West Ealing Abundance

The Abundance Wing of WEN. For further information click on About Abundance

Volunteering Weekend Saturday 19th/Sunday 20th September September 14, 2015

Pauly picking apples! And only 3 1/2 too!

Pauly picking apples! And only 3 1/2 too!

Hi all

We have some early apples to pick from our trees at Northfields allotments, so if you have any free time over this weekend why not drop me a line and let me know your availability. It doesn’t matter if you only have an hour, there’s still a lot of picking that can be done in this amount of time! Email Diane at wenabundance@gmail.com

 

WEN spiced apple chutney September 14, 2012

 

Please note: unlike standard recipes the apple quantities are net weights -AFTER chopping etc and are based on using a very large pan- 30 cm minimum in diameter

 Ingredients

 1.8 k of cooking apples (net weight)

600g of onions

200g sultanas (green or golden)

zest and juice of 1 large unwaxed lemon

500ml of white wine vinegar

500g of Demerara sugar

1 ½ tablespoons of prepared Baharatspice mix – Baharat spice mix from supermarkets is a good alternative)

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

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

Lightly oil the base of a large heavy based pan.  Put in the spice, add the chopped onion, apple, sultanas and lemon zest.  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.  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 90mins 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 pured 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.

 

Cottage Apple Chutney May 1, 2012

 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!

 

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!

 

Introduction to forest gardening course – 24th/25th March 2012 March 19, 2012

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The London Orchard Project
Calling all budding Forest Gardeners!

You might be interested in the following course, run by our friend Kevin Mascarenhas of Natural Flow Design.  For those not already familiar with the term, forest gardening is a holistic method of growing edible trees and perennials together in carefully designed spaces.  It’s perfect for urban food production as it makes optimal use of available space and once established Forest Gardens need minimal maintenance, making them great for busy city-folk.

24th-25th March 2012 at Hackney City Farm

An interactive course guiding you through the design of a food forest
using permaculture tools; learn to work with nature to create abundance.
The weekend will be led by Claire White & Kevin Mascarenhas.

The cost for the weekend is: £100 and £60 concessions. More details can be found here:

For bookings and more information, contact naturalflowdesign@gmail.com

 

London Orchard Project – Tree Grafting Workshop – Saturday 25th February 2012 February 20, 2012

This Saturday 25th Feb our friends at Stepney City Farm will be running a fruit tree grafting workshop.  Learn how to create a grafted fruit tree from nursery-grown root-stock and scion (cuttings) we’ve gathered from orchards across London.Grafting is the technique by which apple trees are propagated.  Through grafting we can combine the root-stock we want (which determines the health and eventual height of the tree) with our favourite apple varieties.  So come along to the farm and learn how to do this yourself.The workshop will be led by David Lopez of Stepney City Farm, and costs £5.  To book a place contact david@stepneycityfarm.org.

When: Saturday 25th February 2012,

Workshop 11am – 12pm (followed by optional volunteering session 1pm  – 4pm)

Where: Stepney City Farm, Stepney Way, London E1 3DG

Cost: £5 (£3 concessionary)

 

The London Orchard Project Needs Volunteers February 6, 2012

 
The London Orchard Project
 
Help us plant over 50 apple trees in a day

Bethlem Royal Hospital, Thurs 9th Feb 2012 – 10am to 3.30pm

Ola Tree Amigos!

So who wants to be part of our most ambitious orchard planting to date?  On Thursday 9th Feb we’ll be planting over 50 apple trees at Bethlem Royal Hospital.  If you’ve been following the project you may remember that we restored an orchard at this famous mental health hospital last year, along with service users as part of the hospital’s occupational therapy programme.

However there’s lots of gaps in the orchard where trees used to be, so we’re going back to continue the restoration through replanting.

We need 6 enthusiastic volunteers to help us plant the trees.  No prior experience is necessary, just a love of trees and willingness to learn.  The nearest station is Eden Park, which is around 30mins direct from Charing Cross, London Bridge and Cannon St, amongst other stations.

If you can help out please email David – david@thelondonorchardproject.org

Look forward to hearing from you,

David and all at the London Orchard Project