Monday, 10 October 2011

Norfolk Autumn chutney

The Apple Orchard

This weekend became a rescue operation in more than one way. Not only were we gathering the last of the fallen apples but just as I was leaving the countryside, we realised one of the cats were missing. With one cat already in the car and a sally dog by my feet we began our pursuit of the missing cat. After spying her in the distance I did what I thought was clever planning and organised a  nifty leap over a wire fence to get into the field beyond - this wasn't so clever afterall as instead of the green grass I  looked down to find myself stuck to the fence, with a rip in my trouser and surrounded my stinging nettles. Whilst I tried to untangle myself, the cat elegantly walked past, through a gap in the fence, back into the garden. I'm pretty certain I saw her smirk as she passed by too.

Finally in the car, loaded with two cats, a dog, hundreds of apples and pears and a lots of jars of home-made chutney. 

Here is a recipe for you to try.

Norfolk Autumn chutney

Norfolk Autumn Chutney
This  spicy chutney is the ideal way of using up a glut of autumn fruit and veg. You can vary the quantities, adding more or less of each ingredient, depending on what is available.  Cut away any bruises on the windfalls, and keep the ratio of fruit/vinegar/ sugar the same.

2 kg windfall apples
500 g pears
250 g plums or greengages, stoned and halved
250 g tomatoes, quartered
1 kg onions, peeled and chopped
1 lb marrow, peeled and cut in small cubes
250 g seedless raisins and/or sultanas
250 g soft brown sugar
900 ml malt vinegar
2 tsp salt
Pickling spices, tied in muslin: 6 cloves, 10 peppercorns, ½ cinnamon stick, piece of mace, 5 allspice, ½ cm root ginger, peeled and chopped.
1 tsp cayenne
Cut away any bruises; peel and chop the fruit.
Place the chopped onions in a large, heavy-based saucepan, cover with water and simmer for about 15 minutes, to soften. Drain and return to the pan.
Add the chopped fruit and marrow, and the raisins and/or sultanas.
Add half the vinegar and the spices.
Bring to the boil,  turn down the heat and simmer until the fruit is tender, about 1 hour, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking.
Add the sugar, salt and the rest of the vinegar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Cook gently until thick for another hour or so, stirring from time to time.
Remove the spices in muslin,and discard.
Warm about 10 clean jars and, while the chutney is still hot, spoon it into the jars. Cover quickly with wax circles and cellophane rings, and seal with the lid. (You can buy these in many household stores). Label the jars with the date.
You may want to eat the chutney at once but, to get the best flavour, leave it to mature for a month or two.

No comments:

Post a Comment