Jalousie au Fromage

Serve Jalousie au Fromage (ja-loo-zee oh froh-mahj) cold as an excellent hors d’oeuvre, or cut in larger portions and accompanied by a tomato salad as an appetizing light lunch.

6 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

4 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

3 to

4 tablespoons iced water

1 egg white, lightly beaten

10 oz. French demi-sel cream cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons double cream

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon very finely chopped green olives

2 teaspoons very finely chopped chives

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 4 ounces of the butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife. Pour in the iced water and mix quickly into a dough which should be lumpy.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into an oblong shape. Fold it in three and turn it so that the open edges face you. Roll it out again into an oblong shape and fold and turn as before. Repeat this once again to make three turns in all. Put the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C).

Grease a large baking sheet with the remaining teaspoon of butter. Set aside.

To prepare the filling, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cheese, egg, cream, salt, pepper, olives and chives, beating with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well blended. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If it looks streaky, roll it out into an oblong shape and fold it in three once again. Roll out the dough to an 8 x 10-inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, cut the rectangle in half lengthways. Place one half on the prepared baking sheet.

With a pastry brush, brush the edges of the dough with a Uttle of the beaten egg white. Spoon the filling on to the centre of the rectangle. Arrange the sliced hard-boiled eggs on top of the filling.

Fold the second piece of dough in half. With a sharp knife, make cuts at

½ inch intervals across the fold, leaving a

1-inch border at the edges of the dough.

Unfold the dough, lift it carefully on the rolling pin and place it over the filling. Press the edges together firmly and crimp them with your fingers. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake the jalousie for 20 to 25 minuses or until it is puffed up and light brown.

Brush the top and sides of the jalousie with the remaining beaten egg white and return it to the oven for a further 3 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the jalousie to cool completely before serving.

Jam

Jam-making is one of the best ways of preserving fruit. No matter how good commercially made jams are, they do not compare with good, and the emphasis is on good, home-made jam. Home-made jam should have a bright colour, a fresh taste and a lightly set consistency.

JAM PANS

Aluminium, stainless steel or enamel pans are all suitable for making jam. If the enamel pan is chipped or cracked it must not be used as the exposed iron will discolour the jam and also make it liable to burn.

Fruit should not be left for any length of time in an aluminium pan. If the second stage of jam-making has to be postponed for a number of hours, transfer the fruit to a bowl.

Never make too much jam at one time. The pan should only be half full when the sugar is added. A little glycerine rubbed over the bottom of the pan will help to prevent sticking and lessen the amount of scum.

FRUIT

Fruit for jam-making should be dry, fresh, in good condition and just ripe.

Fruits which are most easily converted into jam, and set well, are those that are rich in pectin and acid. These include black and redcurrants, gooseberries, damsons, crab apples, apples, cranberries, quinces and some plums. Fruit with a moderate setting quality are apricots, gage plums, blackberries, loganberries and raspberries. Fruit with a poor setting quality are cherries, strawberries, pears, figs, grapes and pineapple.

Fruit must be sorted, stripped of leaves and stalks and, if necessary, washed in cold water. Fruit with stones may have the stones removed or not according to preference, although it is better to remove cherry stones. Apricot stones may be cracked and the kernels added to the fruit.

The first stage in jam-making is the softening of the fruit. The fruit is cooked with a little water; this softens the skins and releases the pectin. The amount of water used depends on the juiciness and ripeness of the fruit and the quantity of fruit in the pan (the larger the quantity of fruit, the less water required). Some soft fruit such as strawberries and raspberries do not require any water at all. If the fruit is deficient in acid, lemon juice, tartaric or citric acid, or redcurrant or gooseberry juice may be added. To

4 pounds of fruit add

2 tablespoons of lemon juice or

½ teaspoon tartaric or citric acid or

5 fluid ounces of redcurrant or gooseberry juice.

PECTIN

Pectin is a natural jellying substance present in most unripe fruit. When fruit becomes too ripe the pectin alters and its setting quality becomes less effective.

To test fruit for pectin content, simmer the fruit until it is very soft. Take

1 teaspoon of the juice and put it into a cup. When it is cool add

3 teaspoons of methylated spirits. Shake the cup and leave it for

1 minute. If the fruit is rich in pectin, a large transparent jelly-like clot will form. If the pectin content is moderate, the clot will be broken into

2 or

3 lumps, and if it is poor, the clot will be broken into a number of small pieces.

To make jam from pectin-deficient fruit, pectin must be added in one of the following ways:

1. Mix the fruit with a pectin-rich fruit, for example, blackberry with apple.

2. Add fruit juice which is rich in pectin,’ such as redcurrant, gooseberry or apple. This fruit juice is called pectin stock.

3. Add a commercial pectin which is available in liquid and powder form.

PECTIN STOCK

To make pectin stock from redcurrants, gooseberries or apples, put 4 pounds of barely ripe fruit in a large saucepan or preserving pan. The apples should be thinly sliced but not peeled or cored. Add 1 ½ pints of water to the fruit and bring the mixture to the boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, mashing the fruit from time to time with a wooden spoon, until it becomes a pulp.

Strain the pulp through a jelly bag or a flannel for 8 hours or overnight. Set the juice aside. Take the pulp from the jelly bag and put it in a saucepan with 16 fluid ounces of water. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 1 ½ hours. Strain the mixture through the jelly bag or flannel again. Mix the resulting juice with the juice obtained in the first straining. Discard the pulp. Test for pectin content. If the pectin jelly clot is not large enough, put the juice back in the pan and boil until it is further reduced in quantity and is very thick. Test again. When the pectin clot is large and the juice thick, the pectin stock is ready for use. If it is not required immediately, pour the stock into clean, heated jars with airtight lids.

Put the sealed jars on a rack in a large saucepan or in a pan with a false bottom. Cover them with water. Bring the water to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Store the jars in a cool, dry place.

To use the pectin stock, shake the jars well. When the jam is nearly ready – that is after the sugar has been added and the mixture has cooked for a while – remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the pectin stock and test the jam for setting in the usual way. The amount of pectin stock required depends on the fruit; 5 fluid ounces of pectin stock will set between 2 to 4 pounds of fruit.

SUGAR

Granulated, preserving or loaf sugar, either cane or beet, is used for jam-making.

For the best keeping and setting quality sugar should represent 60 per cent of the final weight of the jam. This means that when 6 pounds of sugar are called for in a recipe, the yield will be 10 pounds of jam.

If too much sugar is used the jam tends to crystallize with keeping. If too little is used, it tends to ferment.

If a less sweet jam is preferred, less sugar may be used. The disadvantages, smaller yield and poorer keeping quality, can be offset against a more fruity flavour.

It is not absolutely necessary to warm sugar before adding it to the fruit, but it quickens the cooking process by dissolving more quickly.

The fruit must be quite soft when the sugar is added as sugar has a hardening effect on most fruit. Once added, the jam must be stirred over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then the jam must be brought rapidly to boiling point and allowed to boil with as little stirring as possible until setting point is reached. This may take from 3 to 20 minutes. Be careful not to boil beyond setting point because lengthy boiling of fruit and sugar together spoils the flavour, colour and texture of jam.

1. The simplest method for testing jam is to put a teaspoonful of jam on a saucer. When the jam is cool, the surface should set and crinkle when pushed with your finger. Remember to remove the pan from the heat while the test is being carried out.

2. Remove a Uttle jam with a clean wooden spoon. Let the jam cool for a minute or so, then tilt the spoon so that the jam drips. If the jam is partly set and drops in large flakes, setting point has been reached.

3. Use a sugar thermometer. Keep the thermometer in a jug of hot water. Stir the jam and insert the thermometer into the jam. Do not let it touch the bottom of the pan. When the temperature reaches

220°F the jam is ready. Sometimes better results are achieved if the temperature is allowed to rise to

221°F or

222°F.

When the jam is ready, remove the pan from the heat. Using a perforated spoon, skim off any scum which has formed on the surface. If the jam contains whole fruit, allow the jam to cool until a skin forms on the top. Using a jug or ladle, spoon the jam into warmed, clean, dry jars. Fill the jars right to the top unless they have shaped necks, in which case fill them to within

½ inch of the top. Cover the jam immediately with a well-fitting disc of waxed paper, pressing it down gently to exclude any air. Wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Dampen cello- phane or plastic covers with a little water and stretch them over the tops of the jars. Secure with rubber bands. When the jam is cold, label the jars.

Jam must be stored in a dark, cool place. Too much warmth causes the jam to shrink. Too much damp causes mould.

Jam Buns

These delicious little buns are ideal to serve for afternoon tea, and their jam filling comes as a tasty surprise.

8 oz. plus

2 teaspoons butter

12 oz. sugar

2 eggs

1 lb. self-raising flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 fl. oz. milk

6 oz. jam, preferably strawberry or blackcurrant

1 tablespoon milk

2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Grease three 10-cup patty tins with the 2 teaspoons of butter and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour and salt and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the milk, beating constantly. The mixture should be fairly stiff.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill the dough for 30 minutes, or until it is very firm and cold.

Roll the dough into about 30 small balls, each about the size of a large walnut. With your thumb, make a dent in the centre of each ball. Fill the dents with jam. Squeeze the dents closed so that the jam is completely covered.

Place the balls in the greased patty tins. Brush them with the tablespoon of milk and sprinkle over the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the tins in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the buns have risen and are golden in colour. Cool the buns on a wire rack.

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