Sunday, 25 September 2011

Green Tomato Chutney and Plum & Pear Jam

It's been a busy couple of days, I have some catching up to do.

However, before all that, this afternoon has been a very satisfying cookfest and as I'm particularly pleased with myself and the results here are the recipes!  

Pear and Plum Jam. 

I had a rare craving for both last week, which didn't last as long as they did!  So, after a quick Google to confirm that a) I wasn't mad and b) it would be possible, I came up with this.

Pears (peeled, cored and finely diced) and plums (destoned and cut into quarters) approx 800gms 
500gms jam sugar
1 knob vegan margarine
1/4 cup water

Everything went into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and was brought to boil for a 5 minutes.  Once cooked, I poured the mixture into a fine sieve sat in a bowl and pushed the majority of the pears and plums through (using a metal spoon) and the remainder was a smooth pulp.  Everything went back into the saucepan, pulp included, and brought back to boil for a couple of minutes, making sure the pulp was well stirred in and evenly distributed.  This was then poured into sterilised jars and sealed immediately.

* * * * * * *

Green Tomato Chutney.  

I started making chutneys and jams a couple of years ago when I began growing my own vegetables and it was my first summer when the tomatoes just would not ripen that I discovered Green Tomato Chutney.  I've made a few different recipes in the past, so off the back of a successful stab at my own jam (not exactly hard though I know!) I decided to get a little creative with my chutney.

Approx 600gms red and green tomatoes (my ratio was 20/80), quartered or halved dependent on size
Approx 250gms shallots, finely chopped
Approx 75gms dried cranberries (I am obsessed with cranberries at the moment, any excuse to use them will do!)
2 small green chillis, sliced
300gms suger (today I mixed 200gms golden granulated with 50gms dark brown)
300mls vinegar (could be white/red wine or cider but today all I had in the cupboard was 100ml red wine, 50ml rice and 150ml raspberry!)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 good pinch dried red chilli
A pinch of salt and a good pinch of ground pepper (I like to be generous with my pepper)

Everything, but the red tomatoes, went into a heavy bottomed saucepan.  I brought it to the boil and then simmered for 25 minutes.  I added the red tomatoes and kept it on the heat, stirring occasionally (I probably stir more than you should but I like to watch it turn!) until it was thick and dark and you could draw the wooden spoon down the middle of the pan and see the bottom (the lovely named "parting the waves" technique).  It was ladled into sterilised jars and sealed immediately.  Luckily there was a bit leftover... its good, spiced with a little kick (but not too much) and slightly wintery/Christmasy with the cranberries and hints of raspberry.

Oh, and then the rest of the peppers (there was a mix up, they should have been sweet reds, but I think they're jalepeno!) were pickled with peppercorns in boiled white wine vinegar.

A good afternoon's work... one I can appreciate in 6-8 weeks time!

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