Category Archives: Fabulous Recipes

Chutney jars for red onion chutney

Chutney jars for red onion chutney 

Onion jam in jar, goat's cheese and fresh bread

If you have already had a go at making chutney and your shelves are filled with plum chutney, green tomato chutney and courgette chutney, now might be the time to try a different kind to broaden your preserving horizons. Red onion chutney is quick and easy to make and goes brilliantly with cheese and crackers and ploughman’s lunches, and tastes heavenly on bacon sandwiches and burgers. It also makes a fantastic edible gift. With Christmas coming up, rustling up a batch to give as gifts to friends and family is a great idea.

Chutney looks better in chutney jars!

As with all preserves, you can make red onion chutney in any jars you have to hand; however, chutney really does look best when presented in specially shaped jars. Chutney jars tend to be slimmer and taller than conventional jam jars and we have a wide range to choose from in our online store.

The recipe we are sharing with you today will make one large jar of chutney, but you can always scale the quantities up if you would like to make a bigger batch.

A recipe for red onion chutney

Ingredients

4 large red onions
175ml red wine
50ml balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tbsp light brown sugar

Method

– Chop the onions into fairly small pieces. Add to a pan with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for about 15 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.

– Add all the other ingredients, along with a pinch of ground black pepper, and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes, still with the saucepan lid on.

– Remove the lid and turn up the heat, cooking for another 10-15 minutes until the chutney is sticky and thickened.

– Pour into warm, sterilised jars and seal. Once the chutney is cool, label the jars and store in a cool, dry cupboard.

More recipe ideas for chutney jars

If today’s recipe has whetted your appetite for chutney and you would like to make some more, why not give some more unusual ideas a try? Blueberry chutney is a delight, while fig chutney has a rich and distinctive taste. If you love Indian or Asian food, spiced carrot and ginger chutney might appeal, or even a coconut chutney or a tangy aubergine chutney. Chutney is so versatile that you can usually find an inspiring recipe to fit any fruit or vegetables you have available. Grab some jars and have a go at making chutney today.

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Jars of chilli jam!

Jars of chilli jam!

Tomato and chili sauce, jam, confiture in a glass jar on a grey stone background.

If you are looking for some fresh inspiration for your home preserves projects this autumn, now might be the time to try your hand at chilli jam. Whilst it is called a jam, it is not really the kind of thing you would spread on toast or put in the middle of a Victoria sandwich; instead, it is a really delicious jelly that is perfect with cold meats and cheeses. It also makes a delicious and eye-catching gift. Today, we thought we would share our recipe for chilli jam with you and hope you fall in love with it as much as we have.

Small jars are best

As this is a jelly that is used a little like a relish, you do not need large jars. Small glass jam jars are much better, as a little goes a long way when it comes to chilli jam. Our small hexagonal or square jam jars are ideal for the job. Let’s take a look at the recipe.

Chilli jam recipe

Ingredients

140g fresh red chilli peppers
160g red peppers
1kg jam sugar
580ml cider vinegar

Method

– Cut the chilli peppers into quarters and remove the seeds and tops. Chop these in a food processor until they are very fine, then add the red peppers and chop again.

– Pour the vinegar into a pan and add the jam sugar. Dissolve the sugar over a low heat, then add the chilli and pepper mixture. Bring the pan to the boil and keep it on a rolling boil for 10 minutes.

– Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. After about 45 minutes, the mixture should have become more jelly-like and is ready to spoon into sterilised jars. There should be small flecks of pepper visible in the jelly. Seal the jars and label when completely cool.

More chilli ideas for small jars

If you still have some glass jam jars sitting empty and want to make more chilli jam, you can always use normal sugar and source the required pectin by adding three whole cooking apples, pierced across their skins, during the boil stage. You can also make a green chilli version by using green chilli peppers and green peppers, which creates a really vibrant jelly.

For a richer chilli jam, use tomatoes, red onions, red chilli peppers, star anise, ginger and brown sugar, along with white wine vinegar or cider vinegar.

Whatever recipe you decide to try, be sure to share your experience with us on Facebook or Twitter. We really love hearing about your preserving projects!

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Ideas for Homemade Yoghurts

Ideas for Homemade Yoghurts in Kilner Jars

Healthy kiwi, banana, coconut parfaits in mason jars on a rustic wood background

Do you find yourself at the yoghurt counter in the supermarket, wincing at the cost of all the yoghurts you buy and fretting about all that single-use plastic that your family’s yoghurt habit demands? If so, it might be worth considering an alternative – making your very own homemade yoghurts. It’s simple and fuss-free, and you can experiment with whatever flavours you like, all at very low cost and without all of that throwaway plastic. In today’s blog post, we guide you through the process of making yoghurt at home, and show you how clip top jars are ideal for storing your homemade creations.

Making Yoghurt in Kilner Jars

Before you get started on your yoghurt making, it’s important to ensure you have the right jars for the project. Clip top jars are perfect, as they’re easy to sterilise and they fit neatly in the fridge. You can choose to put your yoghurt in a larger jar, or pour it into smaller, portion sized jars, if you prefer.

Let’s Fill Those Kilner Jars!

Making yoghurt couldn’t be simpler. Here’s our foolproof recipe:

Ingredients

1.2 litres whole milk
3 tablespoons live yoghurt

Method

Successful yoghurt making relies on perfectly sterilised equipment, so make sure you take time to sterilise your pan, thermometer, bowls, spoon and your clip top jars. You’ll also need a container to act as an incubator for your yoghurt, such as a thermos flask, a slow cooker, or a lidded pan placed on a hot water bottle. Make sure your incubator is also sterilised.

Fill a large bowl with ice, and set aside.

Pour the milk into a large saucepan, and heat the milk until it reaches 80°C (180F), but don’t let it boil. Stir gently during this time, to prevent a skin forming.

Remove from the heat and place the pan in the ice bath you prepared, stirring from time to time. Let the milk cool down to 45°C (110F). Take a cup of warm milk from the pan and place in a small bowl, then add the live yoghurt to it, stirring it gently to mix it well. Once mixed, add this mixture back to the pan of milk, and stir to combine fully.

Pour the mixture into your incubator container. If you’re using a slow cooker, heat it beforehand, but then turn it off when you pour in the mixture. Leave it for at least 5 hours to incubate, and then decant into your clip top jars and store in the fridge. Add fruits, nuts, honey or jam to flavour the yoghurt when serving.

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Ideas for Lunch on the Go

Ideas for Lunch on the Go using Glass Jars

food

If you go out to work every day, the chances are that over time you’ve tried just about every sandwich shop and takeaway outlet within a one mile radius of your office or workplace. That means you’ve probably tried all manner of sandwiches, wraps, paninis and other lunchtime treats, as you try desperately hard not to get bored of the same old thing every day. If you’re fed up of dull old sandwiches from your local haunt and you’ve had enough of paying a small fortune each week for your lunch, it’s time to look again at taking a packed lunch.

Packed lunches these days don’t have to involve a Tupperware box with a limp ham sandwich and an apple, as things have got a whole lot more creative recently. In today’s blog post, we take a look at some fresh and mouthwatering ideas for lunch on the go.

Salads in Glass Jars

Homemade salad in glass jar with quinoa and vegetables. Healthy food, diet, detox, clean eating and vegetarian concept with copy space.

Using screw top jars to store fresh salads for your lunch is a brilliant idea. Each day, you can mix things up a little and take a new and exciting lunch to work, using whatever ingredients you have to hand. With your screw top jars at the ready, lunch need never be boring again, and you can even choose a healthier option by avoiding bread and processed meats.

The key to creating a delicious salad in a jar is to think in terms of layers. Throw all of your ingredients in willy-nilly and you will undoubtedly end up with a soggy and unappetising mess. Layer the ingredients carefully, though, and your salad will still be perfectly fresh and crunchy when it’s time to eat it.

The first layer to add should be your dressing of choice. Then add crunchy vegetables like onions, peppers, tomatoes, celery and carrots. After this layer, add ingredients that you’d like not to get soaked in dressing, but that won’t go mushy if they do get a little dressing on them. These ingredients might include mushrooms, courgettes, sweetcorn, kidney beans and lentils. Next up are the more delicate ingredients, such as boiled egg or feta cheese, followed by something like rice, couscous or pasta. The very last layer should be any leaf vegetables such as lettuce or spinach, microgreens or alfalfa.

Choosing Suitable Glass Jars

Screw top jars are perfect for this kind of salad in a jar lunch, as they will keep everything safe and sound inside the jar, with no leaks or spills. Check out our range of Kilner jars and Mason jars, to find the perfect size for your packed lunch.

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Green bean ideas

Green bean ideas

green string beans and knife closeup on wooden board

Summer is in full swing and it seems that we can barely harvest the produce of our vegetable plots and allotments fast enough. It is the time of year when we wonder whether our tomatoes will ripen before the end of summer, what we are going to do with all our courgettes, and whether we can come up with some new and tasty ways to cook our green beans. We can’t answer all these questions in a single blog post, so today we will tackle just one. Green beans are a delicious staple of many a vegetable patch and they are in season right now, just waiting to be used in all sorts of tasty dishes.

If you remember your mum cooking green beans when you were a child, you probably recall them being boiled or steamed to within an inch of their lives. This was the way everyone cooked vegetables back then; today, we have become altogether more cosmopolitan and adventurous, even with something as simple as a dish of green beans. Try blanching them for a couple of minutes in boiling water, then transferring them to a hot pan with a splash of olive oil, a knob of butter, some crushed garlic, the grated zest of a lemon, and a few chilli flakes. Suddenly, a plain dish of beans has been transformed into something altogether more exciting.

Kitchen utensils for perfect veg preparation

Part of the joy of cooking comes with taking time to prepare things carefully. Even a humble serving of beans can be elevated to something special with a tasty recipe and some careful preparation. If you would like to be able to prepare vegetables like the professional chefs, check out our kitchen accessories range for the perfect tools. Our rotary bean slicer, for example, will give you perfectly French-cut sliced beans of a uniform size.

More kitchen utensils to make life easy

We have plenty of other kitchen accessories to help you prepare and cook your food more elegantly. From professional grade knives to specialist graters, madeleines and hachoirs, we have everything you need to do a professional job. When you have the right tools to hand, cooking seems so much more fun and enjoyable – and the results speak for themselves.

There are plenty of fruits that are in season; of course, we also have tools to handle them. From apple corers and peelers to berry pickers and cherry pitters, we have the right tools for every job. Why not check out our range of kitchen accessories and gadgets today?

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Using pectin for jam making

Using pectin for jam making Both Pectin

Summer is almost upon us, which can only mean one thing – it is time to start thinking about all the lovely jams we are going to make this year. With strawberries ripening by the day and soft fruit growing ever plumper on the bushes in the fruit garden, now is the time to get out your maslin pan, stock up on jam jars, and come up with some creative and mouthwatering ideas for this year’s batch of jam. If you have had variable results with the consistency of your jam in the past, it might be down to the type of fruit you used. Read on to find out why different fruits always set better than others.

What exactly is pectin?

This mysterious substance is a natural gelling agent that occurs in fruits and gives jams their sticky consistency. Different fruits have different levels of pectin, which is why some jams seem to ‘set’ better than others. Apples, gooseberries, plums and citrus fruits such as lemons and limes are high in pectin, whilst strawberries, apricots, blueberries and raspberries have much lower levels. If you want to make jam using one of these fruits, you either need to add pectin or combine your fruit with another fruit to help it set properly. It is also worth bearing in mind that pectin levels decrease in very ripe fruit; therefore, it is worth trying to use fruit that is slightly under-ripe if possible.

How to use pectin for jam making

If you plan to make jam using fruit such as strawberries or raspberries, you will need to increase the pectin levels. Many recipes simply include a liberal splash of lemon juice to provide the necessary pectin; alternatively, you can buy pectin to add to your preserves, either as a liquid or a powder. Check out the home baking section in the supermarket or try a specialist store to see what is available.

You can even make your own pectin from tart apples. As apples are not necessarily in season at the same time as the fruits you want to make jam with, you can always make your pectin and freeze it ready to defrost when the time comes for jam making. Making it simply involves boiling chopped apples with water and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice for about 20 minutes, then straining and storing in sterilised jars. If you are freezing it, be sure to use plastic jars.

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Pickled cucumbers in glass jars

Pickled cucumbers in glass jars 

Jars of pickled marinated cucumbers on rustic table

Few people can resist a fabulous burger. Made with prime beef and lots of tangy relish and fresh toppings, a really good burger is hard to beat. With barbecue season now in full swing, many people are thinking about organising a family get-together or garden party and are looking to make their own delicious burgers rather than buying them from the supermarket. Often, however, cooks tend to concentrate on the burger itself, taking time to make these by hand but then adding shop-bought toppings such as relish or pickles. In today’s blog post, we take a look at just how easy it is to make homemade pickled cucumbers to serve on burgers and other dishes. Once you have seen how easy this is, you will be raring to make your own ready for your next barbecue event.

The right glass jars for your pickles

Before you start to prepare your pickled cucumbers, you need to consider the jars you will use to store them in. We recommend using either our one-gallon pickle jar or our ½-gallon jar. These are perfect for pickles and really look the part. If you only want to prepare a small amount of pickled cucumber, one of our clip top jars, such as the Kilner one-litre square clip top jar, would be ideal.

Filling those glass jars

Once you have decided on the right jar for this project, it is time to get busy. For this recipe, we have opted for a relatively small amount, using just one cucumber; however, it is easy to scale the recipe up if you have a glut of cucumbers that you would like to use up – simply multiply the ingredients according to how many cucumbers you have.

Ingredients

1 cucumber, thinly peeled
2 tsp salt
60g sugar
75ml white vinegar
2-inch piece of fresh root ginger

Method

Take the peeled cucumber and lightly run the back of a fork down the length of the cucumber, around all sides. This will give a ridged appearance to the cucumber slices.

Slice the cucumber thinly and place in a bowl with the salt, making sure it is mixed thoroughly. After 10 minutes or so, rinse with cold water. Drain the cucumber and then put it back in the bowl.

Grate the root ginger and add to the cucumber along with the sugar and vinegar. Mix everything together well.

Place the cucumber slices into a clean, sterilised jar, ensuring that enough vinegar is poured over the slices to keep them covered. Store in the fridge.

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Magical milk bottle recipes

Magical milk bottle recipes 

Various flavors of milk in bottles with chocolate and strawberries isolated on white

If you often wish you could get your children to drink more healthy drinks and be a bit keener on the five-a-day concept, today’s post might be of interest. With warm and sunny days on the horizon, finding ways to tempt children to quench their thirst and stay hydrated is something we should all be thinking about; fortunately, milkshakes and smoothies are both fantastic for encouraging youngsters to drink something that is refreshing and healthy at the same time.

Fill those milk bottles with milkshake magic

For many parents, asking their children to drink a healthy glass of fresh milk every day is rather a thankless task; therefore, the trick is to turn that glass of milk into something altogether more delicious. Strawberry milkshakes are always popular, especially if you whip them until they are super-frothy and add a little marshmallow treat on the top. A peanut butter and banana milkshake is another fabulous idea to try – if you serve these in our glass milk bottles, the novelty value will encourage children to see the drink as a fun experience. If you need to get children to eat and drink healthily, sometimes stealth is a great tactic!

Serve smoothies in milk bottles

It is not just children who need to ensure they get their five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, of course, as this can also be a challenge for time-pressed adults. One quick and easy way to eat more fruit and veg is to replace at least one meal a day with a vitamin-packed smoothie. The benefits of drinking a smoothie every day are twofold – they can provide plenty of vitamins, fibre and goodness, and they can form part of a sensible weight-loss programme, if required.

What you choose to put in your smoothies is limited only by your imagination, so check what is in season and experiment with your own unique blends and flavours. If you are short of time, it is easy to make up a larger batch of your favourite smoothie, decant it into glass milk bottles, and store it in the fridge ready for use.

For a real superfood kickstart smoothie, try mixing half a cup of green tea, two tablespoons of honey, a chopped banana and 300g of blueberries with a cup of milk. Blend all the ingredients together until they are smooth, then pour into glass milk bottles and chill in the fridge before serving.

If you have any great milkshake or smoothie recipes, why not share them with us on Facebook or Twitter? We would love to hear your ideas!

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Pie Dish Recipe

Cottage pie in a rustic baking dish

Cottage pie in a rustic baking dish

Recipe for a pie dish

 Who doesn’t love a good pie? Whether it is a rich meat pie bursting with delicious gravy or a tempting fruit pie just asking to be smothered in custard, pies are part of the British way of life. Hearty and filling, they are a little slice of heaven on a plate and it is no wonder we turn to pie recipes when the weather is chilly – they warm us up, cheer us up and fill us up. Pies are not just for winter, however, and there are plenty of lighter pie recipes around if you need to satisfy your pie craving during spring or summer. In today’s post, we feature a simple recipe for a mouthwatering fish pie that is perfect all year round.

 Pie dish choices

 Before we start, let’s talk about your choice of dish. Both Mason Cash and Falcon have been making classic pie dishes for decades, with little changing in terms of their iconic styles. Whether you choose a classic ceramic dish from Mason Cash or one of Falcon’s instantly-recognisable enamel pie dishes, you are sure to love your dish. Both styles are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, meaning there is a dish to suit however many people you are cooking for.

 Our pie dish recipe:

 Ingredients

500g white fish fillets, skinned

500g smoked haddock fillets, skinned

750ml milk

1 onion, chopped

4 eggs

125g butter

75g plain flour

1kg potatoes, cut into chunks

75g grated cheese

5 cloves

2 bay leaves

¼ tsp grated nutmeg

3 sprigs parsley, chopped

salt and pepper

 Method

 Place the fish in a shallow pan with 600ml of the milk, the onion, cloves and bay leaves. Bring the milk almost to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, lift out the fish, and flake into the pie dish. Let the milk cool in a jug.

 Hard boil the eggs, then peel and chop into quarters before placing on top of the fish. Scatter the parsley over the top.

 Melt most of the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Gradually stir in the cooled milk. Return to the heat and stir until it forms a smooth sauce. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper, and pour over the fish.

 Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes, then mash with the milk and butter that was left over. Cover the pie with the potato mash, then top with the grated cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden.

 

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Baking pan recipes

Baking pan recipes 

Chocolate brownie on the baking tray with blueberry , knife in the hand , chocolate , forks and old vintage plates on the wooden table top view

There is something deeply satisfying about baking your own cakes, whether simple cupcakes, traditional cakes such as Victoria sandwich or Madeira, or flamboyant and exotic affairs such Black Forest gateau or Sachertorte. As we have mentioned before, whilst the success of your baking endeavours is partly down to baking skills and good ingredients, it also helps to have the right baking equipment for your project. In today’s post, we take a look at a few of our baking pans and offer a recipe for a delicious alternative to a Madeira cake.

Our range of baking pans

We stock a huge range of baking pans to suit all types of baking projects, from individual cake tins to loose base cake pans and spring form tins. Loose base and spring form tins make life easy when it comes to getting the cake out of the pan, as the base and the sides come apart after baking to allow the cake to be lifted from the tin. Whilst most people tend to choose a round cake tin for larger cakes, we also stock square sandwich pans and shaped tins for something a little more unusual.

An idea for those baking pans 

pound cake

This recipe is for a traditional French cake called Quatre Quart, which is a little like a Madeira cake. It is quick and easy to make and is a great cake to rustle up if you know that friends or family are going to drop in for coffee.

Ingredients

200g salted butter
200g self raising flour
200g caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

– Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Grease a 10” cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
– Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
– Separate the eggs, then beat the yolks and whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks.
– Add the egg yolks and flour little by little into the butter and sugar mixture until all are combined well.
– Fold in the egg whites and mix gently.
– Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the cake is golden and no raw mixture remains on a skewer when pushed into the cake.
– Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool on a wire tray.

We hope this recipe and a peek at some of our baking equipment has inspired you to bake a cake this weekend. If you do make a Quatre Quart cake, be sure to let us know on Facebook or Twitter how it turns out!

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Choices for chutney jars

Choices for chutney jars 

Salad with cabbage and beets. Home canning

Many people concentrate on jams and marmalade for their home preserves, sticking to tried and tested recipes for strawberry or raspberry jam or orange marmalade. In today’s post, we want to encourage our readers to consider some savoury preserves and take a look at chutney, with some ideas for delicious chutney recipes. We will also walk you through a few of our chutney and pickle jars to highlight the perfect jar for this type of preserving project.

Choosing your chutney jars

You can, of course, use any kind of jar for your chutneys and pickles, but they do look nicer when a specific chutney jar is used. Many chutney jars are slightly thinner and taller than standard jam jars, with a slight outward bulge just below the lid. We have no idea why it is traditional for chutney and pickle jars to be shaped in this way; however, it somehow makes sense to follow convention and use this type of jar. We have a range of chutney and pickle jars available, from the 212ml slimline jar to the larger 370ml jar. We also offer some jars with ‘chutney’ or ‘pickles’ printed on the front in a frosted effect, which are ideal if you plan to make chutney or pickles to give as gifts to friends and family.

What to put in those chutney jars? 

Onion pineapple chutney on rustic wood.

We have no doubt all ploughed through jars of chutney that were made to use up a glut of courgettes or green tomatoes. Whilst these might be some of the more common chutney recipes, there are quite a few other chutneys out there to whet your appetite. Why not have a go at this delicious apple and red onion chutney recipe?

Ingredients

500g red onion, finely chopped
500g apple, chopped
125g granulated sugar
150g brown sugar
300ml red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt

Method

1. Heat the oil in a pan and throw in the onion. Cook slowly until the onion is just soft.
2. Add all the other ingredients and bring the pan to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for around 30 minutes until the apples have also softened.
3. Pour the chutney mixture into warm, sterilised jars and seal the jars immediately. Leave to cool, before labelling and storing in a cool, dark cupboard.
4. Once opened, this chutney should keep for up to one month if stored in the fridge.

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Recipe for Cumberland Pie in Pie Dishes

A recipe for cumberland pie

traditional cottage piein dishtraditional cottage pie in dish

Snowdrops might already have raised their dainty heads in our gardens and the nights are getting lighter, but we are still a long way from the sunny days of spring. When it seems that the weather will never get much warmer, there is nothing better than a hearty pie for supper to warm the spirits and reassure us that winter is not all bad. In today’s post, we tackle a favourite pie of ours that is easy to make and inexpensive, yet still tasty enough to impress friends and family alike. If you have never made a cumberland pie before, you will soon be converted to its joys.

Pie dishes to the rescue

Before we start the recipe, we need to talk about pie dishes! A substantial pie calls for a substantial pie dish, and our Mason Cash pie dishes are just the ticket. Solid, reliable and big enough to serve the whole family, these dishes will give years of dutiful service. Why not check out the full range of Mason Cash pie dishes before you get stuck into the recipe?

Filling those pie dishes

This recipe is simple to prepare but slow to cook, so let’s take a look:

Ingredients

2 celery sticks, diced

1 large carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

800g diced braising beef

4 bay leaves

4 sprigs of fresh thyme

2tbsp plain flour

2tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2tbsp tomato puree

30g strong cheddar

30g parmesan cheese

800g potato, sliced thickly

1 beef stock cube

1tbsp butter

1tbsp vegetable oil

Method

1. Heat oven to gas mark 3/160°C. Soften the onion, celery and carrot in a casserole dish with the oil and butter, then add the bay leaves and thyme. Crumble in the stock cube, then add the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce.

2. Stir in 500ml hot water, then add the beef, and let the mixture simmer. Cook in the oven, with the lid on the dish, for 2½ hours. Remove the casserole lid and cook for another 30 minutes until the meat is falling apart and the sauce is thick.

3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes for about 15 minutes until they are almost done.

4. Transfer the contents of the casserole dish to a pie dish and layer on the potato slices, mixing in the two cheeses as you position the layers.

5. Turn the oven up to gas mark 6/200°C and cook for 30-40 minutes until the topping is crispy and golden. Serve with broccoli or peas.

We have certainly made our own mouths water with this recipe and hope we have also inspired you.

 

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Recipe for Peach and Amaretto Jam for Kilner Jars

Baguette with peach jam served on a breakfast plate

Baguette with peach jam served on a breakfast plate

Recipe for peach and amaretto jam for Kilner Jars

All keen jam makers have their firm favourites when it comes to which preserves to make. We all love a good strawberry jam and an apple and blackberry jam is usually on everyone’s list of favourites; however, there is no denying that we also enjoy a new recipe – something that stirs our creative juices and gives us a fresh challenge. In today’s post, we will discuss an unusual jam recipe from Kilner, the firm behind the iconic clip top jam jars. Kilner’s recipe is heavenly and we have added a couple of ideas for a slight twist on the original recipe. If peach and amaretto sounds divine as a jam recipe, read on to find out more.

Get those Kilner jars ready

 Before you start your jam-making plans, ensure you have enough Kilner jars available. The recipe makes about 1.3kg of jam; therefore, three 500ml clip top jars should suffice. Make sure you thoroughly sterilise the jars before use.

Ingredients

1.3kg peaches

250ml water

2 lemons, juiced

1.3kg sugar

50ml amaretto

 Method

 Peel the peaches carefully or blanch them quickly to remove the skins. Set the skins aside.

 Remove the stones and chop the fruit into cubes. Boil the skins in a little water to soften them, then press them through a sieve onto the peach fruit. Simmer the fruit until it is quite soft.

 Add the sugar and lemon juice and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for around 20 minutes, stirring continuously. When setting point is reached, remove from the heat and remove any scum from the jam.

 Leave to cool for a few minutes before stirring in the amaretto. Pour into sterilised jars and seal.

 This jam is delicious served on toast for breakfast; alternatively, it can be used to add a fantastic twist to other dishes. Next time you make a bread and butter pudding, spread some of this jam on the slices of bread for a sensational sweet treat. It is also a super-tasty jam used in a jam sponge pudding and you could even spread it on sponge fingers in a classic trifle.

 More peachy ideas for Kilner jars

 If amaretto is not to your taste, you could always substitute another liqueur or spirit, such as brandy, vodka or even prosecco. For a non-alcoholic version, try using vanilla instead of amaretto. Another match made in heaven is peach and butterscotch jam, which is easy to make using a standard peach jam recipe and a drop or two of butterscotch essence.

 

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Marmalade recipe in Glass Jars

 Marmalade recipe in Glass Jars

With New Year just around the corner, it is time once again to start thinking about making marmalade. Often seen as jam’s rather upmarket cousin, marmalade has its own unique character and is somewhat under-appreciated in our view. There are plenty of standard marmalade recipes available online and in home preserves books, but we thought it would be fun to explore some more unusual recipe ideas for this year’s marmalade. One of the recipes we discovered was for orange prosecco marmalade. We love experimenting with home preserves, so we have adapted the recipe a little. Read on to learn how to make this delicious spin on a traditional breakfast treat.

 Glass food jars for marmalade

 Before you make your marmalade, consider what jars you will use. We recommend that you use small food jars for marmalade, as it tends not to get used up as quickly as jam. Our vintage glass jam jars and Bonne Maman-style jars are perfect; alternatively, if you want to create individual portions, some small food jars from our miniature range would be ideal.

 Filling those glass food jars

 Once you have decided on your jars, it is time to get on with making the marmalade. Here is our modified recipe:

 Ingredients

 4 large Seville oranges

1.2kg granulated sugar

juice of 1 lemon

1 glass prosecco

 Method

Place the whole oranges in a large pan with the lemon juice and two litres of water. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for two hours to soften the orange peel.

– Remove the softened oranges from the pan and allow to cool. Cut them in half and scoop out the flesh and pith, putting this into the pan of orange water. Bring to the boil for five minutes and strain thoroughly.

– Cut the orange peel into small shreds.

– Pour half the liquid into a preserving pan, along with the sugar, shredded peel and the prosecco.

– On a low heat, stir continuously until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and stir continuously until the mixture reaches setting point (220°C). This should take about 25-30 minutes.

– Remove from the heat and skim off any surface scum. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into sterilised jars. If the shred has settled, stir gently to ensure all jars get an even mixture of marmalade and shredded peel. Seal, label and allow to cool completely before storing.

 This recipe should make four or five 1lb jars of marmalade – enough to make breakfast time a treat for quite some time!

 

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Creative recipes to serve in milk bottles

Creative recipes to serve in milk bottles

Organic cold-pressed raw vegetable juices in glass bottlesOrganic cold-pressed raw vegetable juices in glass bottles

Who remembers the days when milk was delivered to your door in glass bottles? We would hear the whirr of the electric milk float as it trundled along the street and the clink of the bottles as the milkman delivered to each house. On a cold winter’s morning, the milk would sometimes freeze, pushing off the foil cap. For most people, those days have long gone; however, milk bottles are having something of a renaissance and are this year’s must-have container for serving fancy drinks. Here we look at some ideas for using a glass milk bottle to serve delicious drinks.

Alcoholic drinks in milk bottles

With Christmas fast approaching, it is well and truly party season, which means it is time to think of some creative cocktails to offer your guests. Any cocktail will work brilliantly served in a glass milk bottle, but milk-based drinks look particularly fabulous served this way. Here is a recipe for a warming Christmas cocktail that will work perfectly in a couple of our 250ml bottles:

Coconut Christmas cocktail

Ingredients

100ml vodka

140ml coconut milk or cream

1tsp vanilla extract

1tbsp creme de cacao

½tsp grated nutmeg

Method

Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly in a jug. Pop a couple of ice cubes into each milk bottle, then pour the cocktail mix over the ice cubes. Serve with a straw.

Non-alcoholic drinks in milk bottles

If a drop of the strong stuff is not for you, there are plenty of non-alcoholic creations that work brilliantly in these bottles. Why not make a delicious fruit smoothie in one of our one-litre bottles and store it in the fridge to drink throughout the day? Try a coconut and red berry smoothie; alternatively, for something a little more exotic, blend banana, avocado, fresh figs and pistachios with a little milk or water for a rich, slightly tropical taste.

For a more indulgent smoothie that is part drink, part dessert, try a chocolate banana smoothie. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

1 cup milk or coconut milk

1 banana

1tbsp cocoa powder

1tsp cinnamon

2tbsp honey

Method

Blend all the ingredients together to form a thick, smooth mixture. Pour into a 250ml milk bottle and chill in the fridge. Serve as soon as the mixture is fully chilled.

As you can see, these bottles can be used to serve all sorts of delicious drinks. For thick, creamy drinks, you can sip straight from the bottle; for other drinks, adding a straw is a nice touch. If you are making larger quantities, our one-litre bottles with screw-on lids are just the thing.

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Maslin Pans for Christmas

Maslin Pans for Christmas

Cooked homemade cherry jam in the bowl and in the jar, organic meal and dessert concept

With just a month to go until Christmas Day, it is time to get those thinking caps on, to decide what gifts to give your friends and relatives this year. If there is someone in your life who you find it incredibly difficult to decide on a gift for, don’t worry – you are not alone. We at Wares can help you to find some fabulous gifts that will truly be appreciated by the recipient. In this post, we start off by looking at jam making equipment.

Maslin pans make great Christmas gifts

The beauty of giving a maslin pan as a gift, or any jam making equipment for that matter, is that it can bring so much pleasure for years to come. Jam making is such an easy thing to get into and requires no special knowledge or any real culinary flair. If the bug bites and you find you love making jam, you can let your imagination take over and experiment with more complex recipes; however, for the absolute beginner, it is perfectly easy to rustle up some delicious homemade jam at the first attempt. If the gift recipient is keen to get started with their home preserves straight after Christmas, they can always start by making a batch of marmalade, as Seville oranges are in season at that time of year.

What else, besides maslin pans?

Apart from a good maslin pan, there is very little other equipment that is essential for successful jam making. You need jars and lids to store your jam in, of course, and there are a number of optional extras that can make life easier for the jam maker. A jam thermometer is one good tool, and a jam spoon that can be hooked to the side of the maslin pan is also very handy. If you are on the messy side, you might find a jam funnel helpful when it comes to pouring the jam into the jars.

If you plan on giving an extra special gift, why not choose a jam making kit? Our kits have absolutely everything you need to get started in home preserves, including the maslin pan, thermometer, funnel, jam spoon, recipe book and, of course, jars, lids and labels. Our deluxe kit also includes the rather lovely Preserves book from the River Cottage Handbook Collection.

On the subject of books, a jam or preserves recipe book could be just the ticket if you need to buy for someone who has already started making jam. Check our website for our full range of jam making books.

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Choosing and using food jars

Choosing and using food jars

It might sound strange, but the jar you use can be just as important as the recipe you follow when it comes to making the best impression in home preserves. From miniature jam jars for breakfast jams and marmalad

Jars of jam and basket with cherry on background.

es to chunky jars in iconic shapes, there really is a jar for every occasion. Whether you are making preserves to eat at home, creating homemade gifts or even entering competitions at the local village fair, choosing a quality food jar will really lift your finished product.

Food jars for gifts

Our deluxe range of food/jam jars includes jars in five different sizes. Combining stylish good looks with tough practicality, these jars are solid and reliable. In sizes from 110ml to 500ml, these jars can showcase all sorts of preserving delights. Use the small jars to create gift sets of mixed preserves, or fill a big 500ml jar with preserved lemons to create a fancy gift. Our vintage glass jam jars and Bonne Maman-style jars both exude a certain rustic charm and can turn a humble pot of jam into a chic gift when teamed with a cute gingham checked lid.

A quality food jar does not have to hold food. An elegant jar with a colourful red or blue checked lid can make an ideal container for a non-food gift. Making your own bath salts, for example, is a fun way to spend time doing something creative and the result makes a lovely, eco-friendly gift. Filling a jar with decorative stationery items, such as fun paper clips, erasers and other desk accessories, is a brilliant gift idea for anyone who loves old-fashioned stationery.

Food jars for specific preserves

For some reason, certain preserves seem to suit certain styles and shapes of jar more than others. Honey, for example, is very often put into hexagonal jars, perhaps because the hexagon shape mimics the honeycomb inside the bee’s hive. Our 106ml globe jam jars, on the other hand, are perfect for lemon curd. As lemon curd contains fresh eggs, it does not have such a long life as jam; therefore, a smaller jar size is a good idea. If you are creating an old-fashioned or traditional preserve, such as hedgerow jelly, you might want to use a very traditional-looking jam jar to continue the slightly vintage theme.

Whatever you want to put in your jars, we are sure to have the perfect jar for you here at Wares. Check out our extensive range today and get busy making those Christmas gifts.

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Choosing the best bakeware to make mince pies

Choosing the best bakeware to make mince pies 

There is no denying it – Christmas will soon be here and this means mince pie season is now officially underway. Universally loved, the humble mince pie is a staple feature in British homes for the best part of two months as the festive period approaches. Here we take a look at how to make the perfect mince pie; in addition, also have some unusual ideas to add a twist to your mince pies.

Choosing your bakeware

Before you start making your mince pies, you need to ensure you have the right baking pans. Standard 12-hole baking tins are generally used; however, if you want to make mini mince pies for drinks parties, our 24-hole mini tart tin is the perfect size. If you want to do something different, there is nothing to stop you making giant mince pies using our six-hole baking pans or even making open-top mince pie tarts in our Yorkshire pudding baking pans.

Woman making small pies

Our mince pie recipe:

Ingredients

250g butter, cubed

375g plain flour

110g caster sugar

320g mincemeat

1 egg

icing sugar for dusting

Method

Make the pastry by combining the butter and flour and then adding the sugar. Knead it slightly to form a ball.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Use a glass or pastry cutter to cut circles of pastry and use these to line your baking tins. Spoon mincemeat onto each pastry base.

Use a slightly smaller sized glass or cutter to cut out lids for your mince pies. Place a lid on each pie and press down gently to seal the lids to the bases.

Beat the egg and brush the mince pies with it. Bake the pies for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden. Allow to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.

Caring for your bakeware

Our bakeware is all dishwasher, freezer and oven-safe and comes with a five-year non-stick guarantee. When washing, use a hot, soapy cloth – do not use scouring pads or other abrasive materials. With a little gentle care, these baking tins will last a lifetime and will produce dozens of delicious mince pies and other delights year after year.

Alternative mince pie ideas

If you fancy doing something different with your mince pies this year, why not make small meringues to top them with? For something very unusual, try adding a little grated cheese on top of the mincemeat before baking. This is something of a love it or hate it idea, but one you should at least try!

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Baking for a delicious Christmas

Baking for a delicious Christmas

Cropped image of hand removing cookie tray from oven in kitchen

Christmas is just a few short weeks away and soon the house will be full of friends and family, dropping in to exchange gifts and Christmas good wishes or perhaps even staying for a few days over the festive period. With all these extra visitors, it is wise to get organised with a few baking sessions so that you always have a tasty treat to offer around whenever someone calls to wish you a Merry Christmas. Here we look at a few ideas for festive baking success, with some old favourites and some ideas you may not have thought of.

Savoury baking ideas for Christmas

Sausage rolls are, of course, a firm favourite at Christmas-time and are so easy to make. Don’t feel you must make the puff pastry yourself, as shop-bought pastry is very good. For a luxury twist on the humble sausage roll, try pheasant sausage rolls, replacing two-thirds of the sausage meat with minced pheasant breast and adding a small amount of grated carrot and onion, some fresh thyme and a tiny pinch of chilli flakes.

When it comes to savoury treats, we don’t often think of muffins; however, mini muffins do make exceptional party nibbles. Try goat’s cheese and rosemary muffins, or cheddar cheese and bacon muffins. Our 12-hole mini muffin baking tins are the perfect size for canapé-style muffins.

Sweet baking ideas for Christmas

When it comes to sweet treats for Christmas, the mince pie has to top the list. If you really want to go all-out homemade, make your own mincemeat now and it will be ready to use in time for Christmas. Again, we have a range of non-stick baking pans, which are ideal for mince pies, in either traditional or deep-fill sizes.

Muffins also make brilliant sweet treats at Christmas. Try cranberry and orange muffins with a dash of cinnamon or allspice, sprinkled on top with demerara sugar. Make perfect chocolate and cranberry brownies in our 12-hole brownie pan, or go for a traditional Christmas fruit loaf with cherries, mincemeat, almonds, cranberries and just a small splash of rum for festive cheer. We have a wide range of loaf tins for this type of cake, including the latest silicone-based flexible baking tins.

As with everything in life, planning and preparation make everything go smoothly. By getting organised now, and perhaps trying out a few recipes in advance, you can be confident that you will be able to create some spectacular baking creations when Christmas comes around.

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Carving your pumpkin for Halloween

Halloween pumpkin head jack lantern on wooden background

Carving your Pumpkin for Halloween

It is October and that can mean only one thing – it is time to grab a pumpkin or two, a sharp knife and some imagination to create your Halloween pumpkin. To get your creative juices flowing, we have come up with a few ideas for pumpkin carving with a difference.

Pumpkin carving ideas

Nothing beats the traditional pumpkin scary face, with the flickering candle illuminating the creepy head; however, it can be fun to mix it up a little and try something different to really test your carving skills. The internet is full of templates, how-to videos and guides on pumpkin carving for skill levels from novice to expert. If you don’t want to go for the traditional face, why not carve a moon and stars instead, or perhaps a cat’s silhouette? Some people go all-out artistic and carve a phrase or even an entire graveyard scene in their pumpkins!

Whatever design you choose, make sure you draw the outline on your pumpkin first. Take your time scooping out the flesh, cutting slowly and accurately to get the best results.

Using up the pumpkin flesh

It is easy to get carried away with the fun of pumpkin carving without thinking what to do with all the tasty flesh you will scoop out. Pumpkin soup is one answer and makes a tasty reward after you have finished carving. Alternatively, you could pop the pumpkin flesh in the fridge to use the next day in a pumpkin pie, a vegetarian curry, or even pumpkin and orange cupcakes! Pumpkin flapjacks are a firm favourite here at Wares – they make a great mid-morning coffee break treat!

Kitchen knives to the rescue

It is all well and good coming up with a brilliant carving idea, but creating a pumpkin masterpiece requires a sharp knife. If your own kitchen knives are not up to the job, take a look at our extensive range of professional-grade knives and kitchenwares to find the ideal replacements. The Master Class Precis range of knives will last a lifetime and come with a 25-year guarantee; therefore, you can be sure of their quality and performance. The Precis utility knife would be a good choice for pumpkin carving, with the range including knives for every application.

Take care with kitchen knives

If you are using sharp knives or other kitchenwares, it is important to take care and use them safely, especially when children are helping to carve the pumpkin. Whilst the annual pumpkin carving should be a fun affair, there should be no messing about where knives are concerned.

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