Saturday 31 July 2010

Sage glut!

The next glut after soft fruit is going to be sage.

I have been talking about sage before, and provided a couple of recipes, not least my favourite one: sage focaccia (which I have just updated with the latest post-breadmaking course improvements).

I have found you can fry sage leaves in a batter to be used as starters (recipe in Italian here for my record, but you can search for English versions), which I will try some time. In the meantime what I tried is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's sage elixir which requires to dip 50gr sage leaves in 500ml eau de vie for 30 days before adding some syrup and bottling (my leaves in the pics, after a night in alcohol).

And I was absolutely determined to make some kind of jelly. Firstly, because I thought it might taste delicious. Secondly, to use up as many leaves as possible. Thirdly, to try my newly acquired jam-making kit (I got a maslin pan, straining funnel, sieve, thermometer and a set to pick sterilised jars out of boiling water, all from Lakeland).
Difficult to find a recipe without apples, but I did (thanks to Renee!), though I had to adapt the American units. Here's the modified recipe I used before I forget.

Sage jelly
  • 50 gr fresh sage leaves
  • 1000 ml water
  • 60 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 kg organic granulated sugar
  • 1 sachet pectin powder (it may be too much, will know later)
Blanch the leaves in the water, crushing them in the pan while bringing it to the boil; leave for 10 secs then turn off the hob and leave for 15 min to infuse.
Strain the liquid, add the sugar and vinegar and bring to the boil. When you cannot stir down the boil, add the pectin (I have spooned it in 150 ml cold water to avoid clots) and bring to the hard boil again until it cannot be stirred down. Bottle in sterilised jars.

I have almost literally licked the pan clean... so I guess it will be ok, but I defer judgement to when it's set and ready. It must be gorgeous with cheese, or on bread and butter. And the jam-making kit made the operation much more seamless, happy with it!


Purple Helen said...

Fantastic! I've been given a huge carrier bag full of fresh sage (as barter for plums!) and was looking for inspiration on how to use it - this is ideal, thanks.

M.Paola Andreoni said...

Glad you found it useful, Helen. What did you make with your sage in the end?