“ Type: Dairy „
I want to tell you about Goats' cream as it is probably my favourite topping in the world and the company who make it -St Helen's are also in my top 10. The thing about goats is they are adorable. Curious creatures they are and if you keep them you will soon realise they are crafty and will devour anything in sight that they fancy! St Helen's farm was the brainchild of a young couple who met at agricultural college and it was formed in 1986. Based in East Yorkshire it began to supply Waitrose with goats' milk from a small herd of 500 goats. The couple had seen a gap in the market and were passionate about trying to provide a viable alternative to cows' milk. More and more people are becoming intolerant to dairy foods and goats' milk can be tolerated by some people who find they do not get many of the symptoms associated with the ingestion of cows' milk. These symptoms of intolerance manifest themselves mainly in the increased production of mucus, so it may be beneficial for children who have repeated ear infections to try a period of time without dairy foods. In fact some specialists now refuse to put in grommets unless a there has been a trial period of a dairy free diet. Switching to goats' milk may also help asthma, eczema, and irritable bowel syndrome so if you have any of these conditions then switching to goats' milk and other goats' milk products may be helpful. As the company grew in size they relocated to The Vale of York where they now have 3500 goats and 45 employees, in fact the demand is now so great that they actually buy in milk from other goat farmers to use in their production. The emphasis is on animal welfare the goats are lovingly cared for at the farm, and the couple are adamant that their surroundings will also remain wildlife friendly through their commitment to the environment. They have planted many new trees and hedges and have developed over seven acres of woodland in partnership with the Farm Woodland scheme. They have badgers, stoat, foxes and deer on their land and my favourite- barn owls are regularly seen near to the farm and the straw and hay bales often provide nesting homes for kestrel. Most importantly they are working closely with an organisation called The Organic Food Federation to convert some of their land to organic status and they are now growing organic red clover to feed to the goats as hay. They limit the use of pesticides and use organic manure from their own goats. This company is yet another of my favourites as it has all the great elements to it that I love and it was started by two enterprising individuals-I think it's fantastic! Just before I tell you all about the cream I must also tell you about their commitment to recycling. The milk is packaged in paperboard so it is easily recycled and the plastic used in the cartons of yogurt and cream are recyclable too. So now to my favourite Goats' Cream. The goats are milked twice a day and the fresh milk is put through a separator to extract the cream. Some of this cream is put back with the milk to make whole or semi skimmed milk but the rest is made daily into double cream and delicious Goats' butter. The cream is a thick white colour much whiter than dairy cream and it tastes out of this world! I first tried this cream a few years ago on a freshly baked scone and it was so lovely I have been buying it ever since! It is really lovely with some Tiptree Little Scarlet jam which I wrote a review on recently. It makes delicious ice cream as well. It really is a double cream there is no need to whip it as it has a thick consistency already. The website is www.sthelensfarm.co.uk and here you can order a leaflet which tells you all about them and the website has lots of lovely recipes to try. The cream is sadly only available in Waitrose of the major supermarkets. I believe Tesco used to stock it but not recently but the goats' butter is available from the major chains. I can't say it is good for you as no cream is but for an occasional treat it is something really special. I hope you enjoy it. Just before I finish I want to tell you that it is really delicious when served with raspberry crumble which is so easy to make. I have listed the recipe below so hope you will try it. 225g flour (I use self- raising as it gives it a light texture. Also I know wholemeal is better for you but in this recipe white is much nicer) 110g butter or margarine (I use soya margarine but you can use any you have) 110g sugar (again anything will do I prefer caster) 2 packets of frozen raspberries. All you do is rub the fat into the flour and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs and then you sprinkle over the frozen fruit in a large ovenproof dish. You then cook for about 30 minutes at gas mark 4 or electric 350°F (180°C). The flavour is out of this world as the raspberries are so delicious without sugar added to them and the pudding served with Goats' cream is going to delight the whole family! I get requests to make this everytime my daughters come home from uni and the great thing is it is simple!