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Black Mulberry Marmalade And Curd

Jul 8, 2010

Black Mulberry Marmalade
I have been going on and on about Çeşme a lot lately, I know. That's because it is mid July and I still haven't got a chance to set foot to the place. But I was there in May and I got to enjoy the pre-season serenity for a change. It rained all day everyday so I couldn't swim or sunbath but didn't mind. The otherwise overcrowded narrow streets of picturesque Alaçatı were empty and unusually welcoming. We didn't have to calculate the crowd factor before making plans and were allowed to be as lazy and spontaneous as we wanted. Making reservations to our favorite restaurant or worrying about a spot at the popular beach club were no issues. We knew we were among the few loyal visitors of the town and would be accepted with utmost hospitality wherever we'd go.

In summer, saturday is the day to go to the lively Alaçatı Market. We rise a little earlier than usualin order to avoid the crowd and heat, both of which become overwhelming by midday. On the saturday of our long weekend in May, we knew there would be only a few locals bothering to go to the marketplace in the rain, so we took our time. We slept long and hit the road towards noon. What we planned was to have breakfast somewhere by the tiny square, than to wander around in the marketplace. But a rain shower caught us on the way and going anywhere on foot seemed like a bad idea for the moment. Unable to drive any further, we found refuge in Rüzgaraltı, a boutique hotel run by a surfer. We sat in the veranda while the rain poured down from the edges of the ceiling and enjoyed our "serpme kahvaltı", the best breakfast I know of, in Çeşme.

This is how things look in "serpme kahvaltı" at Rüzgaraltı.Ruzgaralti

"Serpme kahvaltı" - awkwardly translates "scattered breakfast"- is a menu option that entails the "scattering" of your table with small platters of typical turkish breakfast items. Cheese, olives, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, marmalades, eggs and bread. In addition to these, in Rüzgaraltı you will get little pancakes with maple syrup, grilled helloumi cheese, homemade marmalades, kaymak (clotted cream) and honey with all sorts of bread. Breakfast is a serious business for us Turks. Breakfast in Çeşme is even a bigger deal.

mulberry jam

This delicacy I present here, the mulberry marmalade on curd is what makes a breakfast in Çeşme all the more special. I love all types of marmalade but somehow I never found the perfect milk product that can deliciously be sandwiched between marmalade and bread. I don't like the sweet-salty combination of jam and cheese, nor do I like eating butter in the morning. And how dry is spreading jam on bare bread? I discovered this combination at Alaçat, another charming restaurant which used to be in an address right next to Rüzgaraltı but moved to another spot and turned into a boutique hotel. Alaçat became popular for its breakfast served in its pastoral garden. I should give them the whole credit for introducing me this combination that made me say "this is exactly what was missing in my breakfasts!" Creamy and milky curd with slightly sour mulberry marmalade. Yummy.

3 tips for making marmalade (according to mom): using vodka is the key. It absorbs the foam and glosses the marmalade. Cook in a deep casserole to evade overflowing. And finally, do not let it sit long over the stove. Let the marmalade cook under the sun, instead. Otherwise you will have a faded color instead of a glossy one.


mulberry marmalade jar

Mulberry Marmalade

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg mulberries
  • 1 kg caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vodka

Directions:

  1. As boiling starts, foam will start to develop. Let it boil for a minute or two, than add the vodka and stir. Alcohol will absorb the foam.
  2. Remove the pot from heat and let cool for 2 hours. Cover the pot with a cheese cloth and leave in the sun to bake for 2 days.
  3. Distribute to glass jars. Fill the jars to capacity and close the caps firmly.

ricotta cheese

Curd (Ricotta)

makes 200 g curd

Ingredients:

  • 1000 ml whole milk
  • juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Heat the milk in a stainless steel pot. When the milk starts steaming and a cloth forms, remove from heat. Add lemon juice and stir. If the milk doesn't curdle, add more lemon juice, about half a lemon's.
  2. Cover the pot with a clean kitchen cloth and let sit for 2 hours.
  3. Lay a cheese cloth over a sieve and place it in the sink. Pour the curdled milk over the cloth. Tie the cloth firmly and squeeze the remaining liquid. Place the sieve over a bowl and place in the refrigerator. Allow to rest and drain for 7 or 8 hours.
  4. Consume ricotta in a week.

The end

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