Brandied Peaches & A Plum Cake Recipe

I wanted to start today by saying a big thank you to all the lovely people that leave comments on my blog.  Your comments have given me the confidence to continue writing my blog after I gave my four allotments up…..I was absolutely convinced at the beginning of the year that no one would want to read my blog when I started to just grow vegetables in my garden.

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I have always been conscious that my blog doesn’t really fit in with other catergories of blogs, for example it’s not just a vegetable gardening blog, or just a cooking blog, etc. as I cover lots of things that I do in my normal day to day life.

We live in a three bedroom semi-detached house, in a town near a main road…..I would love a small holding in the country, but in reality this will never happen.  So my blog is about making the best of what we have and through your comments I have realised that there are few blogs that do this and I am so glad you can relate to this.

Thank you for your continued support.

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This week in my garden I have been picking lots of tomatoes from my outdoor plants and I have got to say that my harvest is so much better on these plants than from the plants in my greenhouse:

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However, I have found a problem with one of my plants that I have in a pot.  Unfortunately I have found a couple of tomatoes that have ‘blossom end rot’:

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‘Blossom end rot’ is caused by a calcium deficiency and it usually seen when plants are grown in pots and growbags.  There is usually enough calcium in the soil, but unfortunately if there isn’t a good flow of water to the plant then it is unable to access it, also if fertilisers are added to dry soil then this can also restrict the uptake of calcium by the plant.

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My watering system that I use most days (on a timer attached to my hose on our water tap), hasn’t really been working very well this year.  I have found that some plants are getting too much water and some are not getting enough, so I need to be more careful about this.

I can’t save the tomatoes that are already suffering from blossom end rot, but I can pay more attention to my watering so I can correct the problem.

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My cherry tomatoes have now started producing tomatoes too and I am picking a few each day.  They are lovely and sweet and usually get eaten by my daughters in seconds….but that is fine by me:

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This week I have managed to make some passatta with the spare tomatoes and I have frozen this to use another time.  I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to grow enough vegetables in my small garden to be to have some left over for freezing…..I have been pleasantly surprised.

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I am harvesting a lot of perpetual spinach from my garden now too (which Mr Thrift absolutely loves) and this week I made one of his favourite meals with it…..Spinach and Poached Egg Florentine:

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I was also given some more produce this week…..some apples from my husband’s aunt and some courgettes, beetroot, and plums from my eldest sister.  I am very grateful for these, so if you are reading this…thank you so much!

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I made some courgette chutney with the courgettes my sister gave me:

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And I made two ‘plum cakes’ with some of the plums (one to eat and one to freeze):

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A Plum Cake Recipe:

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150g caster sugar

115g margarine or butter

140g self raising flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2 eggs

Approx. 10 plums, pitted and halved

Icing sugar for sprinkling on the top

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Preheat your oven to 180C/ gas 4 / 350F and grease and line a cake tin:

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Beat the caster sugar and margaine until fluffy:

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Sieve the flour and baking powder into the butter / caster sugar and mix until combined:

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Add the eggs and mix:

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Pour the mixture into your cake tin and then top with the plums.

Put the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes:

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Check your cake is cooked by inserting a skewer and if it comes out clean it is cooked.

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When it is cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with ice cream, custard, cream or some nice homemade natural yoghurt as I do:

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Enjoy!!!

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This week I started to think about Christmas and decided to make some brandied peaches for one of my Christmas hampers.  They take three months to mature, so it’s a good thing to do now whilst peaches are fairly cheap.  I found peeling them a bit fiddly, but I think they are worth it:

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Brandied Peaches:

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6 normal sized peaches

100 grams of caster sugar

Enough brandy to cover the peaches (approx. 600 ml)

1 litre sealable jar

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Start by slicing a small cross in the bottom of each peach and placing them in a bowl of boiling hot water for approx. 3 to 4 minutes:

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Take the peaches out of the water and place them immeadiately in a bowl of ice cold water for a couple of minutes and then start to peel the skin back.  I found it difficult to remove the skin on some of the peaches so I used a peeler on the more difficult ones:

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Cut the peaches in quarters and then slice each quarter in half again.  I discarded the stones and cut off any hard bits on the peach slices where the stones had been attached:

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I sterilised my jar (gas 4 / 180C / 350F for five minutes) and when it had cooled down I arranged the peach slices in the jar in layers, alternating with layers of caster sugar:

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I then poured the brandy into the jar making sure the peaches were covered.  I sealed the jar and gave it a gentle shake:

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I placed the jar in a cool, dark place and from now on I will shake it gently every week until it is ready in three months time.

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I think that is enough for this week, so thank you for reading my blog today.

  I will be back as usual next Friday.

Have a lovely week!

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14 thoughts on “Brandied Peaches & A Plum Cake Recipe

  1. I have to say that your house must smell wonderful a lot of the time with all the cooking and baking that you do! The cake looks and sounds devine 🙂

    I’ve just bought myself a Nutribullet 900 pro – which pulverises fruit, veg, nuts into a smooth liquid consistently rather than just juicing. This means I can throw in all sorts of things. This week has been beetroot (raw), celery, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, spinach, parsley, cucumber. Not all at once, but the smoothies are usually a mixture of fruit and veg! It’s nice to know that we are able to get all of those vitamins and fibre.

    We usually grow tomatoes in the greenhouse, and our crop hasn’t been as impressive this year as it has in past years. We have mostly the big plum and beefsteak tomatoes. We’ve only managed to get about 6 or 7 red tomatoes so far from about 8 or 9 plants! Once thing we’ve suffered from are caterpillars – although they are easy to spot and squish… and we can then just cut out the infected part of the tomato.

    I love the idea of the passata – we’ve made this in the past. Also oven roasted the tomatoes with some garlic ahead of the process, which makes a nice dark red and sweeter version.

    My “little girl” is at Reading Festival – she’s been there since Wednesday throughout several torrential rain storms – so expecting her to arrive home tired, muddy and perhaps with trench foot…..

    I love the description of your home and garden. Whilst it’s not a small holding, I think you definitely maximise your space – both outside and in the freezer looking at all those nicely stacked cubes of passata.

    Have a nice Bank Holiday weekend.

    • Thanks Simone and thank you you for reading my blog. Your smoothies sound lovely….my daughters would enjoy them! Hope your daughter enjoys the Reading Festival and yes I bet she will be tired and unfortunately muddy lol….but happy

  2. I love your blog. Your garden looks huge and I admire your dedication to your garden and all things connected. Thank you. I look forward to the next one.

  3. We live in Nottinghamshire and we must have had less sunshine this summer as our 6 tomato plants have loads of tomatoes on them but they’re still bright green!! There’s nothing like picking your own and eating them before they get inside the house….wishful thinking here. As always, your recipes look lovely.

    • Hi L Hughes, you are only approx 30 miles from me so our weather will have been similar and yes it has been such a dull summer hasn’t it. You are certainly right, there is nothing like picking and eating tomatoes is there

  4. Thanks for your loverly post, they are always interesting. My greenhouse toms are doing well I’m in NE England but really suffering with slug damage. I had a beer trap that had dried out and 3slugs hiding underneath! With plastic raised beds covered with netting I’m not helping slug predictors whilst trying to keep cabbage whites at bay. The tunnel has broken some more it’s a guardman and I was aware of zip problems (I have use back enterance as front zip broke, now the tethering point for tie downs coming apart..) the garden centre need the cover to replace it so I’ve been trying to dig out the planted tomatoes to move to greenhouse. Even though I watered this morning they’ve dried out and I’ve lost most of the roots. Left 3in the ground, trust to fate they survive. End of season so not much longer to go…..

  5. You know what Mrs. Thrift.
    Every week I read your blog and it really makes my day. I love hearing about your garden, your veggies, your dog, your family and all of your recipes it’s just nice to catch up on everyday life with an everyday person. Keep on blogging as I said it makes my day.

  6. Just back from a week camping in Tenby with my son age 9 & husband-batteries recharged till the next holiday! Weather didnt look too promising when we arrived & looked at the week long forecast but we took all weather gear & were determined to enjoy it even if we had to walk in the rain.We had some lovely sunny spells and ate fish & chips looking over the sea,visited castles,found a beautiful natural national trust beach called Barafundle bay -no cafe no amusements ,no cars bliss. I so enjoy reading your blog .I must try the plum cake soon. I took your advice & kept replanting the beans that the slugs kept devouring & for about a month have been enjoying fresh runner beans often just picked minutes before they are in the saucepan.What could be more convenient than that !I like your blog as I can identify with you & your ethos. Bye for now Carrie x

    • So glad you had a lovely holiday and what bliss with no amusements etc…..and there is nothing nicer than watching the sea eating fish and chips. What a lovely holiday for you all.

      Really glad the runner beans turned out well too. I remember planting some runnerbean seeds in June the first year I took on my first allotment and I got a good crop from them too even though they were sown very late

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