Cumquat and Makrut (Kaffir) Lime Seed Syrup

We’ve been making lime pickles from the Makrut Limes (formally known as Kaffir Limes) from our tree. There are an awful lot of seeds in the limes. We don’t like to waste anything, and I also had a couple of dozen cumquats I was looking to use. The seeds from the limes are full of pectin, so I simmered them with the pulp that was left after juicing the cumquats. After straining, it made the most wonderful syrup.

The taste is sweet with citrus-bitter, a little like marmalade. It is almost set but now quite – a perfect consistency for toast and crumpets, and also for drizzling over rice pudding, Besan Payasam, icecream and other desserts. It is also a great drizzle over Brussels Sprouts and other veggies before roasting, onto soups, curries, rice etc.

Of course you won’t have lime seeds at your disposal. Make it anyway, just leave the seeds out. Or you can try with lemon seeds or seeds of other citrus. Add just enough sugar to retain the taste but overcome any sharp sour or bitter tastes. (You want to keep a little sour and a little bitter, don’t eliminate it altogether. We are not used to bitter tastes in our cuisines, but they are wonderful when used in the right way.)

Similar dishes include Cumquats Poached in Sugar Syrup, Cumquat Tea, and Cumquat Chutney.

Browse all of our Cumquat recipes and all of our Lime dishes. Our Syrups are here. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Tamarind Molasses/Syrup

Tamarind is one of my favourite flavours, and it is a regret that we don’t often get fresh tamarind pods here. There is a difference between using fresh young but ripe tamarind and the dried blocks of older tamarind that we use. Some recipes are great with the younger tamarind, some pair better with the older and/or dried tamarind. Occasionally we can pick up raw tamarind, and I love to make a sweet-sour molasses or syrup with it to capture the wonderful mouth puckering green taste.

Today I am roasting Brussels Sprouts with my tamarind molasses. You can make your own from raw or ripe tamarind pods, or even use dried or concentrated tamarind. You can find the details in this post. But in some parts of the world it is easy to purchase a tamarind syrup – this can be used as well if it is the sweetness doesn’t override the tartness. It needs a balance of sweet and tart.

Similar recipes include Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Preserved Lemon, Roasted Sprouts with Pomegranate MolassesRoasted Sprouts with Pomelo, and Brussels Sprouts Slaw.

Browse all of our Brussels Sprouts recipes, especially our Roasted Sprouts recipes, and explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Tamarind Molasses | Tamarind Syrup

Very occasionally I come across some fresh tamarind in our local Asian shops. Sometimes it is ripe, sweet ripe tamarind, dark and luscious to eat. But more often it is green, unripe tamarind. The green tamarind has the most intense sour taste that you can imagine. It is eaten as a snack in India with salt and chilli – a hard but padded surface next to you is essential, to bang your fist on when the tartness fully hits you 🤣.

I love to capture that tartness, or the essence of it, by making a Tamarind Molasses (aka Tamarind Syrup). While I make this most of all with the green Tamarind pods, the recipe can also be used for ripe pods.

If you wanted to you can even make this from a block of dried Tamarind or some Tamarind Concentrate. See the recipe notes. It won’t be AS good as using pods, but will still be amazing.

Similar Recipes include Pomegranate Molasses and Quince Molasses.

Browse all of our Tamarind dishes. Or browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Quince Molasses

We now have a collection of molasses recipes that we cycle through year-round in our kitchen – pomegranate molasses, tamarind molasses, cumquat “molasses” and quince molasses. They are easy to make and divine with the sweet-sour flavours that can be used in spoon sweets, drizzled over sweet and savoury dishes, and mixed into dressings, soups, bakes and braises. They are essential accompaniments in our kitchen.

Here is the Quince Molasses we’ve been making for some time.

Similar dishes include How to Use Quinces, Quince Molasses and Tahini Dip/Sweet, Turnips with Quince Molasses, and Quince Pickle.

Browse all of our Quince Molasses recipes, and our Molasses recipes (more to come). Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.

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Apples with Lemon and Cinnamon

Elizabeth David’s books should be compulsory reading for every person who enjoys cooking. They are reminders that food can be simple, and yet stunningly delicious. It is so important in today’s world of Ottolenghi-like complex recipes. Of course I love Ottolenghi dishes, but how good it is to be able to put a dish together quickly and simply, rather than spending an hour or so on just one dish.

This is from Liz’s book An Omelette and a Glass of Wine and it is a simple apple dessert. Cooked in a syrup, it is a rare use of sugar on this blog. Our desserts are rare. But at least once per year, we have to cook some apples.

Similar recipes include Macerated Strawberries and Passionfruit, Sweet Spiced Rhubarb, An Autumn Fruit Salad, Butter Glazed Apples, and Baked Apples with Star Anise.

Browse all of our Apple recipes and all of our Elizabeth David dishes. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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100 Vegetables: #81. Quinces – Make Quince Syrup, Molasses, Vinegar, Quince Honey, Paste and Leather (and more…)

Ah, the scent of quinces when you take them out of the bag! Quinces typify Mid to Late Autumn and Early Winter. They are sometimes around also in Early Spring too, but these have been kept over Winter.  They are good keepers!

For years we slow poached quinces with spices in the oven, and froze batches to last us through the winter. We made Quince Jam/Jelly, and just occasionally Quince Paste. But we now have a great friend with quince trees, so each year there is an abundant supply. We have taken to regularly making Quince Paste, Syrup, Vinegar, Molasses and Honey. Here are our recipes for you.

The quince was sacred to Venus and Aphrodite as it was once a symbol of love, happiness and fertility in Greek and Roman times. From a tree with pale pink blossoms, the fruit is so aromatic. When cooked, it has the most interesting and wonderful flavour and a slightly grainy texture. The pectin in the fruit means that it makes the best jelly.

When raw, the quinces are bright green, but they mellow to yellow as they ripen (and that wonderful scent develops). They are tough fruit with a hard skin, but they damage easily. They will keep for months if carefully handled, but Quince Jelly is best made with fresh fruit.

The fruit is often covered with a fine down. Rinse this off before peeling or cutting quinces. Be careful as you cut as the flesh is quite hard. It will also brown quickly so drop the cut fruit into acidulated water.  As the fruit cooks, it turns firstly a delicious pink-red, and with longer, slow cooking it turns a deep ruby red.

Please also have a look at our Autumn Preserving suggestions and Winter Preserving suggestions. Or simply browse our Early Winter recipes.

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Make your own Pomegranate Molasses

This year I have a surfeit of Pomegranates from a wonderful friend that has a prolific tree. Juice, Pomegranate Honey, Pomegranate Vinegar and other such goodies emerge from our kitchen, including this Pomegranate Molasses. So ditch your cheap balsamic and start using this great syrup.

Are you looking for Pomegranate recipes? Try Quince Molasses, Pomegranate Salsa, Tomato and Pomegranate Salad, and Green Olive, Walnut, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad.

Browse all of our other Pomegranate recipes. You might also be interested in our Autumn Preserves. Or browse our easy Early Winter recipes.

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How to Make Strawberry or Raspberry Syrup

Suffering from a glut of strawberries yet? No problems. Make strawberry syrup.

Suffering from a glut of strawberries? Or raspberries? No problems. Make strawberry or raspberry syrup.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. Or to browse our Strawberry recipes. Or you might like to browse Drinks recipes.

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