Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Pineapple, Coconut and Lime Ice Cream in Four Easy Stages

I had leftover tinned pineapple from the Pineapple Upside Down (I also used some with some gammon in the week - who knew a tin of pineapple could stretch so far!), and I knew I had a tin of Coconut Milk in my storecupboard (like you do!), so I was on the lookout for a dessert that involved both, and came across an ice-cream recipe on the Delicious Magazine website which involved both, and some other everyday ingredients.

I have dabbled with making ice-cream before, see recipe page for Banana Ice-cream, and I have also made a Maple Syrup and Amaretti Semi-Freddo, similar here, but I have not made a traditional custard ice-cream, because I was never keen on the idea of raw eggs in ice-cream. But actually, they aren't raw at all - they are cooked like you would for a custard. I'm not pretending that I don't usually get my custard from the refrigerators of my local supermarket, but I have made custard once or twice before!

This ice-cream has a tropical feel to it. If you want to go for the full on Pina Colada, you could add a little white rum, such as Bacardi, but I wouldn't go over the top, as you could ruin the subtle combination of coconut, pineapple and lime. 

Recipe Credit: Angela Boggiano for Delicious Magazine click link for printable version

400ml can of coconut milk
1 Lime (zest and juice of)
3 egg yolks
2 tsp cornflour
100g caster sugar
300g pineapple, fresh or canned
200ml double cream


1. Pour the coconut milk in a pan with the lime zest. Don't worry if the coconut milk has split in the tin, as it will combine again when it is heated. Heat gently but don't let it boil. Just before it boils (the stage where you get a couple of bubbles) take it off the heat and leave to cool for 20 minutes.

2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and cornflour, and add in the coconut milk infusion gradually, whisking all the time. Pour this back into the pan (no need to get another one dirty!) and heat gently until it starts to thicken. 

3. Strain into a clean bowl and cover and leave to completely cool. Pop the pineapple into a food processor and whizz until you have a pulp. As I didn't have enough pineapple, I also added the juice from the can. If you don't have a processor, do your best with a fork. Squeeze in the lime juice. Stir this into the cooled coconut custard.

4. Put in a container (you could use a loaf tin lined with baking parchment) and freeze. After 45 minutes, take it out of the freezer and whisk. This is to get rid of the ice crystals. Freeze again for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight before using.

And with your leftover egg whites, you could make a meringue (mine is in the oven now) x

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 26 August 2013

Make a Cake Stand - French vintage style

I promised this tutorial when I got back from France about three weeks ago, so, sorry its late. One of my absolute favourite shops in France is Maisons du Monde (along with Joue Club which is a fantastic toy shop, and, a recent discovery, Buffalo Grill where you can feed five people a three course dinner and drinks for £45!). Since discovering this wonderful brand, six years ago in Cholet, I have been hunting the shops down whenever I go.

I digress. So, I bought this beautiful plate in the Flers branch, knowing that this was the exact plate to transform a candle holder into a cake plate. This idea has been in the back of my mind for a long time, but I could never find the right plate. This is a a deep eau de nil with a scalloped edge, very French Vintage Style.

Before attaching my candle holder to the base, I made some marks with a pencil, in order to find the centre.

Next, I wiped both surfaces so they were clean, dry and dust free. I used super glue around the rim of the candle holder ( the rim is part metal, part wood). I used the glue sparingly but evenly. Wear disposable gloves if you are a bit messy - I put one on my gluing hand but still managed to glue myself to a yellow duster with the other!!!

Then with the plate upside down, I positioned the candle holder on making sure that there was an even gap around it. I pressed it down a little and then left it to dry.

And here is the finished cake stand. 

I am not sure how well the super glue bond with fare over time as it is a brittle bond, but I have read that Gorilla Glue might work too. Two sad little meringues are all I had to put on it!

Love Mrs Jones x

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Pineapple Upside Down - a lovely treat for tea

My older sister has just moved to Canada for three years, and before she left, she passed on the contents of her food cupboards. It is great to receive a food parcel with unusual contents: there were some lovely spiced nuts, balsamic vinegar, tins of borlotti beans and coconut milk. One of these was a tin of pineapple slices, so I thought I would make an old favourite, Pineapple Upside Down. We used to eat this in the 70s and 80s, sometimes with evaporated milk {does anyone remember this}?

Here is the recipe, which has been adapted from the BBC Book 101 Fruity Puds.

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

Ingredients - topping
50g butter or margarine 
50g granulated sugar
Small tin of pineapple rings in juice
Optional: glace cherries

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until well combined and spread over the bottom of a tin or ovenproof dish. Position pineapple rings on top of this, and the cherries if you are using them.

Ingredients - cake
100g butter or margarine
100g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
Pineapple juice, reserved from the tin

1. Put all the cake ingredients in a bowl or food processor, and add some of the pineapple juice. Beat until smooth.

2. Spoon this over the pineapples and then bake for 35 minutes at 180C.

Leave to cool slightly before turning out and then serve with cream, custard, ice-cream or creme fraiche. 

Such an easy recipe and very tasty too. I have also been investigating making a pineapple ice-cream - have you had any experience with this?

Love Mrs Jones x

Monday, 19 August 2013

Cropping my Marmande Tomatoes

At one point this summer, I thought I was destined not to crop any tomatoes. I have two pots of a lovely French beefsteak tomato called Marmande, and even though I regularly watered them and gave them a weekly feed, I got blossom end rot on some of them and had to bin about six tomatoes. Luckily, my mum, who has very green fingers, took them under her wing when I was on holiday, and they have come back looking very good indeed.

So,  what should I use them for? Do you know any good recipes for beefsteak tomatoes that you would share with me?

Love Mrs Jones x

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Sewn: Everyday Tunic : venturing into sewing with knits

I am a little bit braver than I was - I have now sewn with knits! I do understand that they are not straightforward to sew with, but I have scoured the web for snippets of information on

sewing knits. I don't have a serger, just a fairly basic machine. Once you understand how knits work, it can open up a whole new world of sewing opportunities.

So my first project was the Everyday Tunic from Sew What You Love  by Tanya Whelan. Luckily, I had already traced the pattern onto some paper, because I can't find this particular pattern sheet anywhere in my house now!! The beauty of this, especially as a first go at knits is that there are only two pattern pieces - no easing of sleeves or anything so complicated.

I bought some really nice medium weight cotton jersey from Ditto Fabrics, in a flattering navy pinstripe. Ditto is a fabulous resource for dressmaking fabrics.

I used both a narrow zigzag stitch and a straight stitch for the side and shoulder seams, and a tiny zigzag stitch for the neckline and for hemming the bottom of the tunic. I found the end of the sleeves most difficult to neaten as they weren't big enough to fit around my sewing area on the machine.

The finished top was really too long for me, but by lopping a bit off the bottom and re-hemming, it is fine. It is still quite baggy considering I used the small size, but if I wear it to work, I will probably add in a belt.

Sorry about the photos today, my phone won't talk to my computer and I am hopeless at taking selfies!  How confident are you at sewing knits?

Love Mrs Jones x

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Bonne Vacances en Normandy 2013

It has been a few weeks since I blogged here. Those weeks have been crazy with my youngest finishing primary school, my eldest needing to be ferried to The Met Office for his work experience, and we have been on holiday for two weeks! So this is my holiday post - I'll show you some of the great things I bought back later in the week and I am also hoping to make a cake stand this week.

If you have followed me for a while, you will know that we usually holiday in France, and this year is no exception. We stayed in a gite which was rented through Brittany Ferries. This had lots of extra facilities such as bikes for all of us and a trampoline! Here are some of the highlights:

The front view of the gite
After a 4am start we had a very smooth crossing from Poole to Cherbourg. We reached our gite eventually, after being confused by Route Baree signs, which the road wasn't really closed! The gite is lovely and cool inside with a large garden. Luckily the older boys are sleeping in an annexe, so we won't be disturbed when we go to bed before them! We are welcomed with a lovely gift of wine, cider, water and biscuits.

A trip to St Pair sur Mer near Granville, which we discovered last year. We love it because of the swimming pool which is in the sea here.The beach is great for beach sports and the boys rode up and down the beach wall on their ripsticks.

Up to the north coast of Normandy to Pointe du hoc, which was a German stronghold during World War II. As this posed a risk to the allied landings on D day, an american battalion was charged with destroying it. The result is a pockmarked site, with many of the original concrete gun holdings and bunkers. It is a fascinating site and you are free to wander around it.

Meadow detail at Pointe du Hoc

Pointe du Hoc
We went to our local town of Vire as it was market day. As we approached, it was hot and smokey from the various food on offer. The market consisted mainly of cheap clothing although there was the odd thing that caught my eye. There was also an array of food stalls and lovely looking produce too. Nothing was left to the imagination at the fish stall - the fish were gutted in front of you!

Live crabs at the market

As you would expect, the best of the market is in the wonderful fruit and vegetables- boxes of fuzzy peaches and haricots verts. I went for a bag of luscious dark cherries.


We located an outdoor pool in the nearest village, St Sever Calvados. There is possibly nothing so tempting as a dip in  a cool pool in the summer. I have never seen a pool quite like it - flanked by a field of cows to the left and with a picnic area at the back of the pool. As we swam, the clouds darkened and we just avoided an absolute deluge.

As the bad weather passed through, we took our chance of going somewhere a bit sunnier on the north coast, Luc sur Mer. If you have ever seen the wonderful film Hairdressers Husband, you will want to visit and wear a knitted costume! The beach is large and sandy, and the sea is shallow for some distance, which was ideal for paddling. Some sand pools were created in a dip in the sand, and we searched for crabs, but all we found were dead.

Luc sur mer

Zoo de Jurques, which we have visited many times, was where we headed. The weather was perfect for watching the animals. The real treat was a baby snow leopard which was playing like a kitten. Unfortunately, none of my photos of him have come out very well.

The parents....

...and baby snow leopard, Gaspar

The Christian Dior garden at Granville was a real highlight for me, and is free to enter. I would have preferred it without my boys, but never mind! Some of the planting was amazing and there was a lovely shaded spot to have tea outside.

Hope you are all having a good summer.

Love Mrs Jones x