Thursday, 21 October 2010

Making Autumn Chutney

Having bought more Bramley apples than I needed for my recent blackberry and apple jam making, I thought it would be a good idea to use the left-overs in a chutney. In Good Old-Fashioned Jams, Preserves and Chutneys by Sara Paston-Williams, published by the National Trust, there's a very simple recipe for Autumn Chutney; if you have any windfall apples or pears, this a great way to use them up.

The ingredients are ...

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1lb of cooking pears, peeled, cored and diced
1lb of cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced
Grated rind and juice on one lemon
Half a pint of malt vinegar
Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Large pinch of ground ginger
Large pinch of ground cloves
8oz of soft brown sugar

... and the method is: Cook the onions in boiling water for five minutes to soften them, then drain. Put the pears, apples, onions, lemon rind, vinegar and spices into a large pan, then cook them over a low heat for about twenty minutes.

Stir in the sugar and lemon juice and continue to cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently, then bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for about an hour until the mixture thickens. To tell when the chutney is cooked, make a channel right across the surface with a wooden spoon; if this does not fill with vinegar, then it is ready.

Spoon into warm, sterilized jars, filling them up to the rim, and seal. Store for at least one month to mature before using.

Top left & right: The left-over Bramley apples; The apples diced; Bottom left & right: The pears peeled and ready to dice; The finished chutney waiting to be spooned into jars.

The finished chutney filled five, 7oz, jars ...

I've not yet opened a jar of the chutney but I can say that it tasted fine before it was put into its jars.

I find making jams, jellies, marmalades, and now chutney, particularly satisfying and it's a great diversion on a miserable autumn day. My friends also seem happy to receive and enjoy the gift of a jar of something homemade and some of my production this autumn will be used as stocking fillers at Christmas.

I recycle a lot of jars, and friends and neighbours keep me going with jar donations, but I do buy new tops and other jars from the Jam Jar Shop. The friendly and helpful people there have a great selection of glass ware, equipment, accessories and even ingredients; I particularly like their 7oz jars, used here for the Autumn Chutney. It's easy to order on line and orders are fulfilled and delivered quickly and in tact.


kirstallcreatures said...

YUM! I do enjoy your jam and chutney updates. We tend to make a lot of gooseberry chutney as a result of the excess fruits from the allotment. Its such a lovely accompaniment to meals and so much nicer than bought chutney. Mind you I can highly recommend Betty's Fig chutney and their Onion chutney too. Hve a good weekend, Linda

Emma Anderson said...

Thanks Linda. I had hoped to do a piece on my recent Apple and Blackberry jam making but the pictures weren't great.

ST said...

If you have the room get yourself a bramley apple tree) ( the medium stock type, i think it's M26.
I planted mine six/seven years ago.
The crop it now yields is unbelievable.

Emma Anderson said...

Thanks Steve: I'll look into your suggestion. It is something I've been thinking about.

ST said...

Hi Emma,
My garden is about 60 x 30 feet. I have three apple trees, two eating and one cooking.
They are all in one corner and don't take up, much of the garden.
But be careful when you get your apple tree(s). They are grouped by flowering period(types 1,2,3.). You need to keep to the same/adjoining groups, for better fruit production.