Category Archives: Fruit

Georgia Peach Bellini Truffles

It’s peach season here in the peach state and I’ve already knocked out a batch of jam from some of this year’s crop.

Although the jam is fantastic generously spread on hot buttered toast I couldn’t resist having a go at a batch of chocolate truffles, trying another twist on my favourite recipe for alcohol infused truffles.

Georgia Peach Bellini Truffles from britinthesouth.comMy inspiration was the classic Italian Bellini cocktail, a mix of prosecco sparkling wine and peach puree. The truffles just need chocolate, peach jam and a little bit of prosecco, so you’ll have some left to sip as you eat the truffles.

It’s a pretty simple recipe and the results are delicious.

Georgia Peach Bellini Truffles from

Georgia Peach Bellini Truffles

8oz white chocolate

8oz dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60%)

4oz Peach Jam

4 tsp prosecco

Georgia Peach Bellini Truffles from britinthesouth.comMelt the white chocolate over medium heat in a double boiler (or use a glass bowl over a pan as I do).

Once melted add the jam and prosecco and stir to combine. Allow to cool and then put in the fridge until the mix is firm.

Use a teaspoon to scoop walnut sized balls from the chocolate mix and roll into balls. Put the balls on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and then return to the fridge to firm up again.

Melt the dark chocolate over medium heat in a double boiler and then coat the chocolate balls. Once again place them on a parchment paper lined baking tray for the chocolate to cool and set before enjoying.

Georgia Peach Jam

The topic for the Food in Jars mastery challenge for June is jam. As I live in the Peach State and the first of this year’s Georgia peach crop has just started to show up in local farmer’s markets it seemed the ideal candidate to turn into jam.

Georgia peach jam from britinthesouth.comSadly, the Georgia peach crop for 2017 is estimated to be 80% down due to a warmer than average winter followed by a spring freeze, so I need to take advantage of what I can get my hands on before the supply dries up.

Georgia peach jam from britinthesouth.comMy jam is based on Marisa’s recipe from “Food in Jars“, although I tweaked the amount of cinnamon and nutmeg from the original recipe.

The jam turned out really well and will be a welcome reminder of this year’s crop when the limited supply disappears.

If you have any spare jam, you can use it to make a decadent treat: bellini truffles. Click here for the recipe.

Peach Jam

2 lbs fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped

2 cups granulated sugar

Zest and juice of a lemon

0.25 tsp cinnamon

0.25 tsp nutmeg

3oz pack of liquid pectin

Put the peaches and sugar in a large non-reactive pan and stir well to combine. The peaches should start releasing their juice. Bring to a boil and add the lemon zest and juice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook over high heat for 15-20 minutes.

Georgia peach jam from britinthesouth.comAdd the pectin and and bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. The jam should have thickened. Remove from the heat.

Pour the jam into sterilised jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace and then process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. If you need to know more about water bath canning there is a good introductory guide on the Ball canning website.

Yield: Three 8oz jars





Serviceberry Shrub

I wrote last year about my delight in discovering a serviceberry tree on public property in my neighbourhood, which gave me the chance to do a spot of urban foraging and make something delicious from the berries I picked.

serviceberry shrub from britinthesouth.comI’m glad to say that I have subsequently spotted a few more serviceberry trees within walking distance of my home meaning I can grab a decent haul of the sweet red berries but leave plenty on the tree for other foragers and birds.

serviceberry shrub from britinthesouth.comThe window for picking is relatively short. There was about a one week period where I was making daily strolls to pick berries from the abundant supply. I then returned from a couple of days out of town to find that the trees were bare of berries and that was it for this year.

Luckily I had gathered enough to make something delicious. Last year I opted for a sweet, thick syrup, perfect with pancakes. This year I decided to turn my berries into a shrub, or drinking vinegar. I make these regularly, especially when I have a glut of strawberries or blackberries, but have never tried with serviceberries before.

The result is absolutely delicious; it’s a pity that I’m going to have to wait another year until I can make some more.

Serviceberry Shrub


12oz fresh serviceberries

1 cup distilled white vinegar

Granulated sugar

serviceberry shrub from britinthesouth.comPlace the berries in a glass or ceramic jar, crush lightly and add the vinegar.

Leave to steep for 4 days, stirring or shaking daily.

After 4 days strain the fruit. Then add the sugar: I use a 2:1 liquid to sugar ratio but you can adjust to your personal taste. After straining I had around 10 fl.oz. of liquid so I added 5oz of sugar to it and then gently heated it in a pan over medium heat, stirring regularly until the sugar dissolved, about 10 minutes.

Once the shrub is cool, bottle it and store in the fridge.

I usually drink my shrubs diluted with sparkling water.

Red Poblano Pepper Jelly

red poblano pepper jelly from britinthesouth.comI have cooked many times with poblano peppers and until last week all the poblanos I’d ever seen were either a bright and vivid dark green colour or a glossy chocolatey brown.

red poblano pepper jelly from britinthesouth.comSo I was delighted to find some bright red poblanos mixed in with the green at one of my favourite markets and couldn’t resist grabbing a bagful of them. A quick google search led me to where the Mexican cooking guru enthuses about the red poblano.

Poblanos take a long time to ripen to red so most are plucked from the vine whilst still green, hence their limited availability. I tried his recipe for “fettucine with butternut squash and red poblano crema” and can heartily recommend it.

red poblano pepper jelly from britinthesouth.comThe rest of my pepper haul was destined to make a batch of red poblano pepper jelly, jelly being one of the options for March’s Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. Pepper jelly is one of my preserving staples in the summer when peppers of all shades are abundant in our CSA box, but making it with red poblanos would be a first for me. They are slightly hotter than their green counterparts , with a sweeter, more fruity flavour and, as I discovered, make a fantastic jelly.

I’ve already served it in the classic pairing of goats cheese and pepper jelly but it would also make a great glaze for meat or vegetables, be the perfect condiment for a grilled cheese sandwich, or add a kick when whisked into a salad dressing.

red poblano pepper jelly from britinthesouth.comThe recipe is based on one for “Sparkling Sweet Pepper Jelly” from “The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving”. As the name suggests, this recipe leaves you with small jewel like pieces of pepper suspended in a bright, glowing jelly, making it visually appealing for the table as well as delicious. It also means that you have quite a bit of chopping to do to get the tiny pepper pieces but the result is worth it and once that bit of prep is done it is a pretty simple recipe.

red poblano pepper jelly from

Red Poblano Pepper Jelly

1.5 cups finely chopped red poblano peppers

0.75 cup white wine vinegar

3 cups granulated sugar

1 pouch liquid fruit pectin (I used a 3oz pouch of Certo liquid fruit pectin)

Combine the chopped peppers, vinegar and sugar in a non reactive saucepan (stainless steel or enamel).

Bring to the boil over high heat and boil hard for a minute, stirring constantly.

Add the liquid fruit pectin, bring to the boil again and boil hard for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat.

Ladle the jelly into sterilised jars, leaving half an inch of headspace.

Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.

Yield: 3.5 cups











(Very) Small Batch Cider Making

Throughout the autumn of last year our CSA box was particularly well supplied with apples. As fast as we tried to eat them, dry them, make sauce or preserve them in some other way, before we knew it another week had gone by and we had another pile on our hands.

small batch cider making from britinthesouth.comBy the end of October the surplus had reached the stage where I opted to turn it into cider, or “hard cider” as it is known on this side of the Atlantic. It is not a decision I take lightly as I don’t have a cider press, making it a fairly labour intensive process which doesn’t yield a huge amount of cider, but there is a certain satisfaction to be gained from watching the precious liquid ferment and bubble away and eventually enjoying the fruits of all that work with a chilled glass of the finished product.

small batch cider making from britinthesouth.comThe process I use is basically the one to be found in this video from

First, I wash the apples, before coarsely chopping them, pips and all, and throwing them in a food processor. They are then processed until finely chopped. The resulting chopped apples are then passed through a food mill. This is the most laborious part of the process, but I keep cranking that handle until I get as much pulp out of the apples as I can, leaving behind just a dry apple residue.

small batch cider making from britinthesouth.comDuring this process the apple pulp tends to oxidise, taking on a dark brown colour, but as the cider ferments it always turns a beautiful golden hue, so there is no need to worry.

The final stage is to take the thick pulp from the food mill and leave it to strain through muslin or a jelly bag to yield as much juice as you can. In this case, 17 apples yielded 50 fl.oz of juice.

small batch cider making from britinthesouth.comIn the video on they rely on the natural yeasts present on the apples to trigger the fermentation. I prefer to give nature a helping hand, and add champagne yeast to the juice. Yeast sachets from wine making stores are typically enough to ferment 5 gallons so estimate how much to use based on how much juice you have. It is not an exact science so don’t worry about being too precise, and if in doubt, use a little more yeast than you think you need.

small batch cider making from britinthesouth.comPut the juice and yeast in a sanitised glass vessel, seal with an airlock and leave to bubble away for a few weeks until the fermentation activity slows down, the juice clears and a thick layer of sediment forms. In this case it took about 5 weeks. I then syphoned the cider into a fresh fermenting vessel, leaving behind the sediment.

I left this for a couple of weeks until all fermentation had stopped before bottling. My final yield was just enough to fill three 11oz bottles. I added half a teaspoon of granulated sugar to each bottle to ensure a secondary fermentation in the bottle to give the final cider some sparkle.

Leave for at least a couple of weeks for the secondary fermentation to generate some fizz in the bottle. The cider will be good for at least a year. I’ve cracked open dusty bottles from my basement that are 3-4 years old and they are still good.

small batch cider making from












Lime, Lemon & Honey Marmalade

If you wander into a typical British supermarket looking for a jar of marmalade, it is unlikely that you will be disappointed. We love the stuff, so your only problem is going to be making a decision from the choices on offer. The majority of jars will be classic Seville orange marmalade, but even then you’ll have the choice between fine cut, thick cut or even peel free. Then you have variations on the orange theme, with added whisky or ginger, before moving on from oranges to the other citrus fruits.

Lime, Lemon & Honey Marmalade from britinthesouth.comI have never met a marmalade I didn’t like but if pressed for a favourite I think I would have to opt for Rose’s lemon and lime marmalade. The sharpness of the fruit really wakes up your tastebuds, especially on a cold winter’s day. It is fairly easy to find on this side of the Atlantic but I’ve always thought about having a go at making my own version and was finally inspired to do so by the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge, an excellent idea from Marisa of the Food in Jars blog: 12 monthly challenges throughout 2017, each one designed to improve a particular canning or preserving skill. January’s challenge is marmalade, so I had no excuse not to give it a try.

Lime, Lemon & Honey Marmalade from britinthesouth.comIn looking for a recipe I was spoilt for choice. My well stocked shelf of preserving books offered many possibilities before I even ventured online. In the end I opted for one of my most used volumes, “The River Cottage Preserves Handbook” by Pam Corbin. As well as writing and appearing on TV, Pam used to own a preserves company and is a judge at the World Marmalade Awards, so is well qualified.

You can find a clip of her making Seville orange marmalade here.

Lime, Lemon & Honey Marmalade from britinthesouth.comI went with her whole fruit recipe but tweaked it a little, replacing some of the sugar with local honey. The whole fruit method is quicker and easier than the sliced fruit technique of marmalade making but can result in a less delicate and slightly more bitter final product. I made a few batches of this recipe, using different proportions of limes to lemons and was delighted with the final marmalade every time although I finally settled on a 50:50 ratio as my favourite. It sets well, and has a wonderful balance of sharpness from the fruit, sweetness from the sugar and honey, and a pleasant, slightly bitter, finish.

Lime, Lemon & Honey Marmalade from britinthesouth.comIt is worth making just to fill your kitchen with that wonderful citrus aroma on a cold January day.

Lemon, Lime and Honey Marmalade

1lb fruit, preferably unwaxed (I went with approximately 50% limes / 50% lemons but you can tweak the ratio to your taste)

4 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup honey

Scrub the fruit, place in a pan and add 6 cups (48fl.oz) water to cover. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the fruit is tender and the skin can be easily pierced with a fork (about an hour).

Remove from the heat and leave until the fruit is cool enough to handle. Make sure you keep the cooking water.

Slice the fruit in half and use a teaspoon to remove the pulp from the peel. Put the pulp in a sieve over a bowl, remove and discard any seeds but retain the pulp and juice.

Then slice the rinds to your desired thickness. I went for a fine shred, which is a little more time consuming but I simply prefer a finer shred in my final marmalade rather than thick chunks.

Put the sliced fruit, retained pulp and juice and 3 cups (24fl.oz) of the retained cooking liquid into a pan, and add the granulated sugar and honey. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Bring to a rolling boil and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached. Between my different batches this took anywhere from 25-35 minutes, so it is best to check that you’ve achieved the setting point.  Just to be on the safe side, I used two different tried and tested techniques to make sure. I used a thermometer to check when it had reached 220 degrees F, and then to be certain I did a “crinkle” test, dropping a little bit of marmalade onto a saucer that had been in the freezer for a few minutes. After letting it cool for a minute or so, if it crinkles when you push it with your fingertip, you are good to go.

Remove from the heat and leave for a couple of minutes. Stir gently to disperse any scum that has formed on the surface during the boiling.

Pour the marmalade into sterilised jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace and then process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. If you need to know more about water bath canning there is a good introductory guide on the Ball canning website.

Yield: Five 8oz jars

Lime, Lemon & Honey Marmalade from














Strawberry Wine: 2016 Vintage

This year’s batch of strawberry wine started life early one morning in mid April when we headed about an hour south of Atlanta to our favourite pick your own farm. There was a slight chill in the air when we started but we soon warmed up as we filled half a dozen buckets with ripe red berries.

Strawberry Wine 2016 Vintage from britinthesouth.comI have been making this strawberry wine recipe for many years. It is a beautifully coloured, fragrant, dry rosé that is delicious when lightly chilled and retains a delicate aroma of strawberries.

Strawberry Wine 2016 Vintage from britinthesouth.comThe recipe comes from my well thumbed copy of “The Complete Book of Home Winemaking” by H.E.Bravery, which dates from 1979 and is a book I have been using for over thirty years, having started my home winemaking career at a rather young age. H.E.Bravery was a prolific author on the topics of home wine and beer making, publishing many books, primarily in the 1960s, such as “Home Brewing Without Failures” and “Home Booze: Complete Guide for the Amateur Wine and Beer Maker”. Some of his writing now seems a little dated, especially as a lot of the science and equipment used in home beer and winemaking has moved on since he wrote his books but many of the fundamentals are still sound.

This recipe uses what Bravery calls “the Campden method” as it uses Campden tablets, small pills of sodium metabisulphite, which are added to the fruit at the start of the process, killing the wild yeasts and bacteria which could otherwise affect the fermentation process and spoil the flavour of the wine.

I normally make this wine in a one gallon batch but as that produces a mere six bottles I decided to go large this year and make a five gallon batch, so we can enjoy the taste of summer for a lot longer. It does mean a lot more cleaning and sanitising work when it comes to bottling it but it is worth it once you have a good stash of rosé in your cellar.

The recipe below is for one UK gallon (160 fl.oz).

Strawberry Wine

From “The Complete Book of Home Winemaking” by H.E.Bravery

3lb strawberries

2lb sugar

5 fl.oz freshly made strong tea

1 Campden tablet

Wine yeast and yeast nutrient

Approximately 1 gallon of water

Boil the sugar in 3 pints of water for 2 minutes, and leave to cool.

Hull the strawberries and put them in a large food safe plastic bucket. You can get large plastic food containers from restaurant supply stores or plastic fermenting buckets from home wine making shops.

Crush the berries well by hand. I find a potato masher usually does the trick.

Add the tea and mix in half a gallon of water and one Campden tablet, crushed and mixed with two tablespoons of water. The addition of tea might sound slightly odd but it adds tannin into the equation, achieving a much better final result.

Add the cooled sugar / water mixture.

Add the wine yeast and nutrient, cover and leave to ferment for 7 days, stirring daily. You can get wine yeast and yeast nutrient at any good home winemaking supply store. They can advise you on the best choice of yeast for the wine style you are making and the quantity of yeast and nutrient to add to your wine, depending on the quantity you are making.

Strawberry Wine 2016 Vintage from britinthesouth.comAfter this, strain the wine. Cover it again and leave to stand for one hour. At this stage boil some water and allow to cool in case you need to top off the wine in the next stage.

Pour carefully into a gallon jar leaving behind as much deposit as you can. Fill up the jar with cooled boiling water to where the neck begins, fit a fermentation lock and leave it until all fermentation has stopped.

At this stage you can bottle the wine, siphoning it into sterilised bottles before corking them.

Strawberry Wine 2016 Vintage from britinthesouth.comThis wine is best drunk young. It will happily last for a year or two stored in the right conditions but it isn’t one to stash away in the cellar and pull out in ten years time.

Strawberry Wine 2016 Vintage from



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Blueberry and Mascarpone Tart with a Pecan Crust

Blueberry and Mascarpone Tart with a Pecan Crust from Oliver Farm is located about 150 miles south of Atlanta and has been owned and operated by the same family for five generations. In recent years they have started producing cold pressed oils from pecans, sunflowers and peanuts, as well as pecan flour.

I discovered them at a local farmers market and picked up a bag of their pecan flour as well as a bottle of pecan oil. They sat in my kitchen for a while as I pondered what to make with them, before I came up with the genius idea of checking out the recipe suggestions on the Oliver’s own website. A few caught my eye but I was particularly intrigued by the “pecan pat-in crust” recipe which used both the oil and the flour and seemed both simple and versatile.

Blueberry and Mascarpone Tart with a Pecan Crust from britinthesouth.comHaving made my crust the next question was what to fill it with. Luckily, our CSA box from Riverview Farms has been supplying us with an abundance of blueberries in recent weeks so I combined the sweet berries with a rich creamy filling of eggs, mascarpone and vanilla to complement the pecan crust.

The result is a tasty and eye catching dessert that is quick and easy to make.

Blueberry and Mascarpone Tart with a Pecan Crust

For the crust (taken from this recipe for “Pecan Pat-In Crust” at

1 cup pecan halves

0.5 cup pecan flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons of pecan oil (or substitute vegetable oil)

For the filling

1 egg

8oz Mascarpone

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

A few drops of Vanilla Extract

8oz Blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350F and position rack in the middle of the oven. Place the pecans, flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse until they are coarsely ground. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and pulse again briefly. Then check to see if the mix is sticking together. If it isn’t, add a little more oil and blitz again in the food processor. Once the ingredients are combined put the mixture into a pie dish and use your fingers to press it evenly across the bottom and up the side of the dish. This quantity will fill a 9″ pie plate, or you can do as I did and use two 4″ cases  to make two smaller tarts. Bake for around 10 minutes until the crust is dry to the touch and starting to colour a little. Remove the oven and set aside to cool.

Blueberry and Mascarpone Tart with a Pecan Crust from britinthesouth.comFor the mascarpone layer, separate an egg and then beat the yolk with the tablespoon of powdered sugar. Stir in the mascarpone and a few drops of vanilla extract. Beat the egg white until stiff and then fold into the mascarpone mixture. Spread this on the pecan crust and place in the fridge to set.

Finally, arrange the blueberries on top of the tart. Keep chilled until you are ready to enjoy.











Sourdough Pancakes with Serviceberry Syrup

When I lived in Britain I had a pretty good grasp of plants that I could forage for locally: wild garlic and hops in the spring, blackberries in late summer, sloes in the autumn.

Sourdough Pancakes with Serviceberry Syrup from britinthesouth.comMoving to Georgia meant a different seasonal calendar as well as new, unfamiliar plants. One fruit that was totally new to me was the serviceberry, also known as the juneberry or saskatoon berry. I first heard about them through the work of Concrete Jungle, an Atlanta based non profit that harvests fruit and nuts from thousands of untended trees around the city and donates them to the poor and hungry. Their map of food sources in the area shows an abundance of serviceberry trees around the city. Last year I stumbled upon a solitary tree on public property in my neighbourhood and tried these delicious, sweet little purple-red berries for myself. This year I managed to pick a few cups of berries to experiment with whilst leaving plenty for other foragers and the local birdlife.

Sourdough Pancakes with Serviceberry Syrup from britinthesouth.comI turned my haul of serviceberries into a gorgeous bright purple syrup that paired beautifully with a stack of sourdough pancakes but would also be great on waffles, or stirred into oatmeal.

Serviceberry Syrup

4 cups serviceberries

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

Add the water to the serviceberries in a saucepan and crush. I used a potato masher.

Slowly bring to the boil over medium-high heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool a little and then strain through a jelly bag or muslin. This yields about 1 cup of juice.

Sourdough Pancakes with Serviceberry Syrup from britinthesouth.comAdd 1 cup of sugar to the cup of juice and heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened a little. Do not let it boil.

Once it is cool pour it into a jar or bottle and it will keep in the fridge for two months.

Sourdough Pancakes with Serviceberry Syrup from britinthesouth.comTo enjoy my syrup I whipped up a batch of sourdough pancakes. My go-to pancake recipe is this one from which calls for sourdough starter and the preparation of an overnight sponge, so it takes a little planning. I found it worked perfectly for me as I left the berries to strain overnight whilst the sourdough batter bubbled and worked its magic. If you have less time on your hands this is a great alternative recipe.

Once you have a stack of freshly cooked pancakes, drizzle generously with syrup and enjoy.

Sourdough Pancakes with Serviceberry Syrup from












Lime Syrup Cake with Stoneground Cornmeal and Almonds

Spring has arrived in Georgia with the sun shining, temperatures soaring and trees bursting into blossom. However, the handful of farmers markets that open year round are still dominated by root vegetables and winter greens, and it will be a few weeks until our CSA box starts again, so our day to day eating is still heavily influenced by produce we preserved last summer and whatever is to hand in our store cupboard.

Lime Syrup Cake with Stoneground Cornmeal and Almonds from britinthesouth.comTwo things we are never short of are grits and cornmeal, which are regular features in our CSA box. Stone ground at the farm from their own organically grown corn they are great but we sometimes need to find innovative ways to work our way through them. This moist, delicious cake came about after we had picked up a huge bag of limes for just $2.99 at Buford Highway Farmers Market, and is inspired by this citrus and polenta cake recipe from the wonderful Nigel Slater.

Lime Syrup Cake with Stoneground Cornmeal and Almonds from

Lime Syrup Cake with Stoneground Cornmeal and Almonds

8oz unsalted butter

8oz cane sugar crystals (or granulated sugar)

4oz blanched almonds

3 eggs

4oz ground almonds

5oz cornmeal

1 tsp baking powder

Zest and juice of 2 limes

For the syrup:-

Zest and juice of 2 limes

4oz cane sugar crystals (or granulated sugar)

Lime Syrup Cake with Stoneground Cornmeal and Almonds from

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Beat together the butter and the sugar.

Lightly beat the eggs, and then slowly mix with the creamed butter and sugar.

Chop the blanched almonds finely and then add those and the ground almonds to the mixture.

Stir the cornmeal and baking powder together and add those to the mixture, then stir in the lime zest and juice.

Spoon the mixture into an 8″ loose bottomed cake tin lined with baking parchment. As some of my cakes were destined to be given away I used three 7″x2.5″ oven safe paper baking pans.

Lime Syrup Cake with Stoneground Cornmeal and Almonds from britinthesouth.comBake in the oven for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to 325F and cook for a further 30 minutes.

For the syrup take the zest and juice of two limes and add water to make it up to 1 cup of liquid. Add the sugar, and then bring to a boil and simmer until it has reduced to around 0.75 of a cup.

Lime Syrup Cake with Stoneground Cornmeal and Almonds from britinthesouth.comMake holes in the cake with a fork or skewer and then pour over the syrup, letting it soak in, then allow the cake to cool before enjoying.