WEN spiced apple chutney


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


 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.


London Orchard Project – Tree Grafting Workshop – Saturday 25th February 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

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

-3.5c and we were still up for pruning our West Ealing Orchard

Oh yes we at WEN Abundance and Ealing Transition are a hardy lot!  We braved the freezing cold on Saturday 4th February to be part of a pruning workshop at our lovely little Orchard at Walmer Gardens. The London Orchard Project are doing a fantastic job helping us and brought in an expert to guide us through the day.

With some dedicated volunteers and support – including Jon Skoyles, Ealing Park Ranger, this Orchard has undergone a complete transformation. It will take a couple more years of pruning, planting and caring for the place but we know it will be worth bringing this place back to life.

Next up is the beehive Ealing Transition will be setting up around April – I’ll let you know exact dates when confirmed should anyone be interested in coming along.

Here are some pictures of the day.

The London Orchard Project – Volunteers sought 11th January 2012

    Putting together tree packs

The London Orchard Project are looking for a couple of people to help  put together tree packs following their Apple Day tree planting workshops. They will be assembling the packs at the beautiful Camley Street Natural Park near Kings Cross, and you can grill Lewis and David on any fruit-tree related questions while you work.  The resulting packs will be collected for planting by over 50 people who attended the workshops back in October, resulting in a greener, more fruitful London.

Where: Camley Street Natural Park, 12 Camley St, London N1C 4PW
When: Wed 11th Jan, 10.30am-4pm

To help out or for further details contact david@thelondonorchardproject.org

West Ealing Family Day – Saturday 24th September 2011 10am – 4pm

Come along on the 24th September 2011 from 10am - 4pm

A fantastic day for all the family this Saturday, our second West Ealing Family Day. This year is bigger and better than last year, some highlights:

St Johns Church – Mattock Lane – The Church has their open day, climb up the tower and see Ealing at its best

Farmers Market – Leeland Road – Celebrating its 10th year and extended to 2pm. There will be a kids cookery school.

Melbourne Avenue (outside Sainsbury’s) Live music, food, stalls including Ealing Transition, WEN, Dr Bike, kids activities and treasure hunt.

St James Church & Avenue – Craft Fair, Abundance stall, classic British motorcycle display, Opera Viscera children’s workshop at 1pm, full performance at 3.15pm.  Oddfellows folk band, Cafe and children’s activities.

The weather looks like it’s going to be great too – a perfect day out so please come along and support your local community.

Don’t forget Pitshanger Party in the Park on Sunday 26th June 1pm-5pm

Grape Jelly

Let’s hope the sun will shine for everyone on Sunday so we all have a fabulous day.

Last chance to buy our elderflower cordial for 2011 – priced at £2.50.  We are also promoting as many uses as possible for our delicious grape jelly – have it on toast, with sausages, chicken or cheese: You can even stir into gravy! £2.50 for a jar – and it will go a long way.

See you there…

Christmas Craft Market on Saturday 4th December in Melbourne Avenue, West Ealing 10am – 4pm

Following on from the very successful Arts and Crafts Fair WEN has organised a Christmas Craft Fair in Melbourne Avenue. There will be stalls selling a range of goods including:

* jewellery
* glassware
* African art
* wooden gifts
* clothing
* embroidery
* cakes …and more

If you missed the Arts and Crafts Fair or just need a few ideas for Christmas presents do please come along.