As the festive season approaches, early preparation sees the shelves of the larder filled with tasty accompaniments, including fruit-filled chutney in anticipation of the Christmas feast, or given as a welcome edible gift.
400g whole dried figs, halved
1 Bramley apple, cored and chopped into small pieces
1 onion, peeled and chopped into chunks
200g dried apricots, chopped
5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
300g soft brown sugar
zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 tsp ground cloves
300ml distilling vinegar
salt and pepper
4 x 200g sterilised jars and lids
Place the fig and apple pieces in a large saucepan, then add the onion. Add the raisins, apricots, ginger, sugar, orange zest and juice, cloves, whisky and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly to combine, then bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 mins, then bring to the boil. Hold on a rolling boil, stirring, for 40 mins until the chutney is thick and glossy.
Fill the jars with the chutney, then secure the lids tightly. Keep in a cool, dry place and open after 1 month. Store in the fridge after opening and discard after 3 months if not finished.
More recipes for delicious Christmas edible gifts in the November 2019 issue of LandScape magazine...
Cranberry and pine gin
Chilli and spice jelly
2.5kg Bramley apples
1.2kg light, soft brown sugar
1 red chilli (optional)
1.2 litres cider vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
40g fresh root ginger
½ tbsp sea salt
Core and chop the apples into small chunks. Zest and juice the lemon. Place the zest and apple into a large saucepan, stirring in the lemon juice. Add the sugar and 200ml of cold water and stir thoroughly. Heat through, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the apples are glossy. Trim and half the chilli lengthways. Add the chilli halves, cider vinegar, cinnamon sticks and star anise to the apple mixture. Bring to the boil.
Peel the ginger, then grate into the saucepan. Add the salt and 1 tbsp of roughly cracked peppercorns. Stir thoroughly and simmer for 4 hrs until thick and sticky.
Transfer to sterilised jars. Place a wax disc on top of the chutney and seal with a sterilised lid. Keep in a cool, dark place for 1 month before opening.
Other chutney recipes in our Sept/Oct 2016 issue: