Tuesday 21 September 2010

The Preservation Of The Saints

We are exceedingly fond of preserves, chutneys and pickles in our family. Last year I made Norfolk Chutney, Rowan Jelly, Herb Vinegar and Plum Jam for Christmas presents


and Steph made some great Boxing Day Chutney [which could be eaten immediately- it didn’t need to mature for a month!]


Last week I was given a bag full of apples by a friend – so as well as three apple pies, I made some fruit chutney last night


I have decided this will probably be kept in my larder and should last us well through the next few months. But that doesn’t mean the jars shouldn’t have pretty little hats. You never know, I might need an impromptu gift sometime!

I was reading Cottonreel’s recent blogpost about her chutney, and I decided that her ‘non-recipe’ makes a lot of sense – use what you have to hand – I had lots of apples, some onions [red, and regular] one yellow pepper and four pears on the point of going soft, and a packet of dates [I chopped each date into three].

I combined the ingredients [fruit;sugar;vinegar] in the ratio of 8:1:1 [I had 1600gm fruit: 200 gm sugar: 200ml vinegar] in my big old pressure cooker pan. I brought the whole lot to the boil, then turned it down to a simmer, and cooked for about an hour [stirring frequently so it wouldn’t stick] I also stirred in a generous glug of “Balsamic vinegar with fig” which gave it a gloriously rich, brown colour. This made the eight small jars you see above. It should be ready by half term [so I shall take a jar to Cornerstones to enjoy when we are there for our autumn break]


I watched a brief “River Cottage Bites” programme the other day, where they made oatcakes. It looked ridiculously easy [once you have sourced the oatmeal] I think Bob would enjoy oatcakes, cheese and chutney for supper sometime.


  1. Oh very yum! Chutney always did feel heavy on the shopping list front- but this sounds good! Not ambitious enough for oatcakes though! The chess pieces are all yours! Alan Lorimer will be delighted his story goes inter-denominational! We belong to the only unified Aglican and Methodist church in Ireland, which takes its story of unity very seriously. He'll love the journey of the story!

  2. Hi Angela , I have been doing things with Blackberries and of course the apples, but I am now onto blackberry vinegar , lovely in the winter when your throat gets a bit dry , A glug in hot water,mmm. My mum used to put a knob of butter in a small liqueur glass with fruit vinegar , stand it on the hob to warm and give us that to help a sore throat , sometimes glycerine in it--cottonreel

    I bought a cheap brandy from Aldi , put blackberries and sugar in , capped it down in a Kilner jar , I will stir it occasinally .A little toddy at christmas, and the boozy fruit on ice cream or as a sorbie .

  3. Oatcakes are easy - I made them with the Nigella recipe, and just whizzed porridge oats in the processor until they were a suitably mealy texture. Give them a go!


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