It would be fair to say I’ve been pretty lazy lately.
We’ve had Thanksgiving, essays, exams, Christmas, Friendsmas, Boxing Day, an iron deficiency, a new puppy, new jobs… and it seems like somehow along the way I forgot how to cook in my own kitchen.
This is a very, very overdue but very simple frittata with fresh spring-y, summer-y flavours. We needed a low-carb, healthy, vegetarian dinner on a warm evening for a large group and this worked perfectly. And even though the ingredients sound scary on the wallet (what doesn’t after Christmas, lets be fair), we bought the asparagus on special and divided by our eight diners it was surprisingly reasonable. The side ‘salad’ of zucchini and red onion helps to keep up our smug healthy face and mix things up.
Just the sort of thing for someone who needs to ease back into home cooking.
Spring Frittata (based on a taste.com.au recipe)
Ingredients (serves 8):
4 bunches of asparagus
1 large leek
2 dozen eggs
200g fresh goats cheese, or to taste
Salt, pepper, olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cut or snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the spears in half. Slice the leek into coins about 3-5mm wide.
Heat a heavy frying pan on the stove and add a glugg of olive oil. Toss in the leek and asparagus and cook until the leek has softened.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large bowl until they come together. You could add milk or cream here, to your taste.
Scatter the sauteed vegetables into a large, deep sided glass tray. Crumble the goat’s cheese over the vegetables. Pretend like you’re Nigella and your vegetables automatically tumble gracefully into position. Then fix them so there’s a more or less even coverage of vegetables and cheese so no one misses out. Season to taste.
Pour the egg mix over the vegetables and place the tray in the oven.
Bake until the mix is set in the centre. How long this will take will depend on how big your tray was – the smaller and thus deeper the mix is, the longer you’ll need. I think ours took about half an hour.
Zucchini ‘Salad’ (based on a taste.com.au recipe)
As many zucchinis as you can bear to cut up. They get squeaky after a while but I can usually handle 4 or so. But if you can take turns this scales really well.
1 red onion per couple of zucchini
A handful of mint leaves
Salt, pepper, olive oil
Roughly chop the zucchini, finely slice the onion(s), and pile onto a baking tray.
Zest and juice the lemon, then pour over the vegetables. Add a glugg or two of olive oil and season to taste.
Place the tray in the oven under the frittata and roast for 20-30 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked. Scatter with mint leaves and serve with a dollop of yoghurt if you’re that way inclined.
TBP – This episode was a bit of a nothing episode. Notice that there was no Joffery though, a plus, but it also meant they didn’t include any boobs to balance the Joffery out. I still enjoyed it though, just not as much as previous episodes.
Poking around on Food 52 the other day, I ran accross a recipe for ‘Fugly Lentils and Drunken Pig’ and was entranced by the mental image of the idealistic world where tables are made from whole trees, and wine is quaffed, not sipped. It sounded like something GRRM would dream up, albeit with more murders. Unfortunately I don’t know anywhere I can get Plantagenet Pork hocks, and I typically don’t have three hours to boil them for stock before we even get started. This recipe is inspired by that ethos and the magic combination of pork and lentils, but it is definitely the lazy version.
Crusty fresh bread, chicken and cognac pate (not even slightly ethical, which is why I was offloading it), blue cheese and free range salame from Smoult’s Continental Deli to tide us over
Pork and Lentil Stew
Pork and Lentil Stew
Pork shoulder roast
optional – ground bay leaf, fresh garlic, salt, pepper, thyme powder, sage powder
2c Puy lentils
Soup vegetables – turnip, swede, onions, celery, carrots and parsnip, adjusting the quantities to suit your tastes. We grabbed a pre-assembled soup pack because I was feeling lazy, and parsnips are still $10/kg at my IGA which I think is daylight robbery and a soup pack made good financial sense.
1.5 Bottles of white wine
500ml Chicken stock by the Stock Merchant
oil for frying
I bought the shoulder roast pre-seasoned from my butcher, who used a mix of salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and sage. It added a lot of easy flavour to this dish, which you could do at home by rubbing the meat with a home-made version and leaving in the fridge overnight to marinate. Shoulder roasts will normally come rolled up with some bonus crackling, which once you’ve cut the butchers twine off, you can normally just roll off and put aside for later.
Pre-heat the oven to 180c.
I was aiming for the meat to break into large, tender chunks. What we got was more threads of pork strewn through a lentil stew, but I suspect that was mostly because I got a bit vigorous with my stirring. Either way, you want to leave the meat in pieces big enough to give them a fighting chance of staying together, but small enough to cook all the way through. Falling apart rather than fallen apart. Once my shoulder piece was unrolled, I cut it into four sections about 5cm by 5cm and the length of the roast. I then scored them fairly deeply to help get the heat and the liquid into the centre of the pieces. I browned them in a heavy-based, ovenproof saucepan, while I chopped the vegetables into rough dice.
Once the meat is browned, put it aside and fry the vegetables until they get a bit of colour and just start to soften. Add the meat back to the pan, and pour the wine and stock over the top. Top up with water if needed to make sure everything is submerged.
Bring the pot to the boil then cover and place in the oven. Cook for about two hours, checking periodically to see how tender the meat has become. To cook the lentils, either return the pot to the stove and boil for ~30 minutes, or add the lentils and leave in the oven for about an hour.
We crisped up the crackling by salting it and putting it in a hot oven. Wet skin (like if your shoulder roast was wrapped up with a marinade, woops) tends to crackle poorly if you don’t have time to dry it out properly. Ours was my first dud batch in ages, which was a bit of a downer, but it was still fun to dunk in the stew.
Warning: chesnuts can be deadly. They can be cooked in the oven, a skillet, on coals, or boiled, but no matter which way you cook them, you need to cut a slit into the outer skin (and preferably inner too, to make them easier to peel) otherwise they explode. Sometimes they explode anyway, even when you cut a slit in not only the chestnuts but also your finger. I have cooked them successfully a number of times though, and I can’t rule out that the sheer power of TBP’s oven was to blame. Nevertheless, chestnut at your peril.
TBP – Joffrey should just die. I do love eating these meals though. This was probably my favourite yet (but I really liked that cherry stuffing). If you agree with me (about Joffrey) you should check out this gif. You’re welcome.
This is a recurring favourite from last years Game of Thrones cookery. It’s as savoury and warming as you’d expect, hailing from the Wall.
Last year the Swansea Street Butcher was closed due to a fire and refurbishment and didn’t re-open until Christmas. I drove to four butchers looking for mutton, to no avail, and eventually settled on some fatty, boney chump chops figuring they’d have the most flavour. I was pretty excited this year to finally get my hands on some mutton so I could make this properly. Swansea Street have all sorts of exciting goodies, from the legendary ‘curry meat’ to sheep’s testicles and just about any other offal you care to name. I spotted some black pudding and decided to push my fellow diners buttons by adding that to the menu. Luckily they all rose to the challenge. Next time I’ll deep fry it.
Black pudding, crumbly cheddar and bread
Mutton cooked in a thick broth of ale and onions
Greens dressed with apples and pine nuts
Stewed quince with honey yoghurt
Mutton and Ale Stew
Ingredients (serves 6-8):
Leg of mutton
~12 375ml bottles of your favourite ale or equivalent volume (I like James Squire Nine Tales Amber Ale, and we buy a carton. To be on the safe side.)
~6 large onions
2c barley (or more to taste)
oil for frying
flour for dusting
optional: actual vegetables. This has worked well on various occasions with some combination of diced carrot, swede, turnip and parsnip.
Break the leg of mutton down into similarly sized chunks with a very sharp knife. You can either include the bone in the pot or save it for making stock later. Toss the chunks of mutton with some flour, heat some oil in a heavy saucepan, and brown the mutton in batches.
While the mutton is browning, roughly chop the onions. I leave mine in hefty wedges, I think if you cut them any smaller you’d barely notice them after a long cooking time. Remove the last batch of mutton and fry the onions until they start to soften. Place the mutton back to the pan and add about two thirds of the ale, and top up with water until the meat is all submerged. Bring to a boil, stirring, to avoid the pot foaming over. Reduce the heat somewhat and cook at a medium-high heat for two and a half to three hours, topping up with the remaining ale if the liquid gets too low, and diluting with water if the taste is too strong.
About 45 minutes before you want to eat, add the barley and stir through. Make sure there is a little more liquid than you think you need at this point as the barley will absorb some of it.
Serve with a hunk of bread to soak up the leftover broth.
Sugar to taste (ballpark 200g, allow far more than you would for most other fruits)
Vanilla pod and/or a lemon (either a squeeze of juice or some sliced rind, without the pith), if you like
Peel and slice the quinces. You’ll need very sharp tools and getting the core out can be a real challenge, so watch your fingers. Place sliced quince in a saucepan, add the sugar (and any other extras) and cover with water. Bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar and reduce the heat down as far as it can go. Simmer, uncovered, until the fruit is done to your liking. I never really pay attention to how long this takes as it seems to vary greatly between quinces, so check every 10 minutes or so and allow 45 minutes or so.
When the fruit is tender, remove it from the liquid with a slotted spoon and put aside. Boil the syrup aggressively until it reduces somewhat to make a sauce. We served it with honey yoghurt, but it makes a great filling for a crumble, or a cereal topping for breakfast.
TBP – I have a little confession to make; I have a soft spot for cherry pie because it features heavily in Twin Peaks, which I absolutely adore to death. In fact, once I’ve finished with this semester I plan on having a Twin Peaks themed party! Which I will get TBC to cook for (she doesn’t have a say in it ).
TBC – The reason I don’t get a say is because I gave up on Twin Peaks since it drove me to distraction. David Lynch is a bit of an acquired taste. I do quite enjoy this though.
We had a spare jar of cherries from the delicious cherry stuffed chicken and I’d heard a rumor you could turn them into cherry pie without much effort. Cherries are quite possibly the best fruit and one of my favourite things about summer. You know how when you are in school and the teacher asks what you want to do when you grow up and you are supposed to say doctors and teachers? I said cherry picker. Ask my Mum, she has the evidence to prove it. But this is Australia, you never have dessert pie when it’s hot and cherries are in season, and I doubt anyone is going to convince me that a cooked cherry is going to taste better than a fresh raw one in the height of summer. Now it’s cooling down though… I’ll take my fix where I can get it.
After watching all of Pushing Daisies back to back about a dozen times some years ago my sister (hereby known as the Brazen Assistant for her uncanny ability to appear under your elbow with a spatula 3 seconds before you knew you needed one) went on a pie craze and came across this pie crust recipe. It’s not too temperamental, and the end result is thick and soft. It’s one of my favourite sweet pie crust recipes (the other coming from the Bourke Street Bakery).
for the Brazen Assistant’s pie crust:
2.5 c flour
¼ c sugar
1 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
approx 5 TB iced water
for the filling:
1-2 jars of pitted cherries, drained (depending on how big your pie tin is)
2TB sugar, or to taste
3-4TB plain flour
sprinkle of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place the flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse until combined. chop the butter into same-sized pieces, add to the bowl, and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. add the vanilla essence and the iced water, a spoon at a time, until mixture comes together. It’s safer to stop and work it with your hands a bit before you think it’s done, rather than let it get too wet. Divide the mix into two balls, flatten into disks, wrap with clingwrap and leave to sit for an hour or so. At this point you can keep the dough in the fridge for a few days, but you’ll need to sit it on the counter for a while before rolling (or have very good muscles).
When the dough has rested, roll the disks out into two round sheets, about 5mm thick. I find it easiest to do this between two sheets of clingwrap.
Combine the drained cherries in a bowl with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon and stir so the cherries are covered with a very light, but even coat.
Line the tin with one of the disks of pastry. This is where the clingwrap comes in handy. Fill the case with the cherry mix and gently shake the tin around a bit so the contents is roughly levelled off. Top with the other round of pastry. I prefer a solid top where I want the filling to reduce down and thicken a bit, but you could do a lattice top if you prefer. Trim the edges and seal by pressing down lightly with your fingers. Make a little slit or two with a sharp knife in the centre of the pie to allow steam to escape.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, until golden, checking frequently. The edges will colour quicker than the centre, so wrap those with foil if you feel they are getting close to the danger zone.
Serve with a generous dollop of Bannister Downs thickened cream, whipped cream, and/or ice cream, thickened cream obviously being the superior choice.
All you need, honestly, is a little piece of cherry pie hot from the oven.
Being fussy about the meat I eat and having been impressed by their attitude on a previous occasion (more on this when I actually have some of their beef to cook), I was planning to get out to The Beef Shop in Maddington to buy the roast for this meal. Unfortunately, fate and a truck load of rocks on the Narrows intervened and I only made it as far as Claytons Quality Meats in South Perth, which turned out to be a bit of a gem. They are a tiny little butcher with only two small cabinets on display but are very happy to break something up for you, an attitude I really appreciate. They also had a couple of more unusual meats like rabbit, so if you’re into that, go and say hello. They were very good about me swinging in and asking for something ridiculous right before they closed up, so I’m sure they’ll treat you well. Would you believe they actually had an even bigger version of what I bought in the cabinet? And ours was already a serious piece of cow.
Roast beef with a red wine reduction
Bread (Abhi’s sourdough)
The beef, spinach, and red wine reduction don’t really deserve recipes.
Salt and pepper the beef and brown it, fat side first, in your very biggest frying pan. You’ll probably want two sets of tongs and a spotter to pull this off if your roast is as big as ours. Place it in a baking tray and roast in a moderate oven for about an hour a kilo. I can count the number of times I’ve eaten roast beef on my fingers so I’m no whizz at this and asked the butcher’s advice – if you have a favourite family method, use that instead. Next time I’d favour a hotter oven for a short period of time so the finished product is a bit rarer. Rinse and drain the spinach and add it to the roasting tray in the last few minutes of cooking so it wilts in the juices.
Set the roast aside to rest for a few minutes before carving.
The red wine reduction was a bit of a lazy job – half a medium onion, finely chopped (shallots were not to be had), two bay leaves, two star anise, a couple of peppercorns, and a bottle of red wine, simmered until syrupy and thick. I stirred through a bit of pan juices in lieu of the more traditional knob of butter, so it wasn’t exactly restaurant quality, but it was delicious.
Strain the solids out and serve.
Recipe - Mushroom Barley
200g shiitake mushrooms
50g dried forest mushrooms
1 star anise
1 c barley
500ml beef stock (I used the Stock Merchant – a great brand which supports small farms and uses free-range, hormone free animals, and consequently isn’t cheap)
2 egg yolks
This is an interpretation of the Barley recipe from Pleyn Delit – I’ll spare you the original wording, but you can check it out here if you choose.
Place the beef stock, star anise and dried mushrooms in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to rehydrate for half an hour.
Cut the mushrooms into quarters, or otherwise into meaty chunks if they are small.
About an hour before you want to eat, bring the stock back up to the boil and add the barley. Turn down to a simmer and allow it to bubble away for half an hour or forty minutes. Check that there is still plenty of liquid (if not, top up with some water) and stir through the shiitake mushrooms. Continue to simmer until the barley has been cooking for around an hour total and check for tenderness. If the mixture is very soupy, pour off a little of the liquid (add it to the wine reduction if you don’t want to waste it).
Remove from the heat and quickly stir through the two egg yolks until the mixture is creamy.
TBP – Yes you can see my toes. DealWithItNerd.
Don’t panic, we cut that in half after TBP took the photo. It was still too big for me to finish though. I’m pretty sure eating vegetarian most of the time shrinks your stomach (NB probably not actual science).
TBP – I got a complaint earlier about including too many photos! So today you don’t get as many ingredient shots as I took (you only get two! *gasp*). But this meal was amazing, and our friend said he had never tasted chicken so tender. I, on the other hand, fell in love with the stuffing. CHERRIES IN STUFFING, it’s like having TWO desserts!
Sorry this took so long to get up, I’ve been horribly busy with assignments and stuff and I was feeling pretty out of it that day. But we have three more posts on their way to you very soon.
A couple of weeks ago I discovered the food history section of our University Library. Somehow, amazingly, I’d never run across it at work and as TBP and the Breeze can attest, I got a bit excited. Showing great restraint I borrowed a mere seven titles and am currently plugging through them under the justification of it being ‘practically study’. Pleyn Delit by Constance B Hieatt and Sharon Butler gives a recipe in the original language (if that language bears a vague resemblance to modern English, and otherwise translated) with a reference to the text it was drawn from, followed by a version of the recipe translated for modern readers and their tastes. While they go to great lengths to explain that medieval cookery was not all heavily spiced sauces on boiled chickens, there is still a fair bit of that going on. Fabulous Feasts by Madeleine Pelner Cosman on the other hand (and granted I haven’t finished reading this one yet) features more recipes that seem accessible for modern tastes and comes recommended by Julia Child, so what more could you want? This menu draws from both of them. As it was, yet again, a public holiday rounding up the (fairly standard) ingredients was somewhat of a trial, made no easier by the fact I had my clumsiest day so far this year and managed to knock something off the shelf in every store we went in to as well as ruin a caramel, nearly ruin a thermometer, drop a mug and cause two boxes of plastic cups to fall on my foot. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am all class.
Chicken with oats, ricotta, cherry stuffing & a bread sauce
Farsed Chicken from Fabulous Feasts
(recipe is verbatim except for my comments in parantheses and quantities/temperatures were translated to metric)
1 large roasting chicken, 2-2.5kg
½ c dry lentils
1 ½ c ale
1 c chicken broth
200-300g cherries (we used jarred)
200g ricotta cheese
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sweet basil
2 TB butter
⅔ c white wine
¾ slices of white bread, crumbled
¼ tsp salt
Soak lentils in ale overnight (or skip this step if you’re disorganised). Boil lentils in residual ale plus broth for 15 minutes. Drain lentils and reserve 1 cup of fluid.
Remove pits from cherries (we used jarred so this was already done) and cut each in half, or if very large, in quarters.
Mix lentils, cherries, ricotta, and oats. Sprinkle on salt and basil (which I replaced with thyme).
Stuff the bird, rub the skin with butter (or dot if you’re lazy) and bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 2 hours or until flesh is tender and skin crisp. Prepare a ‘gravy’ with 1 cup of reserved lentil fluid, wine, bread and salt, gently simmering all for 10 minutes.
I admit I was a bit skeptical about the ‘gravy’ as I’d never had a bread sauce before, but it did all come together passably smooth. Just keep stirring, it works even though it looks unlikely.
L: “gravy” at the point where I started to panic. R: barley just before the eggs are added.
Frumenty from Pleyn Delit
(recipe is verbatim except for my comments in parantheses)
Aym clene Wete and bray it in a morter wel that the holys gon al of and seyth yt til brete and nym yt up, and lat it kele and nym fayre fresch broth and swete milk of Almandys or swete mylk of kyne and temper yt al, and nym the yolkys of eyryn; boyle it a ltyl and set yt adon and messe yt forthe wyth fat venyson and fresh moton.
Cracked Wheat (Barley Variation)
1 c pearl barley
3 c meat stock or bouillion, or use half milk (can be almond milk)
optional: pinch of saffron, 1 or 2 egg yolks (both highly recommended by the book)
Bring the stock to a boil and stir in the barley and saffron (if you have time, heat the stock and saffron and let them sit a while first). Cover the pan and turn the heat very low; let the frumenty cook for about 45 minutes (or a little longer for barley). It may be served as it is, or you can remove it from the heat, stir in beaten egg yolk, then return to very low heat and stir for a few minutes before serving.
I added some extra liquid so I could safely leave it on the stove while I did something else and had to strain some of it off so it wasn’t soupy. Depending on how high you have the heat, you may have to do this even if you use the correct quantity.
Spynoch Yfryed from Pleyn Delit
(recipe is verbatim except for my comments in parantheses and quantities/temperatures were translated to metric)
Take spynoches; parboile hem in sepying water. Take hem up and presse out he water and hewe in two. Frye hem in oile clene, & do her-to powder & serve forth.
1 kilo fresh spinach, washed, picked over for withered leaves, and trimmed
salted water for parboiling
2-3TB olive oil
pinch each of ginger and allspice
parboil spinach in a large pot of water for about 4 minutes; drain, press out excess water with your hands, and chop the spinach; put in a saucepan or small casserole with oil and seasonings. Stir and leave to cook over very low heat for another 15 minutes or so; or put in covered casserole in a low oven for about 20 minutes
This spinach was not amazing. Spinach is my go-to lazy vegetable for Game of Thrones dinners but I normally wilt it in the pan juices. Maybe I didn’t fry it long enough? I only gave it about five minutes because I was pretty convinced there’d be nothing left after fifteen. It’s probably worth giving this one more go with something a bit hardier like cavolo nero.
We went down south last winter and road-tripped home again via the Blackwood Meadery near Karridale (and the Venison Farm and everything else delicious we passed). They don’t have a website but if you’re in the South-West you should consider going to check them out. One of my favourites was the plum and mead liqueur, which we had a nip of in keeping with the stone fruit theme. On the hot tip that it would be a good match for roast chicken we challenged my irrational fear of Chardonnay and tried a lightly oaked specimen from Margaret River that did indeed go quite nicely.
Verdict: all round delicious. I would definitely make the chicken again for a non-themed dinner as the flavours were modern and although it sounds odd, unusual but not unfamiliar. The barley was a bit of a dark horse and may become a staple at Game of Thrones night in the future. I’m going back to my usual spinach method in the future though.
TBP – Do you remember the Caramello Koala ads? “They call me mellow yellllowwww”. Basically this is the adults version (and it’s BYO chocolate).
Perth people have broken ‘winter’ sensors. We don’t even have a real winter, as I learned after an Italian autumn, more like three months where it’s slightly less hot and rains occasionally. By the end of February we are excitedly eyeing off our scarves in anticipation every time the temperatures dips below 30. When it gets to 25 it’s long pants and jumpers. This leads to some confusion when it comes to food – if you don’t live in even vaguely the right climate for apple trees, can cider still be one of those things that makes you think winter is on it’s way? Given I made these at Christmas (granted, another site of blatant food/weather confusion) I have to say, not so much. They are absolutely delicious though, tangy and complex, and I eat them by a pool or a fireplace as weather permits.
The recipe comes from Sugarpunk, a blog I read from start to finish during Corporations Law lectures last year (sorry Mum). The author ran her own business by using a professional kitchen in the wee hours when it was empty, making cakes, chocolates and caramels. Quite an inspiration. Much more so than Corporations law, sadly. So rather than repeating everything she has to say, if you want to be really thorough, have a read of Sugarpunk’s post first. Baking and confectionary are the only things I really use recipes for and I like a lot of information, but if you find too much information overwhelming then just stick with this.
Because there are only a few ingredients in this and you (try to) only eat a small piece at a time, using high quality ingredients makes a noticeably high quality product. But, even if you supermarket cream and black and gold butter, you’ll still get something worth eating. At the moment I favour Three Oaks cider (although I’ve used Bulmer’s when I’m feeling skint and it’s fine), Bannister Downs cream, and whatever ludicrous butter is on special at Fresh Provisions. Corn syrup, on the other hand, is always trashy. It’s the most absurdly American thing you can find in an Australian supermarket. I challenge you to name even one recipe using corn syrup that doesn’t give you an instant fear of diabetes when you read it (sorry).
Apple Cider Caramels
2c Apple Cider
2/3 c of cream
85g unsalted butter (by the way, I love that a butter converter exists. so useful.)
1 ½ c sugar
¼ c corn syrup
¼ c water
Reduce the cider down to ⅓ c and put aside. You can ignore it to start with, but keep a close eye on it towards the end because it’s easy to overshoot the mark.
Heat the cream and butter to boiling point in a saucepan and put aside to infuse with the cinnamon, if you like. I think I prefer them without.
Place the sugar, corn syrup and water in a moderately large saucepan, maybe the next size down from your soup or pasta pot. When you add the cream the mix will triple or quadruple briefly as it boils and you don’t want the pot to overflow, but nor do you want to be struggling to comfortably reach the mixture with your thermometer when it settles down. Cook the mixture until it reaches a ‘light brown’ or ‘amber’ colour.
For reference, what you don’t want is this. It took about three minutes for this mix to go from just starting to bubble to almost black, which is incidentally how long I spent watching Louis Theroux documentaries over TBP’s shoulder. Keep it over a low heat and keep an eye on it.
When the syrup is nearly there, bring the cream and butter back to the boil. Pour it (carefully, from a safe distance) into the syrup, and add the reduced cider. When it’s safe, start stirring. Cook it to 121 degrees celsius.
Pour into a pan lined with baking paper (as Sugarpunk says, if you use two pieces, one going each way it will be easier to remove later) and chill in the fridge. I haven’t found that covering the pan with gladwrap makes much of a difference in our climate. If you want to cut them into sticks or batons, use a square 20cm pan. If you prefer thicker squares, use a loaf pan.
The caramels will technically last in the fridge until the expiry date of the cream. I don’t think this has ever happened. It is virtually impossible to only eat one. TBP keeps hers in the freezer to make her pace herself. You have been warned.
(lovely pictures of the finished product will be up shortly)