There is so much fruit to enjoy now that to be able to store and enjoy some all winter is a bonus. Here are some recipes to make good use of your pickings…
- 1Kg pears – peeled, cored and chopped
- 250ml malt vinegar
- 100g granulated sugar
- 100g dark brown soft sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30mins
Ready in 45 mins.
1. In a saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30mins stirring frequently until pears are tender.
2. Immediately spoon chutney into hot, sterilised jars and seal.
3. Once cooled store in a cool, dark place. Open jars easily. Keeps for 3-4 weeks in the fridge.
If you don’t already have jam jars we have a very good selection of Ball Preserving jars and accessories. 6 x 190ml preserving jars £12.99. When out and about you might come across a damson tree (wild plums) in the hedgerow even better after a frost. Pick them, they make the best jam (and cordial) it is very easy – here is how…
- 1kg Damsons
- 300ml water
- 1.3kg jam sugar
1. Wash and wipe damsons, remove stalks. Place in a large, wide pan with the water. Simmer gently until soft. Press damsons against the side of the pan as they cook to release the stones. Use a slotted spoon to remove stones.
2. Simmer until reduced by about half.
3. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved, then bring to the boil and let boil rapidly for a bout 10 mins until jam sets when tested. To test for setting point use a sugar thermometer – setting point is at 105°C. Place a saucer in the freezer. When jam has boiled for 5 mins, dollop a teaspoon of jam onto the cooled saucer and return to freezer, after a couple of minutes run a finger through the jam, it should wrinkle and feel thick. If not continue boiling for a couple of minutes on a low heat. Keep testing.
4. Allow to cool for 10 min, remove the scum with a slotted spoon. Pour into warm sterilised jars, fill tight up to the top then cover immediately with waxed discs and cellophane tops or lids.
5. It will keep up to a year in a cool, dark place.
Here is one of my favourite recipes for pickled vegetables…
- 1 green courgette
- 1 yellow courgette
- 250g baby onions
- 1 garlic clove
- 500g cherry tomatoes
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- ½ fresh red chilli
- 300ml granulated sugar
- 200ml spirit vinegar 12%
- 200ml water
- 4 bay leaves
- 75ml yellow mustard grains
- 1tbsp allspice grains
Rinse and slice the courgettes. Peel the onion and garlic. Divide the garlic into cloves. Rinse the tomatoes and remove the stalks. Prick them with a fork or roll them against a grater to puncture the skin. Rinse the thyme and chilli. Deseed the chilli and cut It into fine stripes. Layer the vegetables in warm, sterilised jars. Add the thyme sprigs and chilli. Combine all the ingredients for the pickling liquid in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour the liquid over the vegetables in the jars. Seal tightly. Leave to stand for a week before using.
Enjoy with any meal or cheese.