Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Spiced Plum Chutney

What to do with Alex Light's plums? First off I made some Spiced Plum Chutney last night, which disappointingly only gave me three jars. Still, a little pokey for now - you're to leave this for 4-6 weeks in a cool, dark cupboard before opening. And apparently it's very good with mackerel!

Recipe: Best-kept Secrets of the Women's Institute: Jams, Pickles & Chutneys by Midge Thomas

675g (1 1/2 lb) plums, stoned and quartered
450g (1 lb) onions, chopped
225g (8 oz) cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
300ml (1/2 pint) pickling vinegar
115g (4 oz) sultanas
175g (6 oz) soft brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick

1. Place all ingredients in a large preserving pan. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until the chutney is thick and pulpy.

2. Spoon into cooled, sterilised jars and seal with a vinegar-proof cover (see pages 16 and 22). Label and store for at least 4-6 weeks before use.

* I actually swapped this and made up a basic spiced vinegar instead of using pickling vinegar here, recipe below (courtesy of the chaps at River Cottage):

2 pints cider vinegar
2 inch cinnamon stick
1 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp mace blades
1 tbsp allspice berries
1 tbsp peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar

Method 1: Put all flavourings in a bottle and pour in the vinegar. Seal and leave for 1-2 months, shaking the bottle occasionally. This gives the finest results.

Method 2: To spice the vinegar quickly, place the vinegar and spices in a saucepan, cover and bring up to the boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave the steep for 2 to 3 hours, then strain.

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