Number one is from Charlie Smith in Bovey Tracey, Devon, England. I think this might rival my Limoncello, Charlie! This is a drink for all seasons but one especially for Christmas. I will republish it again in early December just to re-remind everyone - meanwhile let's enjoy it for the rest of the year!
1x70cl bottle Vodka
250g dark muscovado sugar
100g mixed peel
Rind and juice of an orange
Rind and juice of a lemon
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 heaped teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 level teaspoon ground ginger
1 level teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 level teaspoon allspice
You will need a 2-litre Kilner jar or something similar to store the vodka in.
Simply put all the above ingredients into the jar and, everyday for the next two weeks, give the jar a good shake. Once the fortnight is up, shake the jar and strain the contents into a bowl through a fine sieve. Pour the liquid into a wine bottle or other bottle with a good seal. Shake the bottle before serving in chilled shot glasses. It is probably good to store in the fridge so it is nice and cold.
Remove the cloves and peel from the left over fruit and mix this fruit (slightly warmed) into softened ice cream for a very good alcoholic pudding. YUM!
Thanks to Alex Sumner in Aydie, South West France for sending in this must make cake recipe:
Orange and Lemon Syrup Cake
3 large eggs
125g ground almonds
150g ground polenta
1 level tsp baking powder
finely grated zest and juice of a large orange
For the syrup:
A large lemon
A large orange
A slurp of Limoncello (optional)
Grease a 20cm cake tin (preferably spring form) and set the oven at 180c/gas mark 5
Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy
Break eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork
Pour a little of the egg mixture into the creamed butter and sugar beating thoroughly, then slowly add the rest bit by bit until all the egg is used up
Finely chop the skinned almonds or simply buy almond flakes
Add the chopped and ground almonds to the egg mixture
Stir in the polenta and baking powder which has been pre-mixed
Add the grated orange rind and juice.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, then turn the oven down to 160c/gas mark 3 and continue cooking for a further 30 minutes. Cover with tin foil if the cake browns too quickly.
To make the syrup:
Finely grate the orange and lemon rinds and squeeze out the juice
Add to the sugar
Pour into a measuring jug and bring up to 250ml with water
Boil at high heat until reduced to 175ml.
Spike the cake with holes and pour over the syrup while it is still in its tin
I can't wait to make this jelly from Lesley in Rose Bay, Sydney:
Summer Jelly Salad
This recipe was one my late cousin used to make; we tried for ages to replicate it and finally worked it out. It is so simple, but delicious to accompany cold white meats in summer - chicken, turkey, pork etc.
1 pkt.pineapple jelly crystals
1 med. carrot, grated
1 handful mint, washed and finely shredded
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
Make up jelly: using only 300ml.boiling water; stir in the carrot, mint and chilli and refrigerate overnight to set.
I make this in a shallow dish and serve it set in a slightly larger dish filled with crushed ice which stops it melting at a sunny, outdoor lunch; the sweetness of the pineapple is offset by the crunch of the carrot, the freshness of the mint and the heat of the chilli.