Plot to Plate: Chilean Guava Cupcakes

These little beauties work really well in cupcakes as they hold their shape and pack a punch with tiny flavour bursts. They are a lovely plant to grow and thrive in a sheltered position as an edible alternative to box hedging. I’ve been growing Chilean Guava (Ugni molinae) for 3 years and have had harvests from year one (see my post on 6 Ways to Create and Ornamental and Productive Garden.) This year’s has been the most fruitful and harvesting these delicate red globes on the way home from school with the kids in October is a real joy. If Chilean Guavas are not available, these cupcakes are also good with blueberries, alpine strawberries or raisins.


Shiny jewels



3 eggs, weighed

An equal weight of butter

An equal weight of golden caster sugar

An equal weight of gluten free self raising flour (or ordinary flour)

A few drops of vanilla extract

Half a cup of Chilean Guavas


Ready to bake


Crack the eggs and weigh them. Add to a mixer (or mix by hand). Weigh the flour, sugar and butter (softened) and add to mixer. Add the vanilla extract and mix all the ingredients together.

Split the mixture between 12 cupcake cakes and add the Chilean Guavas to the top of each cupcake. (As the mixture melts in the oven, the fruit sinks a little into the cake.)

Bake at 180ºc for 15 minutes or until firm to the touch.


Scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream – perfect for a summer afternoon tea

The best thing about scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream is that you get two bites of the raspberry. You can make the jam in July with a glut of summer raspberries as we did, or wait until the autumn fruits begin and then start jamming. Or even make jam all summer long with both types. Our summer canes haven’t stopped producing yet although they have passed the glut stage and the autumn canes are already producing fruit – mostly the lovely yellow ‘All Gold’ raspberries.


A mix of summer raspberries ‘Glen Moy’ and ‘Glen Ample’ and autumn raspberries ‘All Gold’

All the rain in June and early July suited the summer raspberries perfectly, swelling the fruit and providing us with baskets of delicious berries for adults, children and jam pan alike. We didn’t have many autumn fruiting canes, but the allotment we took on in March has two 6m rows of autumn raspberries, so I think we’ll have our first year with not one, but two raspberry gluts.


At the allotment the raspberry canes go on and on…

I’ve always loved raspberries best – there is an intensity about their flavour which can’t be matched by even the best strawberries or blueberries. I collected them from the hedgerows as a child foraging in Welsh lanes and then planted them as soon as I had my own garden. I love their long season, their varied colours and their cheerful, robust nature.


I enjoy our blueberries, but I’m still a raspberry lover at heart

So here’s my (or actually my husband’s) recipe for raspberry jam and gluten free scones. He’s the preserve enthusiast in the family and makes excellent desserts too, whilst I tend to make the cakes and biscuits (once you have lots of jam you have to use it up in jam tarts and Victoria sponge cakes!) We run a gluten free kitchen because of the severity of my coeliac disease and we’ve both enjoyed getting to grips with new recipes over the past 5 years. I avoided scones for a couple of years as the shop bought gluten free ones were dry and crumbly, so this recipe allows me to indulge in a spot of clotted cream and jam all over again. The jam can, of course, be spread on whatever type of scone comes to hand.


Raspberry jam also turns homemade rice pudding into an indulgent supper

Raspberry Jam


450g raspberries (make sure some of the raspberries are slightly under-ripe as this ensures there is enough pectin)

Approx. 450g granulated sugar (or weigh the raspberries you have and add an equal weight of sugar)


Put the washed fruit in a jam pan or other large pan and gently crush it with a wooden spoon to release some of the juices. Gently heat to boiling point.

Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the mixture cool a little, then push it through a stainless steel sieve to remove the seeds and create a puree.

Measure the puree and pour it into the clean jam pan. Add 450g sugar for each 600ml of puree (450g of raspberries should make about 600ml of puree.)

Gently heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Boil rapidly until it reaches setting point. (Stick a small plate in the fridge until it is cool, then remove and test jam after 10/15 minutes of boiling by putting a teaspoon of the jam on the cold plate. Leave for a minute, then slide finger across jam on plate to see if it wrinkles. If it wrinkles only a little, boil for another 2 minutes and try again.)

When setting point is reached, skim any froth off the surface with a slotted spoon and pour into sterilised jars. Seal and leave to cool.


This year’s glut reincarnated

Gluten Free Scones


115g gluten free plain flour

115g rice flour

60g caster sugar

4 tsps. gluten free baking powder

1½ tsps. xanthan gum

75g unsalted butter (cubed)

200ml buttermilk

80g sultanas


Preheat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan). Sift flours, sugar, baking powder and xanthan gum into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub with fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Stir the buttermilk into the mixture. Add the sultanas. Mix with a round bladed knife to make a soft dough. You may need to add a little more plain flour at this point if the dough is too sticky.

Kneed the dough a few times, then roll out onto a floured surface to around 15mm thick. Using a round cutter of any size, cut out scones and place on lightly greased baking sheet on a baking tray. (We don’t have a cutter of the size we like, so we use a child’s plastic cup to cut out the scones!) Rubbing the top of the cutter/cup with flour stops it sticking to the dough.

Make sure the scones aren’t too close together on the baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold with jam and cream.


Don’t mind if I do…

I suspect these scones are probably at their best in the first couple of days, but to be honest they’ve never made it to day 3 for empirical testing! They can also be frozen – but why would you want to??



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and read more of my recipes for Thai Curry, Elderflower Cordial, Rhubarb Recipes and Nettle Soup.

It’s uncanny how similar scones with jam and clotted cream are to Gladioli ‘Flevo Sylvia’ which I think should be renamed Gladioli ‘Scone’!