Cottage Apple Chutney

 Ingredients

1.5 k of cooking apples

500g of onions

200g sultanas (green or golden)

2 un-waxed lemons

500ml of cider vinegar

400g of Demerara sugar

1 ½ tablespoons of Cottage spices

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

Spice mix

1 tsp ground Allspice

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

pinch of ground cloves (optional)

½  tablespoon mustard seed

¼  teaspoon sea salt (optional)

(1 teaspoon ground ginger if not using fresh ginger)

 

Wash, peel and core the apples and finely chop (quarter to half an inch square)

Peel and very finely chop the onions.  Thinly slice the lemon and remove the seeds.  Cut the slices into smallish pieces. Try to retain as much of the lemon juice from the chopped lemons as possible.

Add the spices, then the chopped onion, apple, sultanas and lemon to a large heavy based pan.

Add the vinegar and bring slowly to the boil.  Turn down and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes to soften the onion and apple and allow the sultanas to plump up.  Cook longer if there is a lot of liquid.

Add the sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved before bringing back to the boil.

Turn down and simmer very gently for at least 90 minutes cooking from this stage to develop flavours.   Stir every now and then to ensure it is not sticking.  (Sultanas BURN very quickly!!)  You will need to stir quite frequently as it thickens and nears completion (gently and slowly move the spoon around the base of the pan taking care not to break the surface of the mixture as it can spit quite violently).  It is ready when you can draw a spoon either across the base of the pan or through a spoonful of mixture on a plate and no watery liquid runs into the trail.  Or simply place a good spoonful of chutney on a plate and see if any liquid seeps out.  If it does, return to the pan and continue cooking.

Bottle in warm sterilised jars (chutney = square 200 jars).  Use a skewer or the thin handle of a long spoon, to remove the bubbles from the jar mixture.  Fill the jars to the base of the neck and add just a little more (½ teaspoon) as the mixture might shrink slightly when it cools.  Seal while hot.  Label when cold and store in a cool dark place.  Keep for a few months before opening to allow the flavours to develop.  Once open, store in a refrigerator.  It can be kept for 12-18 months.

Tips and tricks to avoid problems:

If after the sugar has been added, there seems to be an excess of liquid, simmer rapidly for a short period to remove some of the liquid.  Do not wait till the end as it will simply burn.  Extra liquid can come from  fruit which is very juicy/ripe.   Comic pears can be very juicy.

However, be careful not to remove too much liquid as the chutney needs to cook for at least 90 minutes after the sugar has been added to enable the flavours to mingle.  It is surprising how much liquid does evaporate at even a low cooking temperature.

Chutney is a balance of small soft pieces of fruit within a thickened sauce.  Be careful that all the fruit is not the type that does not breakdown.  If this happens you end up with pieces of fruit and a thin liquid which is never going to make a chutney.  I keep some “fluffed” apple – sort of pureed apple in the freezer so that I can add the odd spoon to thicken the liquid if this happens.  I freeze this as ice cubes as these are easier to incorporate from frozen.  If I am batch making over a few days and know I will need the apple, I make the pureed apple and keep in the fridge.   I tend to add in the last half hour of cooking.

Do NOT guess when the chutney looks ready.  Test and test again to ensure it is.  When cold, the chutney should be “set” but not hard.

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Highton – WEN Abundance chutney expert!

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WEN Spicy Apple Chutney

Ingredients

1.5 k of cooking apples

500g of onions

200g sultanas (green or golden)

Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon

500ml of white wine vinegar

500g of Demerara sugar

1 ½ tablespoons of Baharat spices + pinch of cayenne pepper.  (Supermarkets and specialists shops sell Baharat spice mix eg Barts Spice

Wash, peel and core the apples and finely chop.  If the skins are unblemished and pale in colour then do not bother peeling.

Peel and very finely chop the onions.  Zest and juice the lemon.

Put in the spices, add the chopped onion, apple, sultanas and lemon zest in a heavy based pan.  Add the vinegar plus the lemon juice and bring slowly to the boil.  Turn down and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes to soften the onion and apple and allow the sultanas to plump up.

Add the sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved before bringing back to the boil.

Turn down and simmer very gently for at least 90 minutes cooking from this stage to develop flavours.   Stir every now and then to ensure it is not sticking.  (Sultanas BURN very quickly!!)  You will need to stir quite frequently as it thickens and nears completion (gently and slowly move the spoon around the base of the pan taking care not to break the surface of the mixture as it can spit quite violently).  It is ready when you can draw a spoon either across the base of the pan or through a spoonful of mixture on a plate and no watery liquid runs into the trail.

Bottle in warm sterilised jars (chutney = square 200 jars).  Use a skewer or the thin handle of a long spoon, to remove the bubbles from the jar mixture.  Fill the jars to the base of the neck and add just a little more as the mixture might shrink slightly when it cools.  Seal while hot.  Label when cold and store in a cool dark place.  Keep for a few months before opening to allow the flavours to develop.  Once open, store in a refrigerator.  It can be kept for 12-18 months.

Tips and tricks to avoid problems:

If after the sugar has been added, there seems to be an excess of liquid, simmer rapidly for a short period to remove some of the liquid.  Do not wait till the end as it will simply burn.  Extra liquid can come from  fruit which is very juicy/ripe.

However, be careful not to remove too much liquid as the chutney needs to cook for at least  90 minutes after the sugar has been added to enable the flavours to mingle.  It is surprising how much liquid does evaporate at even a low cooking temperature.

Chutney is a balance of small soft pieces of fruit within a thickened sauce.  Be careful that all the fruit is not the type that does not breakdown.  If this happens you end up with pieces of fruit and a thin liquid which is never going to make a chutney.  I keep some “fluffed” apple – sort of pureed apple in the freezer so that I can add the odd spoon to thicken the liquid if this happens.  I freeze this as ice cubes as these are easier to incorporate from frozen.  If I am batch making over a few days and know I will need the apple, I make the pureed apple and keep in the fridge.   I tend to add in the last half hour of cooking.  I also cut down the amount of apple that I have added at the beginning.

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Highton – WEN Abundance chutney maker extraordinare!

Abundance produce for sale – Hanwell Carnival 18th June 2011

A date for your diary – 18th June 2011

After a lovely day at Hanwell Carnival last year, WEN will have an Abundance stall again this year. The Carnival takes place on Saturday 18th June, and with this year’s craft fair expanding there will be lots of lovely things to choose from.

So why not join us on the day? Enjoy the carnival and have a look at what WEN Abundance do, what we produce and talk to us about what grows near to you.

http://www.hanwellcarnival.co.uk/

 

Pear & Ginger Chutney

Ingredients

1.5kg pears, cored and chopped (peel if skins are hard or marked)
500g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
200g raisins
2/3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
500ml vinegar- 50/50 cider and white wine vinegar
2/3tblsp grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon mace
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
400g soft brown sugar or for a darker colour substitute 100g with Demerara sugar

Place prepared pears and apples plus raisins, garlic and vinegar in a heavy based pan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 10-15mins until the fruit begins to soften.

Add the ginger and spices and cook for another 15 minutes. Timing depends on how quickly the fruit breaks down, so longer cooking may be required.

Add the sugar a little at a time and stir until all has dissolved.

Simmer very gently until the chutney has thickened, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. You will need to do this quite frequently as it nears completion. It is ready when you can draw a spoon either across the base of the pan or through a spoonful of mixture on a plate and no watery liquid runs into the trail.

Bottle in warm sterilised jars, fill the jars a little fuller than usual as the mixture will shrink slightly when it cools then seal. Label when cold and store in a cool dark place. Keep for a few months before opening to allow the flavours to develop. Once open, store in a refrigerator. It can be kept for 12-18 months.

Tips:
1. If after the sugar has been added, there is quite a bit of liquid, simmer rapidly for a short period to remove some of the liquid. However, be careful not to remove too much as the chutney needs to cook for at least 60-90mins to enable the flavours to mingle.

St James Craft Fair Saturday 27th November 10am – 4pm

Final plans are in place for this year’s craft fair. I’m sure if you haven’t thought of your Xmas shopping yet you’ll find lots of gifts here to make your life a lot easier! WEN Abundance will have our stall again and this year we have pulled out all the stops to ensure we have lots of stock to sell as well as many new delicious flavours to choose from. So if you want locally produced jam/jelly/marmalade and chutney picked from the local area then come along and visit the stall – you won’t be disappointed!

plum chutney

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2+ hours
Makes: about 2 litres

2kg eating plums, de-stoned and cut into quarters
450g cooking apples, cored but not peeled, and chopped finely.
450g onions, chopped finely
300g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
200g raisins or sultanas
1 litre white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
250g soft brown sugar
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon ground allspice,
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,
3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
8 juniper berries, using a mortar and pestle, roughly grind the juniper and peppercorns together
10-12 black peppercorns

1.Grease the base of the pan lightly with oil or butter. Combine all the ingredients in a large heavy bottomed pan. Stir over a low heat without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.

2.Bring slowly to a gentle boil. Immediately turn down the heat to a very gently simmer [with tiny bubbles just breaking the surface], uncovered, for about 2+ hours until the mixture has broken down and thickened, and no excess liquid remains [see below]. Stir occasionally early in the cooking to check the mixture is not sticking or burning but stir frequently in the last hour of the cooking time as this chutney does stick easily.

3.When ready spoon the chutney into warmed sterilized jars. Save some in a small jar to use to test the taste over time. Use a skewer or the long handle of a spoon to remove any air bubbles. Cover with a lid and seal immediately.

4.Leave to cool. Label and store in a cool dark place and leave to mature for at least 2-3 months before eating. Best used within 12 months of making. Once open, store in the refrigerator.

5.Alternative version. Damsons can be used and, depending how sweet they are, you may need to use additional sugar – that is between 250g used above and 450g if the damsons are quite sharp.

Tips:

• Chutneys, which are made from vegetables, fruit, sugar, spices and vinegar, are cooked until very thick and the cooking is long and slow. Leave for 2-3 months before eating to allow the flavours to develop.

• Make sure your pan is large enough and preferably, is heavy-based. Do not leave vegetables or vinegar standing in aluminium pans for more than an hour.

• Vinegar- use a good quality vinegar with at least 4% acetic acid [can be malt, white or red wine vinegar]. Cheap vinegars do not contain enough acetic acid to act as a preservative.

• Sugar is not simply a sweetener but is also a preservative when used in high concentration as it acts to stop the development and growth of micro-organisms. Brown or white sugar is used in chutneys- brown sugar simply gives a richer flavour and colour.

• Bottle [jars]- check there are no chips or cracks. Wash bottles and lids in a dishwasher or hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry and sterilise the bottles in the oven. Place on a baking tray and leave in an oven [preheated to 120 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark ½ ] for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

• Cooking times can vary depending on the size of pan used, fruit and vegetables used, whether they are in season, their water content, how gentle the simmering etc.

• Stirring- chutneys must be stirred often to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. Stir across the base of the pan not just around the edge.

• Test for when ready to bottle – place a spoonful of mixture on a plate. Draw the spoon though and the trail left should be clean without any runny liquid. Keep cooking till you achieve this. Alternatively just draw the spoon across the base of the pan. Remember chutneys thick when they cool.

apricot and ginger chutney 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Makes: 1.2 litres

500g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks
500g apricots, pitted and chopped [see below if using dried apricots]
240g or 2 medium onions, chopped
400ml white wine vinegar
300g soft brown or Demerara [raw] sugar
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Grease the base of the pan lightly with oil or butter. Combine the vinegar, sugar, garlic, mustard, ginger, cumin, coriander and cardamom in the pan. Stir over a low heat without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Stir in the apples, apricots and onions.

3. Bring to the boil, then very gently simmer the mixture, uncovered, for about 60 minutes, or until thick and pulpy, and no excess liquid remains [see below]. Stir occasionally early in the cooking to check the mixture is not sticking or burning but stir more frequently towards the end of the cooking time.

4.When ready spoon the chutney into warmed sterilized jars. Use a skewer or the long handle of a spoon to remove any air bubbles. Cover with a lid and seal immediately.

5. Leave to cool. Label and store in a cool dark place and leave to mature for at least 2 months before eating. Use within 12months of making. Once open, store in the refrigerator and use within 6 weeks.

Tips:

• Chutneys, which are made from vegetables, fruit, sugar, spices and vinegar, are cooked until very thick and the cooking is long and slow. They need to be left for 2 months before eating to allow the flavours to develop.

• Make sure your pan is large enough and preferably, is heavy-based. Do not leave vegetables or vinegar standing in aluminium pans for more than an hour.

• Vinegar- use a good quality vinegar with at least 4% acetic acid [can be malt, white or red wine vinegar]. Cheap vinegars do not contain enough acetic acid to act as a preservative.

• Sugar is not simply a sweetener but is also a preservative when used in high concentration as it acts to stop the development and growth of micro-organisms. Brown or white sugar is used in chutneys- brown sugar simply gives a richer flavour and colour.

• Bottle [jars]- check there are no chips or cracks. Wash bottles and lids in a dishwasher or hot soapy water and rinse well. Dry and sterilise the bottles in the oven. Place on a baking tray and leave in an oven [preheated to 120 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark ½ ] for 20 minutes or until ready to use.

• Cooking times can vary depending on the size of pan used, fruit and vegetables used, whether they are in season, their water content, how gentle the simmering etc.

• Stirring- chutneys must be stirred often to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. Stir across the base of the pan not just around the edge.

• Test for when ready to bottle – place a spoonful of mixture on a plate. Draw the spoon though and the trail left should be clean without any runny liquid. Keep cooking till you achieve this. Alternatively just draw the spoon across the base of the pan.

• Alternative version: You can use dried apricots or a mix of fresh and dried. Before cooking, soak the apricots in water over night. Drain and use as per the recipe.

classic apple, date & walnut chutney 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1- 1.5 hours
Makes: 1.75 litres

3 large brown onions, chopped
1.2kg [2lb 6oz] cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks
400g [13oz] dried dates, chopped
125gm [4oz] walnuts, chopped
315ml [10 fl oz] white wine vinegar
120ml [4 tablespoons] apple balsamic [or plain balsamic vinegar]
125g [4oz] soft brown or Demerara [raw] sugar
4 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
215ml [6fl oz] water

1. Grease the base of the pan lightly with oil or butter. Combine the vinegar, sugar, ginger, cumin seeds and water in the pan. Stir over a low heat without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Stir in the apples, dates, onions and walnuts.

3. Bring to the boil, then very gently simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 60-90 minutes, or until thick and pulpy, and no excess liquid remains [see below]. Stir occasionally early in the cooking to check the mixture is not sticking or burning but stir more frequently towards the end of the cooking time.

4.When ready spoon the chutney into warmed sterilized jars. Use a skewer or the long handle of a spoon to remove any air bubbles. Cover with a lid and seal immediately.

5. Leave to cool. Label and store in a cool dark place and leave to mature for at least 2 months before eating. Use within 12months of making. Once open, store in the refrigerator and use within 6 weeks.

Tips:

• Chutneys, which are made from vegetables, fruit, sugar, spices and vinegar, are cooked until very thick and the
cooking is long and slow. They need to be left for 2 months before eating to allow the flavours to develop.
• Make sure your pan is large enough and preferably, is heavy-based. Do not leave vegetables or vinegar standing in
aluminium pans for more than an hour.
• Vinegar- use a good quality vinegar with at least 4% acetic acid [can be malt, white or red wine vinegar]. Cheap
vinegars do not contain enough acetic acid to act as a preservative.
• Sugar is not simply a sweetener but is also a preservative when used in high concentration as it acts to stop the
development and growth of micro-organisms. Brown or white sugar is used in chutneys- brown sugar simply gives a
richer flavour and colour.
• Bottle [jars]- check there are no chips or cracks. Wash bottles and lids in a dishwasher or hot soapy water and
rinse well. Dry and sterilise the bottles in the oven. Place on a baking tray and leave in an oven [preheated to 120
degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark ½ ] for 20 minutes or until ready to use.
• Cooking times can vary depending on the size of pan used, fruit and vegetables used, whether they are in season,
their water content, how gentle the simmering etc.
• Stirring- chutneys must be stirred often to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. Stir across the
base of the pan not just around the edge.
• Test for when ready to bottle – place a spoonful of mixture on a plate. Draw the spoon though and the trail left
should be clean without any runny liquid. Keep cooking till you achieve this. Alternatively just draw the spoon
across the base of the pan.
• Alternative versions: For a change you can substitute dried prunes or raisins for the dates; or white mustard seeds
for the cumin seeds. You could add ground ginger [3 teaspoons] or chilli [2 small fresh red chillies finely sliced].

WEN Recipe: October 2009