Category Archives: Jams + Pickles

Mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

Mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

I don’t like chicken liver pâté … I LOVE it. My mother-in-law, Marie Robertson, makes a mean, charming old-school chicken liver pâté. It has a nice chilli bite and enough brandy to give it a good kick. It’s smooth and tasty and is, with the pink peppercorns and my bacon-onion jam, one of the best pâtés I have ever tasted.
_Hoenderlewers - Foto Anel Potgieter 800

chicken liver pâté with my bacon-onion jam

My mother-in-law’s chicken liver pâté with pink peppercorns

Enough for 4
15 ml olive oil
15 ml butter
250 g chicken livers
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
30 ml brandy
1.25 ml salt
1.25 black pepper
125 ml cream
30 ml butter
5 ml pink pepper corns

Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the chicken livers, garlic and chilli. Cook the livers for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured – but still a little pink in the middle – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.
Pour in the brandy. If you’re using a gas hob you can flame it until the alcohol cooks off, but watch your hair! Simmer for a minute or so, then take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor. Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the salt, pepper and cream and continue to blitz. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Melt the butter and pink peppercorns in a little pot. Spoon over the pâté. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour.

Bacon-onion jam
250 g bacon, diced into cubes
15 ml oil
3 medium onions (350g – pealed), grated
15 ml Dijon mustard
2.5 ml powdered ginger
170 ml balsamic vinegar
50 ml dark brown sugar
2 ml salt
2.5 ml black pepper
50 ml water

Heat the oil in a pan and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is completely rendered and the bacon has started to crisp. Add the onions, mustard, ginger, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper and water. Stir to combine, then cover the pot, lower the heat and allow the mixture to cook undisturbed for 15 or 20 minutes. Remove the top, stir again and then partly cover the pot. Allow the mixture to cook until most of the liquid is gone and the onions have achieved a dark brown jam texture, approximately 60 to 70 minutes. Remove mixture from heat, and allow to cool slightly. Spoon the jam into a jar or bowl, then allow to cool completely.

#prickly pear jam

#prickly pear jam


{prickly pear flutters}
While trawling through Checkers the other day, I came upon trays and trays of freshly picked prickly pears. My heart burst into an immediate flutter as I remember with much affection my childhood memories of cold and crisp prickly pears. I used to eat them whole – pips and all.

{the good old days}
Recollections of holidays spent with my aunt on their farm in Harrismith came flooding back. She had one of those enormously long dining room tables – you know the ones that could seat at least twenty. My family, Oom Samie and Tannie Miena used to gather around the table at mealtimes. Just after Oom Fanie said grace, Tannie Miena would ring the silver bell she always had and minutes later the household help would appear bringing in tray upon tray of food. Freshly baked bread, genuine farm butter, fig jam, farm eggs, chops, sausage and the rest – and this was only breakfast! But I always remember the great big bowls of prickly pears…it was something like a South African Babette’s Feast, each mealtime, each day,

I never knew where to start… or what to eat first. But one thing I always did was leave the best for last – the chilled prickly pears. It was for me the pièce de résistance.

{cheeky cumin seeds}
Snapping out of my retro daydreaming, I packed in a good few prickly pears and headed straight home. I took one of the long favoured recipes from Cook and Enjoy and cheekily added some cumin seeds and a squeeze of lemon juice. Delicious!





#prickly pear jam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 500g peeled prickly pears
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch of salt
  1. Put the sugar, water in a pot and bring to a boil. Place the prickly pears, lemon juice and cumin in the syrup. Cook slowly for as ¾ hours until soft and transparent. Bottle and store.

pink peppercorn strawberry jam = a berry marriage made in heaven

pink peppercorn strawberry jam = a berry marriage made in heaven

pink peppercorn strawberry jam delicious, scone with strawberry jam

I have written about white pepper before but today I want to dedicate this page to a lovely pink lady – the pink peppercorn. She is somewhat of a foxy, seductive siren. Always dressed up and ready for any occasion … wonderfully pink with so many fabulous and flavourful guises. Who would have thought that she is actually a type of dried berry with a peppery taste and not technically a peppercorn? Her French name is “baie rose” – translated in English to pink berry.

I decided to combine two berries together – the strawberry and the pink peppercorn. This is undoubtedly one of the better combinations I have tasted. It is sophisticated – the sweet and tartness of the strawberry jam dallied with the ever-tempting pepperiness of the pink peppercorn. It is kind of like the Thelma and Louise of the berry world, a wicked pairing of the unconventional with the traditional – if you like pop it on a scone, add a fresh strawberry, a dash of sour cream and a finish it with an extra peppercorn or two … taste how the taste is catapulted into another dimension.

strawberry - pink peppercorn strawberry jam

pink peppercorn strawberry jam

Strawberries are in season … so get out there an get some … a jar of pink peppercorn strawberry jam will make a special gift … but warn your gran first – as the taste could blow her socks off!

pink pepper corn strawberry jam - christmas gift

Note: I use half the normal amount of sugar (I don’t like the jam being too sweet), always add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

pink peppercorn strawberry jam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Makes 500ml jam
  • 800g Strawberries – cut into halves
  • 400g Sugar
  • 2 ½ t Pink peppercorns
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Put all ingredients in pot. Put on low heat until the sugar has melted and starts to boil.
  2. Then put on medium-high and cook for 25 minutes.
  3. If foam has formed on the top of the jam just scoop it off if necessary.
  4. Bottle in jars or just tuck in.