Sour Scone Cake with Prickly Pear Jam
Prickly Pear Jam
1 kg prickly pear fruit
125 g unsprayed fragrant, pink, ever-blooming rose petals (or the like)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
500 g white sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Makes about 500 g
1: Remove the prickles from the prickly pear over an open flame or on your gas stove.
2: Place the rose petals in a bowl and rub the lemon juice into the leaves. Set aside.
3: Rip the prickly pears in half and place in a large heavy-based saucepan (preferably copper). Add the sugar, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons water and just a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly so it doesn’t scorch, until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has started to break down. Continue simmering for about an hour, stirring more frequently as it starts to thicken. When the fruit has completely broken down, stir in the lemon-coated rose petals. (I like to cook this over an open fire as it gives it a lovely smoky flavour that’s really nice with cheese or more savoury foods. If you do this, keep a close eye on the heat so the jam doesn’t scorch.)
To test whether it’s ready, dollop a teensy bit of jam on a chilled plate and let it cool for 30–60 seconds. When you turn the plate at a 90 degree angle, the jam may droop a little but overall it should stay put and not run or drip. Pack the hot jam into hot sterilised jars and seal with fresh lids, then invert the jars to create a vacuum. Store unopened jars for up to 2 months. Once opened, the jam will keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Note: If you can’t get prickly pears try making this with the same quantity of figs or any other seasonal fruit that is good for jam making.
You will need to sterilise your jars otherwise the jam may become mouldy. What a waste! Preheat the oven to 110C. Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse well, then place in a deep saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, cover and boil gently for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with a clean tea towel. Using metal tongs, remove the jars and lids from the boiling water and place upside down on the tray. Place in the oven and heat for 15 minutes. They are now ready to use. Bottle hot jams or chutneys in hot jars, and cooled jams or chutneys in cold jars.
Sour Scone cake
450 g self-raising flour
80 g butter, cubed
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup buttermilk
plain or self-raising flour
600 ml pouring cream
about 2 cups prickly pear jam (see recipe above)
unsprayed fragrant, pink, ever-blooming rose petals (or the like)
1: Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre, add the sour cream and buttermilk and use a butter knife to bring together and form a rough dough.
2: Divide the dough into three even portions and shape into approximately 4 cm rounds (they don't need to be perfect – a little rustic is good). Try not to handle the dough too much otherwise the scone cakes will be tough. Place the rounds on a well-floured baking tray, brush with milk and sprinkle with a little flour. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden.
3: Whip the cream to soft peaks. Dollop cream and jam over each cake, then layer to form a stack. Finish with a final layer of cream, then drizzle with jam and fresh rose petals. Wow!