Tag archive for : autumn

Farming cranberries on a bog in Offaly

If you were to grow cranberries where would you start? Cranberry production has been largely aligned with American and Canadian growers over the years but as ingenious as us Irish always are we have found a unique way to bring one of our favorite festive fruits home to roost.

The bog is an unlikely place for anything to be grow let alone be farmed. It’s damp, unforgiving land has lent itself mostly to peat cutting, the odd poitin still and little else down through the centuries.

However in 2008 following a pilot project by Bord na Mona on a bog in Offaly, Ciara Morris decided that her dream was to cultivate cranberries in Ireland.

The ground and conditions in the bog proved to be favourable, and Ciara established Slievebloom Farmhouse, the only cranberry farm in Ireland. Over the last 5 years the berries have gone from strength to strength, and can now be found in some of the top kitchens in the country.

Supporting these small businesses is what Ireland is all about. At Kai we always recognise what small growers are doing, and welcome them into the kitchen. New or old products, the range and diversity is constantly increasing.

Ciara built her business from the ground up, literally. In doing so she branched out into developing other products and Slieve Bloom Farmhouse Foods have since received several accolades at the Great Taste Awards for their Cranberry and Mulled Wine Sauce, Lemon De Vine Marmalade, Spiced Marmalade and Lavender Marmalade.

It’s amazing what you can do with a bit of bog. These stories inspire us to do what we do and we hope that they will inspire you too.

Keep an eye out in the shops for these cranberries. They’re local, and they’re delish!

www.slievebloomfarmhousefoods.com

Filled Under : locally sourced , Producers

So it’s that time of year again, although this time round we’re not complaining about the rain and the cold just yet. It’s been a bumper year for local produce getting the right weather for growing crops.

Now that autumn is slowly sliding in its time for Halloween, and that means that the pumpkins are appearing in the shops. Despite having a fairly mild autumn so far it’s great to be able to look forward to nice warming pumpkin pies, curries and soups.

You can never get enough of these sweet hearty vegetables, and this week we’re going to help you make the best pumpkin pie!

We recommend you make your own pastry, but if you don’t have the time you can settle for the shop bought sutff, just make sure it’s a nice one!

Locally grown pumpkins

PASTRY Ingredients

125g plain flour

55g butter

30-45ml cold water

Pinch of salt

 

PASTRY Method

Making pastry is fun, so get ready to get durty!

1. Get the flour, slat and butter in a large bowl and rub it all together until the mixture is a consistent texture like breadcrumbs.

2. Start to add the cold water slowly and combine everything to make a nice soft, smooth pastry.

3. Cover your bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or until you’re ready to use it.

 

PIE filling ingredients

450g pumpkin flesh, cut into cubes

3 large eggs

275 ml double cream

75g soft dark brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ level teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground ginger

 

PIE filling Method

Once you have the pastry ready pre-heat the oven to 180C

1.Steam your pumpkin until its nice and soft. When it’s mashable take it off the heat and drain. You can put it in the food processor to get a nice smooth texture if you like.

2.Whisk the eggs together

3. Put the sugar, spices and cream in a pan, and bring to a simmer, then pour the eggs in and continue to whisk.

4. Now add the pumpkin pureé, and combine everything together,

5. Once the mixture is well mixed, pour the filling into your pastry case and bake for 35-40 minutes.

That’s it!

Pumpkin pie is delicious both warm or cold, so pop it up on the wire rack to cool, or get it out on the table and dive right in!

Filled Under : Recipes

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