June 7, 2020
¬†As we gently and tentatively start to move away from the terrors of C19,
we are pleased to announce that later this month¬†¬†we will be extending the Corner Shop. ¬†
Once social distancing is a thing of the past,¬†we will allow ‚Äėthrough-traffic‚Äô¬†from¬†the existing shop to the Corner,¬†
but for the moment¬†we will be¬†allowing¬†just 2 customers to enter each area at a time.
We so look forward to welcoming you.
Meanwhile over the road at the Restaurant, we are wrestling with decisions;
how to balance the safety of our staff and customers,¬†expected seating layout and the staffing of the Kitchen and Dining Rooms.¬†¬†
Within the next few weeks we will have an opening date to share with you¬†and our reservation system will be fired up into action.¬†¬†
Please keep in touch with us by checking our website regularly,¬†including our Shop opening times, online Cellar and future Sally’s Favourites.¬†
This week’s Sunday favourite – The Apricot
The imminent arrival of early summer is often heralded¬†by¬†the appearance¬†¬†of the first apricots –
usually from Spain or Italy,¬†then a little later in the month, from France.¬†
I can safely say that summer is now here – despite the lovely rain…!
Apricots have to be one of the most versatile fruits –
they lend themselves beautifully to both sweet and savoury dishes:¬†
jams, compotes and fruit sauces, relishes and chutneys,¬†
halved and roasted with pork or ham, or tucked into tarts, crumbles or pies.¬†
One of my most favourite dishes is also the most simple;
perfectly ripe, they may be sliced into wedges¬†and placed in¬†
and amongst salad leaves,¬†with a simple dressing of fabulous olive oil,¬†
sea salt and pepper and a splash of citrus juice or vinegar.¬†¬†
¬†Served alongside a soft goat cheese or¬† some ricotta perhaps,
with toasted ciabatta,¬†or a selection of cold meats,
this can make¬†the most pleasing lunch or supper dish.¬†
Simply finished with a few toasted pinenuts and snipped chive blossoms,
this dish becomes the prettiest plate of all.
We have made apricot jam for over 30 years,¬†
always using the same tried and tested recipe*
which uses a lower-than-usual ratio of sugar
plus freshly squeezed lemon juice.¬†
(This is a lovely way to use up overripe fruit).
In essence, the recipe is as follows:
Wash the apricots, cut into 1/4‚Äôs or 1/6‚Äôs and place¬†
in a stainless steel pan¬†with half their weight in sugar.
Leave on one side,¬†¬†covered for¬†a few hours to macerate,
then place over a very low heat without stirring,¬†
allowing the sugar to dissolve slowly.¬†
¬†Bring to a gentle boil and cook for up to 30 minutes
or until the fruit¬†is very soft¬†and the jam is thick and shiny.¬†
We love to add the apricot kernels as it adds an almond-y kick to the acidity.¬†
Simply crack the stones carefully with a small hammer, remove the ‚Äėnut‚Äô inside,¬†
blanch them in a scant amount of boiling water for a few seconds, peel and¬†
then shred finely before stirring into the finished jam before potting.¬†
This year I have added a few strawberries to my homemade jam and
even a sprig or 2 of spearmint. (Once you have mastered the art of jam making,
you too will be able to move into so many¬†¬†wonderful combinations
of flavours and colours – it just needs a little confidence).
Always remember that a slightly undercooked jam is better than over cooked.¬†
This way, the colour, flavour and texture is so much more pleasing
than a solid jammy lump that needs digging out of the jar!
Wishing you luck with this, good health and a delicious week.
Shop opening hours:
Monday 10.30am – 3pm
Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 3pm.
Closed on Sundays.
*If you would like to see the full jam recipe and much more
please click ‘Books’ in the navigation bar to be re-directed to view¬†
Recipes from a Restaurant, Shop and Bakery