The Merry month of May

May 9, 2022By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Recipes No Comments

May merrily tiptoed in accompanied by the distinctive cry of oyster catchers heralding an explosion of vibrant colour across the garden, where over three thousand tulip blooms illuminate tubs and flower beds;  from rich golds, to pastel pinks, ruby reds and every colour in between.  Tulips are a member of the lily family so where did they originate?

During the sixteenth century when the Ottoman Empire invaded the Kazakhstan they discovered tulips growing wild in the mountains there. The Emperor Sultan Suleyman the first so prized the flowers that they became a symbol of wealth and power. Often worn on the turban, the name tulip is derived from the word ‘tulipan’ the Persian word for a turban.

The garden is filling up becoming brighter and greener by the day. It is all go as the soil heats and the sun shines blossom covers the fruit trees, the incredible futuristic alium domes will soon be in flower, plants are donning a mantle of bright green and the trees are coming into tender leaf as if someone has shaken a pepper pot of green over their bare branches. In the soft fruit garden strawberries are in flower, raspberry canes are thriving and already clusters of would be berries are forming on the currant bushes.

The crab-apple orchard is already forty shades of green as the seedling break through the earth and the trees sway gently in the soft breeze.  In the pastel wild flower meadow the sweet peas have already begun the ascent of their birch wigwam homes surrounded by sprouting wild flower seedlings.

As busy as the bees collecting nectar and pollinating are the gardeners as they tackle the job of weeding and planting. The colder weather delayed the big plant out and now it is definitely full on!  Over one thousand vegetable, cut flower and herb plants have been waiting in the greenhouse wings to join the main cast in the garden so there is plenty to do!  Twelve varieties of heritage tomatoes are now potted up and installed in the large greenhouse. With intriguing names like Golden Crown, Black Opal, Ailsa Craig and the delicious stripped Tigerella ( as the name suggests)  to name a few; already we look forward to a ‘tasty tom!’

The first salads, broad beans, peas, potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, brassicas  and more – what a harvest to come!

An urgent job is to replace the rosemary hedges which divide the areas of the herb garden. They were adversely affected by very low temperatures during the winter of 2021. At last five hundred healthy young bushes have arrived to replace them. As the old bushes are removed and the new ones take their place imagine the wonderful aromas which will pervade the gardens!

Round the tulips in the flower beds the gardeners are planting hardy annuals such as cornflower, calendula and aquilegia and dahlias will soon be joining them. What a wealth of colourful flowers of all shapes and sizes will grace the garden in the months to come. The first plants are now installed in the cut flower trial beds.

A fabulous burst of colour ranunculus (a form of buttercup) is to be found in the large greenhouse. The Queen of Sweden and Roald Dhal roses opposite are budding profusely. Roses too are on the way.

At last the asparagus has born fruit or should I say ‘spear’, such a short season eagerly anticipated but worth the waiting. The rhubarb this year is prolific. Providing plenty of produce for the restaurant which serves freshly prepared meals and snacks daily Wednesday to Sunday from 11am till 4pm.

Both asparagus and rhubarb are for sale in the Potting Shed Shop. Perhaps best to pre-order asparagus so it can be cut fresh for you.

The Potting shed shop also has a huge selection of plants for sale. Lettuces, tomatoes, vegetables, chillies, herbs, perennial and annual flowers ready to plant in your own garden as the growing season begins in earnest. Don’t delay now is the time to get them into the ground!

Let us all hope for good sunny weather to welcome back the ever popular Highland games on 15th May where there will be a sale of The Walled Garden plants such as various vegetables, tomatoes, chillies, flowers and herbs.

Not to mention ‘Recipes from The Walled Garden’ ;a handy cookbook.

So you can buy it, grow it and then cook it. Saving food miles.

Come visit for a daily dose of nature’s benefits as one gardener called it ‘Vitamin G’’

‘A flowery green, bird-singing land’ (William Henry-Davies).

There is great solace in the garden.

There is prolific crop of rhubarb this year, here are some simple recipes to try at home!

Quick rhubarb and ginger relish
A last minute invention by my chef friend Christopher Trotter, delicious with roasts and smoked meats and fish.
Heat a little oil in a wok or frying pan. Add a little mustard seed, chopped root ginger and a little de-seeded chopped chilli.  Stir fry quickly then toss in plenty chopped rhubarb and stir fry to coat and soften. Slosh in a little cider or fruit vinegar, add a generous spoon of soft brown sugar along with a little salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and cover the pan to steam cook for up to 3 or 4 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve as a relish/chutney. Pour into clean jars, seal and store in the fridge up to two weeks.

 

The Walled Garden rhubarb and custard crumble cake
Makes a tray bake 20cm (8in) x 30cm (12in)
225g (8oz) butter
175g (6oz) caster sugar
60g (2oz) golden syrup
200g (7oz) self raising flour
45g (1 ½ oz) custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs – beaten
175g (4oz) chopped rhubarb

Topping:-
60g (2oz) butter
60g (20z) caster sugar
30g (1oz) self raising flour
85g (33oz) porridge oats

Heat the oven to 160C (140C fan) 325F, Gas 3. Oil the baking tin. Cream the butter, sugar and syrup till light. Sift the flour custard powder and baking powder into a bowl. Beat the egg into the butter mixture alternately with a little flour to prevent curdling. Fold in the rest of the flour along with the rhubarb and spread evenly in the tin. Melt the butter and stir into the other topping ingredients and scatter over the top of the cake. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes till risen and the point of a skewer inserted in the middle comes out cleanly. Cool in the tin cut into 18 squares and enjoy freshly baked.
 
Chewy rhubarb slice
5 weetabix or oatabix – crumbled
225g (8oz) Hamlyn’s porridge oats
1 teaspoon ground ginger
140g (5oz) soft brown sugar
115g (4oz) chopped rhubarb
115g (4oz) butter
115g (4oz) syrup

Heat the oven to 160C (140C fan) 325F, Gas 3. Oil a baking tin 20cm (8in) square. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Melt the butter and syrup and stir into the mix Press evenly into the tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes till golden but not too brown – you want it to be chewy. Cool in the tin. Mark into squares while still warm.

Kindly written by Liz Ashworth for Gordon Castle Walled Garden

Recipes for the Christmas Kitchen

December 2, 2020By Tim RogersRecipes

RECIPES FROM THE WALLED GARDEN FOR THE CHRISTMAS KITCHEN

The year is drawing to a close, but, at Gordon Castle the garden is still a hive of activity. Ed the head Gardener and his staff are busy with the autumnal clear up and harvesting the last crops of the year. Leeks, parsnips and ‘Brussels sprouts’ for the eating while bright everlasting flowers and red berried holly are destined for colourful Christmas wreaths which will be on sale during December.

The garden’s themselves are filled with the last of autumn colour. Below ground Mother Nature is busily preparing for next year as are the gardeners as they plan and plant ahead. The festive café and shop offer a warm welcome with special Christmas fare and a selection of gifts to choose from.

With such wonderful fresh garden produce there are simple ways to make your meal special!

Try a different ‘mash’ this year!

Heaven and Earth
A popular German dish of apple (heaven) and potato (earth). It is delicious. Serve separate bowls of hot mashed potato and smooth nutmeg spiced stewed apples so that each diner can mix to their own taste. Some recipes cook the potatoes and apples in one pot, drain and mash together with butter, cream and a pinch of nutmeg.

Potato and Pear Puree
Serves 4
450g (1lb) potatoes – peeled and cut into pieces
450g (1lb) pears – peeled, cored and chopped
Simmer in boiling salted water till tender. Drain and mash with butter till smooth. Season with grated root ginger or ground ginger and serve hot.

Parsnip and Potato Mash
Simmer equal quantities of potatoes and parsnip in boiling salted water till tender. Drain. Mash smooth with butter, milk and a little nutmeg to season. Serve hot.

The Ultimate Crisp Roast Potatoes
Roast potatoes that remain crisp to the last mouthful.

Choose a starchy dry potato like King Edward, Maris Piper or Rooster. Peel, cut to even size, cover with cold salted water, boil then simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well. Shake to fluff the outside, important for crispness. Choose an oil or fat with a high smoking point. Heat about 2cm ( ¾ in) oil in a deep roasting tin. Add the drained potatoes and turn to coat. Roast at 180C,(160C fan) 350F, Gas 4, till golden turning occasionally. Drain on kitchen towel and keep crisp in the warm oven before serving.

What can I do with the vegetables?

 

Brussels sprouts and Almonds
Melt a little butter in a pan, add flaked almonds and a handful of breadcrumbs, stir till golden, season with nutmeg if liked, sprinkle over the hot sprouts and serve
Equally good with cauliflower or broccoli.

Toasted Salt and Pepper Oats
Melt a little butter in a pan and add a few handfuls of porridge oats and stir to toasted and crisp, season with salt and pepper and use as a topping for carrots, sprouts or baked leeks.

Luscious leeks
Remove the root and coarse outer leaves. Split in two lengthways and wash thoroughly. Cut into 10cm (4in) lengths. Tie into bundles to keep in tact. Cook in boiling salted water for 10 minutes till tender. Drain well remove the string and serve in a heated dish with a little melted butter and topped with toasted salt and pepper oats.

Parmesan parsnips
Peel parsnips and cut into quarters lengthwise. Cut larger ones in half so you have equal sized chunks. Cook in boiling salted water for about 6 minutes till just tender. Drain well. Mix 45g (1 ½ oz) grated hard cheese such as parmesan with 85g (3oz) plain flour, season with salt and a little nutmeg or ground black pepper. Toss the drained parsnips in this mix to coat evenly. Use a thick roasting tin. Pour in enough oil to cover the base and add a knob of butter. Heat in the oven at 200C (180C fan) 400F, Gas 6. Add the parsnips and baste well. Roast 15 minutes, turn and roast a further 15 minutes or till crisp. Drain well on kitchen towel and serve hot. The parsnips can be prepared the day before and kept chilled in the fridge.

Easy roasting!

Roasting the ‘Bird’!!
Stuffing helps to keep the flesh moist, however, it makes life easier to keep stuffing separate and serve a selection to suit different tastes.
To avoid a dry ‘bird’ pop an onion, pear and or apple and perhaps a sprig of thyme or rosemary into the body cavity. Lay a turkey crown on a bed of the chopped leek or onion, carrot, apples or pears. Rub the breast well with oil or soft butter and lay rashers of streaky bacon over to add flavour and keep in moisture, splash with wine, stock or water before roasting on low trivet, in a deep roasting tin surrounded by a ‘foil tent’. Calculate the cooking time by the weight of the bird – generally 20 minutes per kg (2.2 lbs) plus 90 minutes. The meat is cooked when the juices run clear when probed with sharp knife or skewer or a meat thermometer indicates 74C. Remove from the oven and carefully drain the juices into a pan. Cover the tented ‘bird’ with a thick towel to keep the heat and allow the flesh to rest before carving. Allow the bird to rest at least 30 minutes.

Gravy
The juices will make good gravy. Allow to simmer and reduce slowly, season to taste with salt and pepper and add a generous spoon of Gordon Castle Cranberry and Redcurrant sauce and or a glug of Gordon Castle Plum Gin. Serve hot with the main course. Thicken with a little slaked potato starch if needed.

Sticky Cranberry and Redcurrant Sausages

Great way to serve all those extra sausages! A great nibble with some mulled wine at a party.

Serves 4 people
450g (1lb) sausages
2 tablespoons Gordon Castle Cranberry sauce with Redcurrants
1 tablespoon Gordon Castle Marmalade with Elderflower
1 dessertspoon Gordon Castle runny honey
Salt and pepper
Grated zest of 1 orange

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan), 350F, Gas 4. Line a roasting tin with foil and oil well. Prick the sausages, lay in the tin and cook for 10 minutes in the oven. Mix the cranberry sauce with the marmalade, honey, salt and pepper and orange zest. Remove the sausages from the oven and coat well with the cranberry mix. Roast a further 10 to 15 minutes (turning as required) till tender and caramelised. Serve hot or cold.

Most of the garden’s plum the crop is used to make Plum Gin. Gordon Castle Plum Gin is a winner in the kitchen, great to add a splash of luxury to duck breasts, roasts or grilled steaks, a dash in gravy does not go amiss! A generous tot in jellies and jams just before potting adds that certain edge. Christmas cake is transformed with this lovely mellow warming gin.

Crab Apple and Plum Gin Jelly

Delicious taste with hot roasts or with the cheese board.

550g (1 ¼ lb) crab apples
550g (1 ¼ lb) apples make sure some have a red skin – washed and quartered
Cover with water and simmer for at least 1 hour till the juices flow and the fruit is soft and mushy. Strain through a jelly bag or a sieve lined with muslin.

To each 600mls (1pint) of juice
300g (10oz) granulated sugar
Add 1 tablespoon Gordon Castle Plum Gin to finish – see below

Pour the juice into a deep sauce pan, stir in the sugar on a very low heat till dissolved. Simmer, stirring occasionally, till the jelly begins to thicken (approx 20 minutes). Test by dropping a small spoonful onto a cold plate, if it wrinkles to the touch when cool the jelly is ready. Do not boil further. Cool in the pan a little and before pouring stir in 1 tablespoon of Gordon Castle Plum Gin for each batch as above. Pour into sterilised jars and seal. Label and store in a cool place.
Serve with cheeses, game and smoked fish and meats. Some like it spread on a warm oven scone.

OLD FASHIONED APPLE GINGER

1.35kg (3lb) cooking apples – peeled cored and sliced
85g (3oz) root ginger – peeled and grated
The juice of 2 lemons
1 teacup of water
450g (1lb) granulated sugar
1 level teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)

Wash and sterilise up to 10 jars 250 ml capacity. Put the sliced apples, ginger, lemon juice and water into a deep pan bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the sugar and stir continuously till the mix boils, reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add chilli if liked. I jar some without chilli and some with to cater for all tastes. Serve with roasts, fish and a tangy cheese. Store in a cool place and use within 2 months. To extend the ‘shelf life’ add 1 teaspoon of citric acid before bottling.

GORDON CASTLE PLUM GIN CHRISTMAS CAKE

There is nothing like the welcoming aroma of a slowly baking fruit cake!

225G (oz) currants
225g (8oz) raisins
225g (8oz) sultanas
115g (4oz) cherries- washed and dried
115g (4oz) mixed peel
175g (6oz) chopped ready to eat apricots
350g (12oz) plain flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
225g (8oz) butter
175g (6oz) soft brown sugar
60g (2oz) honey
The grated rind and juice of 1 orange
5 eggs – beaten
2 tablespoons Gordon Castle plum gin
To soak:-
Gordon Castle plum gin

Put the currants, raisins and sultanas into a bowl barely cover with warm water and soak overnight. Oil and line a cake tin 23cm (9in) square or 25cm (10in) round tin.
The following day, heat the oven at 160C (140C fan) 325F Gas 3. Add the cherries, mixed peel and apricots to the bowl of soaked fruits. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl. Cream the butter, sugar and honey till light then beat in the orange rind and juice followed by the eggs alternately with a spoon of flour to prevent curdling. Fold in the remaining flour along with the gin. Fold in the fruits and two tablespoons of the soaking juices. Gently spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin and lightly tap the base of the tin on the work surface to even the mix. Wet a clean hand in warm water and use the palm or back of the knuckles to flatten and smooth the surface, particularly in the middle to help prevent the cake rising to a peak while baking. Bake 60 minutes then reduce the oven heat to 150C (130C fan) 300F, Gas 1 for a further 30 minutes. Test the middle of the cake by inserting a skewer or point of a sharp knife. If it comes out cleanly and the cake feels firm and springy to gentle pressure, the cake is ready. If not bake a further 5 to 10 minutes and repeat the test. Cool in the tin. Pour over 1 tablespoon of plum gin while warm and repeat twice as the cake cools. Leave 24 hours to set in the tin. Remove, wrap in foil and store in a cool place. Bake the cake at least 1 week in advance to allow flavours to mature. Marzipan and ice as required.

Spring Recipes from the Garden

March 2, 2020By Jennifer Kelly: AdminRecipes No Comments

Liz Ashworth, author of our Walled Garden Recipe Book, has written some spring recipes using season produce currently in the garden. We hope you enjoy and if you make any of the recipes please share your pictures with us. 

“The garden looks bare just now, inert perhaps, but underground things it is a different story. Mother nature is at work. Snowdops and crocuses emerge as I write and daffodil leaves are pushing up through the soil to greet the chilly winter sunshine.

There is still garden produce to be had even in the cold winter months and here are a few recipes to whet your appetites for the start of the growing season and the fruits of this productive garden to come.”

BAKED BEETROOT
Simple to make. Serve as a vegetable hot or cold, with salads, or use as an ingredient in soups, sauces and dips.
Scrub the beetroot well, rub with a little butter or oil then wrap in foil and place into a roasting tin.  Bake at 180C (160C fan) 350F, Gas 4  up to one hour depending on size. Leave the beetroot to cool a little then don thick clean rubber gloves and gently rub off the skins, wash in hot water and serve hot. Alternatively leave to cool and chop, slice or grate to add to salads.

BEETROOT TZATZIKI
115g (4oz) thick Greek yoghurt
1 medium cooked beetroot – grated
1 clove garlic crushed (optional)
Chopped fresh dill, coriander or parsley
Olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
Lemon juice
Drain the grated beetroot through a sieve for about ten minutes, press down gently using the back of a spoon to remove the liquid. Do this over the sink or a pan which will not stain pink!  Toss into a glass bowl and mix with the yoghurt, garlic, herbs, and a generous drizzle of olive oil and mix together. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to lift the flavour.
Serve as a dip with toasted bread, tacos even toast finger. Delicious with smoked fish such as mackerel, cold meats or hot fried fish.

OLD FASHIONED STEWED LEEKS
Amended from a recipes found in a book of household accounts dated 1737 to 1739 which describes a Scottish kitchen garden similar to Gordon Castle.
Serves 4 people
4 large leeks – trimmed and washed
Vegetable stock
15g ( ½ oz ) butter – softened
15g ( ½ oz ) flour
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Cut the leeks into thick rings and put into a pan, just cover with vegetable stock and bring to a simmering boil. Cover and cook till tender – about 20 minutes. Mix the butter and flour into a paste (beurre manie). Use a draining spoon to lift the leeks onto a heated serving dish then stir in the beurre manie to thicken the sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the leeks and serve.

CHEESE CRUNCH LEEKS
Cook the leeks as above. Drain the juices and use to make a rich cheese sauce.
Melt 30g (1oz) butter and stir in 30g (1oz) flour over a low heat. Add milk to the vegetable stock till it measures 300ml ( ½ pt) and gradually stir this  into the flour mixture. Keep stirring till the mixture thickens and boils. Add 60g (2oz) grated cheese (mature cheddar gives a good flavour) and stir to melt. Remove from the heat and  season to taste with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the cooked leeks then make the topping below to cover the dish.

CHEESY OAT TOPPING
60g (2oz) medium oatmeal
75g (2 ½ oz) oat flakes
1 tablespoon sunflower oil or melted butter
Mix in:-
60g (2oz) smoked mature cheddar cheese
60g (2oz)  mature cheddar cheese
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 180C, (160C fan) 350F, Gas 4  till golden and crisp on top. Serve hot with plenty crusty bread.
To make a more substantial meal:-
Add chopped ham or smoked fish to the recipe.
Add a beaten egg to the sauce

Apple and Cinnamon Pancakes

February 25, 2020By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Recipes No Comments

APPLE + CINNAMON PANCAKES

Taken from our Walled Garden recipe book (available for £5) written by Liz Ashworth

This recipe was inspired by German friend Gisela’s Mutti when I went on a visit to Munster many years ago.
Makes 8 to 10 pancakes

115g (4oz) self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon
30g (1oz) honey or golden syrup
1 large egg
Milk to mix
2 eating apples – peeled cored and grated (60g/2oz)

Heat a girdle or thick bottomed frying pan on medium heat. Make a batter by sifting the flour, baking powder and ground cinnamon into a bowl. Add the honey or syrup and egg beating in sufficient milk to make a thick soft dropping consistency. Fold in the grated apple. Test the girdle or frying pan by shaking on a little flour, if it turns golden brown the temperature is ready for cooking – if it burns it is too hot!!  Rub a little oil on the surface. Drop dessert spoons of the batter onto the hot pan and leave till bubbles appear and burst on the surface then flip over using a fish slice or palette knife to cook the underside, tapping the cooking side to release trapped air and ensure an even bake. Cool on a wire rack wrapped in a clean tea towel. Repeat with the rest of the batter and enjoy warm and freshly baked.

Cook’s tip

To make a festive pancake add a spoon of mincemeat to the grated apples

Here’s some @deesidepantry made earlier and shared to our IG (please do the same if you give the recipe a go!)

Tips for the Christmas Kitchen

November 26, 2019By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Recipes No Comments

Here are some top tips from local Author Liz Ashworth about how to make your Christmas meal extra special.

Liz Ashworth has been involved with, and written about food for over 40 years. She is passionate about preserving our Scottish Food heritage and promoting local food producers whenever she can. Author of over fifteen cookery books including The ‘Teach the Bairns’ series, she has written about her life experiences in many newspaper and magazine features and is a member of the Guild of Food Writers.

Liz has produced a Walled Garden recipe book for us containing over 50 recipes. The book is intended to take the connection between chef and gardener one step further and continues our ‘Plot to Plate’ ethos. We’re passionate about growing the finest produce and getting it onto the plate as quickly as possible. Within the ancient walls of our garden we grow well over 350 varieties of vegetables, fruit and herbs, many of which date back hundreds of years. The book is £5 and can be purchased here. 

Try a different ‘mash’ this year!

Heaven and Earth
A popular German dish of mashed potato mixed with stewed apple – it is delicious.  Serve separate bowls of hot mashed potato and smooth stewed apples so each diner can mix their own.

Potato and Pear Puree – Serves 4
450g (1lb) potatoes – peeled and cut into pieces
450g (1lb) pears – peeled, cored and chopped
Simmer in boiling salted water till tender. Drain and mash with butter till smooth. Season with grated root ginger or ground ginger and serve hot.

Parsnip and Potato Mash
Simmer equal quantities of potatoes and parsnip in boiling salted water till tender.  Drain. Mash smooth with butter, milk and a little nutmeg to season. Serve hot.

Kathryn’s Lemon Mash
Friend Kathryn makes this light mashed potato. Cook potatoes in boiling salted water till tender, drain, steam, mash with a little olive oil and lemon zest. Season to taste and serve hot.

The Ultimate Crisp Roast Potatoes
Roast potatoes that remain crisp to the last mouthful.

Choose a starchy dry potato like King Edward, Maris Piper or Rooster. Peel, cut to even size, cover with cold salted water, boil then simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Drain well. Shake to fluff the outside, important for crispness. Choose an oil or fat with a high smoking point. Heat about 2cm ( ¾ in) oil in a deep roasting tin. Add the drained potatoes and turn to coat. Roast at 180C,(160C fan) 350F, Gas 4,  till golden turning occasionally.  Drain on kitchen towel and keep crisp in the warm oven before serving.

What to do with the vegetables?

Brussel Sprouts and Almonds
Melt a little butter in a pan, add flaked almonds and a handful of breadcrumbs, stir till golden, season with nutmeg if liked, sprinkle over the hot sprouts and serve. Equally as good with cauliflower or broccoli.

Tagliatelle of Courgettes and Carrots
Use a potato peeler to peel the prepared courgette and carrot into thin strips. Steam for 5 minutes or till tender. Toss with sea salt and black pepper. Serve at once.

Neep Purry
Beat tender boiled turnip with butter and ground ginger. Serve hot.

Easy roasting!

Roasting the ‘Bird’!!
Stuffing helps to keep the flesh moist, however, it makes life easier to keep stuffing separate and serve a selection to suit different tastes.

To avoid a dry ‘bird’ pop an onion, pear and or apple and perhaps a sprig of thyme or rosemary into the body cavity, (or lay a turkey crown on a bed of the chopped vegetable and fruit ) rub the breast well with oil or soft butter and lay rashers of bacon over to add flavour and keep in moisture, splash with wine, stock or water before roasting on low trivet, in a deep roasting tin surrounded by a ‘foil tent’. Calculate the cooking time by the weight of the bird – generally 20 minutes per kg (2.2 lbs) plus 90 minutes. The meat is cooked when the juices run clear when probed with sharp knife or skewer. Remove from the oven and drain the juices into a pan. Cover the tented ‘bird’ with a thick towel to keep the heat and allow the flesh to rest before carving.

Gravy
The juices will make good gravy. Allow to simmer and reduce slowly, season to taste with salt and pepper and add a generous spoon of Gordon Castle Cranberry and Redcurrant sauce and or a glug of Gordon Castle Plum Gin. Serve hot with the main course.

Sticky Cranberry and Redcurrant Sausages – Serves 4 people
Great way to serve all those extra sausages! A great nibble with some mulled wine at a party.

450g (1lb) sausages
2 tablespoons Gordon Castle Cranberry sauce with Redcurrants
1 tablespoon Gordon Castle Marmalade with Elderflower
1 dessertspoon Gordon Castle runny honey
Salt and pepper
Grated zest of 1 orange

Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan), 350F, Gas 4. Line a roasting tin with foil and oil well. Prick the sausages, lay in the tin and cook for 10 minutes in the oven. Mix the cranberry sauce with the marmalade, honey, salt and pepper and orange zest. Remove the sausages from the oven and coat well with the cranberry mix. Roast a further 10 to 15 minutes (turning as required) till tender and caramelised. Serve hot or cold.

Mother’s Day Dark Chocolate Cheesecake | Recipe

March 5, 2019By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Recipes No Comments

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, there’s no better way to show how much you care than by making some delicious chocolatey goodness. Feet up, cup of tea and one of these dark chocolate cheesecakes, and you’ll be Mum’s favourite all year round.
 
Our head chef Dylan has rustled up one of his favourite recipes and a popular choice with visitors to our cafe. Don’t forget to tag us in your creations on Instagram @gordoncastlewalledgarden, we’d love to see! 

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

You will need: Cheesecake filling

300g Good Quality Dark Chocolate
500g Mascarpone
400g Double Cream
100g Icing Sugar
4 x Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 x Tbsp Treacle

Base
250g Gingernut Biscuits
75g Butter (Melted)

White Wine Poached Pears
8 x Conference Pears
1 x 75cl Bottle of quality white wine (we used Sauvignon Blanc)
200 ml water
4 x Cloves
2 x Star Anise
1 x Vanilla Pod (Split)
1 x Pinch Pink Peppercorns
1 x Cinnamon Stick
300g Demerara Sugar (Plus 200g for syrup)

Honeycomb
200g Caster Sugar
5 x Tablespoons Golden Syrup
2 x Teaspoons Bicarbonate of Soda

Method

Cheesecake

Start off by crumbling your gingernuts until they resemble breadcrumbs, melt your butter and incorporate with the gingernuts. Mix well and line the base of your mould making sure you have an even spread and everything is well pressed. If making individual ones, use a glass to press down. Place into your fridge for 30 mins approx to set.

Now you need to melt your chocolate by placing into a heat proof mixing bowl over a pan containing simmering water allow the chocolate to slowly melt. Meanwhile in another mixing bowl, add 350g of your double cream the icing sugar & cocoa powder and whisk until the cream forms soft peaks. Now incorporate the mascarpone & treacle then mix thoroughly.

Once your chocolate has melted take it off the heat and add the remaining 50ml of your double cream, this will cool the chocolate slightly, and remove the risk of the chocolate setting before you can fully mix with the cheesecake mix. Fold the chocolate into the mascarpone mixture and spoon the mix into the mould that contains the biscuit base.

Chill for 3-4 hours before serving.

Poached pears

First of all you need to peel the pears, starting off at the stalk and carefully peel long strokes down towards the bottom trying to keep pears shape. Now place the wine, water, spices and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the pears and poach for roughly 20 minutes or until soft. Take off the heat and allow to cool before placing into a bowl or container and chilling for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, remove the pears from the wine and place into a container until needed. Add the wine mix back into a saucepan adding the extra 200g of sugar. Reduce by 2/3 until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

Honeycomb

Firstly, line a deep baking or roasting tin (20cm squared if possible) with greaseproof paper.

Now add the sugar & syrup into a heavy based saucepan melt on a low heat, once melted increase the heat to a light simmer keeping an eye on the colour. Once the sugar syrup has reached an amber colour take of the heat and quickly add the bicarbonate of soda mixing quickly pour into the grease proofed tin and allow to set for up to an hour. Crush up the honeycomb and store in a container in a dry place.

To serve an individual portion, spoon some of your syrup on the plate and place the cheesecake on top. Alongside the cheesecake place your poached pear – whole, sliced or diced – and top with a scoop of ice cream (optional) and decorate top of cheesecake with honeycomb

 

Gin Inspired Mother’s Day Delight

March 7, 2018By Jennifer Kelly: AdminBlog, Recipes No Comments

Looking to spoil Mum this Sunday with a super yummy pudding? Try your hand at our Gin Garden Dessert.

Gordon Castle Garden Gin Dessert 2

This recipe is made up of a lavender and honey mousse, gin soaked garden berries, chocolate soil and edible flowers. It’s a great recipe because it looks much more complicated that it actually is! If you are making this with little ones simply leave out the gin for their pots or alternatively, make it alcohol free (it still tastes amazing!).

Start with the berries. For this you will need: 
200ml water
100g Sugar
50ml Gordon Castle Gin
400g mixed garden berries

Bring the water and sugar to the boil (add the Gin in now if you don’t want it to be so tipsy), and set aside to cool. When it’s at room temperature, glug it all over your berries. I’ve used blueberry, raspberry and garden redcurrants for mine, but any and all will come to life in the gin syrup.

Next, move onto the mousse. For this you will need…
A dozen fresh lavender heads
100g honey
500ml double cream
3 egg yolks
2 gelatin leaves
200ml milk

Put the lavender heads, gelatin and milk into a pan. Heat gently with a lid on, when it come to a near boil, remove the pan from the heat and wrap the top with cling film, this will keep the flavour and aroma in. This process can be used to infuse milk with nearly any flavour, if you wish to be even more experimental. Leave the pan to rest and Infuse like this for at least half an hour.

Once rested, strain the pan in to another and put it back on to a gentle heat.

Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, beat your egg and honey until it turns a brilliant thick fluffy white. Slowly beat in your hot infused milk, once incorporated put the mix into a thick bottomed pan (this will stop your airy custard from getting a heat shock and splitting). Put it on a low gentle heat, and stir with a wooden spoon, once its thickened enough to coat the back of your spoon, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Whisk your double cream until it’s just past a soft peak, and is just able to hold its shape. Gently fold about a quarter of your cream into the custard, when its consistency lightens you begin to fold the custard in to the cream (this process allows you to keep more air in the mousse as the less folds you make to the cream, the more air you’ll keep in).

And for the soil…
200g sugar
100ml water
200g dark chocolate
50g dark cocoa powder

Put the sugar and water in a thick bottomed pan and bring to the boil, then, reduce the heat, once the water evaporates your caramel can burn quickly, use a sugar temperature probe and once the sugar hits 120c stir in your cocoa and chocolate. The sudden drop in temperature causes the sugar to crystallise with the chocolate and viola. Every pastry chefs favourite plate sprinkle.

To finish, put it together…
We’ve used little ceramic flower pots but any bowl, mug, jug or glass will work. Spoon the boozy berries in and your mousse on top, and generously cover it in the chocolate soil.

So when we first created this it was the height of summer and we had lots of fresh flowers to choose from! As it’s March there isn’t much around so unless you have some potted plants indoors (although don’t go taking all the heads of Mum’s prize plants!), why not decorate the top with berries which you can buy in your local supermarket.

Gin Dessert Recipe - The Gin Garden