It's been a very long time since I posted a new recipe and I'm now standing, rather embarrassed, in the ruins of another of my 'good ideas'!
Life got in the way, but I think I also made things a little too difficult for myself, in deciding to take the step-by-step photos in my own kitchen. This was a project that was consuming days, not hours! My worst moment was when the camera smashed on the tiles of the kitchen floor as I rushed around sweating just before Christmas 2013 - it's still tied up with sellotape and regularly misbehaves. (Nick effected a repair but - as often happens - it broke again the minute he left the house.)
I'd love to have been a foodie/gardening photographer, but sadly it ain't happening in this lifetime ... Instead I'm going easier on myself and I'll be reducing the number of pictures from my own kitchen, as well as passing on non-French recipes that I've enjoyed.
Today the recipe posted is from a 1980s Marks & Spencer's recipe book called Home Preserves. Unfortunately I was busy testing the recipe in August because I lost all my tomatoes to the evil, blight-laden rain and fog early in the month. Growing tomatoes in the open here is impossible; after 3 years the evidence is incontrovertible. The only fruits to be rescued were green - and are now living in jars in our cellar.
The image to the left is of my beautiful tomatoes before they were 'blighted'. Aren't those spirals beautiful, and what about that clever bean tripod? Fortunately we did get lots of French beans, although I'm still scraping their sticky leaves off more than one old sweatshirt.
500g cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
500g onions, peeled and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
1 x 15ml spoon salt
1 x 15ml spoon pickling spice
25g root ginger, roughly chopped
500g sugar, brown or white
Place the tomatoes, apples and onions in a large pan with the garlic (if using), sultanas and salt. Tie the pickling spice, ginger and chilli in a muslin bag and add to the pan. Add half the vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then simmer for 1 hour or until the vegetables are reduced to a pulp and the mixture is thick.
Dissolve the sugar in the remaining vinegar and add to the chutney. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently, or until the chutney is thick.
Remove the muslin bag and spoon the chutney, while still hot, into the prepared jars. Seal with airtight, vinegar-proof covers. Makes about 2.5 kg.
The only tricky thing about recreating this delicious recipe was finding the muslin. Does anyone sell it anymore? Delighted to say that I was also able to use my own chillis and onions. Currently the chutney is being enjoyed almost daily with a nice cheddar (the cheddar is a bad British habit that I do my best to disguise from my more discerning neighbours). Bon appetit!