugar beads (you can use edible stars or anything  ‘Christmas..ey’)

Parchment paper, I once used brown greaseproof paper and the sugar stuck to it, so the white parchment paper is the best.

I made two batches, the first I used much more fruit and nuts, and although the brittle was still good it was much thicker, so the below recipe might seem sparse in the ingredients but you get a better snap of brittle!!

Method:

On a flat oven tray place a sheet of parchment paper, sprinkle on the nuts evenly, then drop in the cranberries. I also tried to break as many of the nuts in half as I could, so you can a nicer layer of brittle.

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Next empty the sugar into a good non stick sauce pan, turn the heat to high and let the sugar melt.

This is the tricky bit as the sugar can  easily burn, keep shaking the pan around and as soon as the sugar turns a golden caramel colour (even if all the sugar has not all melted) take of the heat then stir it with a wooden spoon until the rest has melted.  You may need to pop it back on the heat for another minute….just be careful as if the colour of this goes too dark the taste will be very bitter.

Once it is all dissolved pour over the nuts and fruit as evenly as you can.

Now you may need to hold the tray up on its side so the molten sugar runs and covers all of the fruit and nuts.

DO NOT TOUCH THE HOT SUGAR it is lethal, I have burnt my fingers numerous times with this stuff in the past believe me it is not pleasant  😉

Next take your gold beads and sprinkle them over the brittle evenly. The molten sugar hardens very quickly so try to be fast with the pouring of this and the sprinkling of the beads.

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That’s it!

Leave it to cool….

Once it is fully cooled break it up into pieces, and if it lasts that long wrap it up and give as a gift, it doesn’t really last long in this house!!!

The pan can be a tricky thing to clean and the spoon will be stuck in it!! Just boil the kettle and pour into the pan it will clean it up easily.

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Never store the brittle in the fridge, wrap it in more parchment paper and pop into a airtight container, store in a cool dark place. If stored correctly it should easily last a week possibly more but if making it as a gift I would make as near to the time as possible.

Printer friendly options are found on my recipes page.

Hope you enjoy these ideas, these are so simple. I have many more coming up, yesterday I cooked and I shooted my first Christmas Roast!! I will be sharing this with you very soon!!

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Lulu xxx

❤ ❤ ❤

 

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