Friday, August 27, 2010

Apple pectin recipe

Here's an apple pectin recipe from Melanie from Bullaburra.
To set one litre of liquid you will need 1.5cl (cl = centilitre; 1cl = 10ml; ml = millilitre) of the following.

Take one kilogram of apples and roughly chop them — don't bother about peeling, coring, or deseeding.
Place them in a pan and cover with water, bring to the boil and cook on a low heat for half and hour.
Sieve by pouring the pulp in a colander lined with muslin over a large bowl and allow to strain for at least 12 hours.
Put the collected juice into a pan and reduce by half.
Seal in sterilised jars.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Citrus workshop

Our Citrus Workshop in the Kihilla (Lawson) kitchen on Saturday 14 August was well attended. Lizzie gave a short talk and led the sharing of citrus experiences, questions and produce.

People brought grapefruit, oranges, lemons and tangellos, including: Frank brought several tubs of citrus — all named — from the lower mountains, Ross brought lemon sorbet and served it in lemon peel cups, Melanie brought a paste and marmalade for tasting and there was a basket of lemons from Gwen (Kihilla).

Frank offered us small slices of a white sapote — a member of the Rutaceae family too.

Kat talked about the cooperative development at Mt Tomah where they have planted many fruit trees, and some nut plants.

Maryanne led a tour of the Kihilla site where the Mid-Mountains Community Gardens is being established — you can join for just $2!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Carob cake

Some have reported growing carob here in the Blue Mountains successfully. Did you know that the carob pods — from which we derive the powder usually used in cooking — are so reliable in terms of similarity in weight that the measure of a carat (e.g. of gold) derived from the carob pod?

Recently I adapted a recipe from Alan Wakefield's and Gordon Baskerville's The Vegan Cookbook (Faber&Faber 1996 edn).

To start with I smeared the inside of a 7 inch (18 centimetre) round pan with virgin olive oil and set the oven to 180 degrees C.
I sifted 1 cup of light carob powder and 2 cups of self-raising wholemeal flour into a large bowl, finally mixing half a cup of sugar through.
Then I added half a cup of oil, a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a heaping cup of warm water to the dry ingredients and beat it all in well.
The mixture was just a bit more moist than dough and so I made a bit of an indent after pouring it into the baking pan.
It took a good 50 mins to cook through, though you will find the size and shape of your cake tin as well as the temperature of your specific stove make a difference. I needed to cover it after about twenty minutes so it wouldn't burn.

Wakefield and Baskerville suggest a topping. We liked it as it was as well as with butter. We dreamed of ice-cream and the kind of fruits and nuts that might match the full and dark richness of its unique taste — dark cherries, figs, apricots and walnuts. I might try mashing an avocado for a future topping.

You can find out more about the carob plant at the Purdue University Centre for New Crops and Plant Produce site.


We can harvest a wide range of fruits and nuts locally each season.

Local fruit and/or nut gardeners are invited to make additions or suggest modifications to the following work-in-progress compiled by Lizzie Connor.


Across the mountains: loquat, mulberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late spring) raspberry

Best in the lower mountains: avocado, jaboticaba, lemonade


Across the mountains: apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, currant (red, black, white), gooseberry, kumquat, loganberry, loquat, mulberry,nectarine, peach, plum, raspberry, rhubarb, strawberry and (in late summer) almond, apple, fig, hazelnut, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), pomegranate, youngberry

Best in lower mountains:lemon (Eureka), lemonade, lime, mandarin, orange, persimmon (non-astringent) and (in late summer) avocado, babaco, macadamia, rockmelon, wampee, watermelon

Best in upper mountains: jostaberry, lemon (Meyer), persimmon (astringent)


Across the mountains: almond, apple, chestnut, feijoa, fig, grape, hazel, kiwi fruit, kumquat, medlar, olive, passionfruit, pear (incl. nashi), plum, quince, raspberry (some), rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry guava, walnut

Best in lower mountains: avocado, babaco, cherimoya, grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), macademia, monstera deliciosa, orange, pine nut, pistachio, rockmelon, tamarillo, walnut, watermelon, white sapote

Best in upper mountains: lemon (Meyer), mandarin (Satsuma)


Across the mountains: apple, hazelnut, kiwi fruit, kumquat, pear (incl. nashi)

Best in lower mountains: grapefruit, lemon (Eureka), orange, tangelo

Best in upper mountains: avocado (Bacon), lemon (Meyer)