Bev Perkins’ Ginger Apple Jam

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A good friend of ours, let’s call him Anthony Bianco (pictured eating sandwich), came up sandfor a visit last weekend and with him about twenty file kilos of apples picked fresh from northern Victoria. It seams he has stumbled upon a tree close enough to a fence line and ripe for the picking, and so helped reduce the terrible burden to the tree’s owners. Now I love eating apples as much as the next guy, but the more opportunist side of me started thinking of what to do with our bequeathed bounty.
Yesterday morning before work I found myself perusing our kitchen library for ideas. The obvious option is apple sauce, and I will make some soon, but today I felt like something new. Tucked away in the pages of the Country Women’s Association Preserve Cook Book I found this little gem, thanks Bev Perkins from East Launceston.  
To make jam thick you need pectin, most fruits contain this and turn the jam to the correct consistency during the cooking process naturally but some require a little more tweaking. The pectin in apple is found in the core and skin and so these need to be saved for use during the jam making process and later discarded before bottling. 

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Most jams are equal parts fruit to sugar with any additional ingredients added for flavour, In this case a small amount of fresh grated ginger gives it a tart kick that really sets it off. So after peeling and coring the apples I diced the fruit and placed it in a covered bowl with a muslin bag containing the skins and cores, I then sprinkled the sugar over the mix. Letting the mix sit overnight I combined it with the fresh ginger to a pan and slowly boiled it for about an hour before bottling.

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The next cold morning I get it’s Bev Perkins’ Ginger Apple jam on toast with a strong black coffee, can’t wait. This recipe is worth trying, as with any CWA recipe and I can strongly advise purchase of their preserving cook book. 

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Balmy for Salami

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In Italy many years ago, dispatching and sorting the pig into curable meats was the job of my father’s family. The brothers would go from home to home assisting the villages in turning la porcetta into whichever salami they liked best. In our region of Veneto, located at the very top of Italy, they called it Salami Veneto. Not the most creative name I admit, but what the northern Italians lacked in creativity in name they also lacked in spice, in a good way.

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The Veneto salami is as un-enhanced as it comes, the pork has very little in the way of spices or other flavours and so the quality of pork we use must be perfect and the very freshest. This year our pig was supplied by James Mele of The Meat Room, who hosted us for the salami sessions a couple of weekends back.
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So this weekend past we set up shop Gian Carlo’s home and with knives sharpened and benches sanitised we awaited our sow. We set to butchering early Saturday morning and by that afternoon had turned a near 100kg pig into its parts there of. Minced then graded, we had various piles of meat around the room, the fat ratios are just as important as spice, Gian Carlo exclaims.
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Now days we don’t just have one style of salami, no matter how delicious it is. This year we made several including, Veneto, Calabrese cacciatore, Sopressa, Salamini and Cotechino, The first of which should be ready in four or five weeks.
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I’m not here to claim we have the best recipes and nor will I publish them, but we are certainly happy to help with advice and instruction. If you are interested in or about to start making salami or any charcuterie then fantastic, what you’re about to create will turn you off store bought small goods forever. Home made is best made. Please stay tuned for the results.
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