Wednesday 25 November 2015
Making Chutney for Christmas presents
First of all, my lovely sparkly lights bought with Christmas in mind. I decided to have them on tonight (they run off batteries) to give a bit of atmosphere as I was making the first of the Christmas gift preserves, some River Cottage Hearty Ale Chutney On the camera, before I downloaded this photo, it looked for all the world like I had captured a spooky ghost behind the lights, but of course it is just glare from them - although in a subsequent photo that didn't show at all . . .
This is the recipe from the River Cottage Preserves book (Pam Corbin's lovely recipes). I hope you can read it clearly, if not shout out and I will type it up. It was actually quite a clever recipe as it used 150g of tomato puree, which is of course a thickener and really helped to thicken this up whilst it was being cooked, besides adding flavour and colour to the mixture. I used apples from the garden, my own home grown garlic, and the rest of the swede is now chopped, blanched and in the freezer for Christmas as G likes it - you know, the really fussy daughter . . . .
Basic ingredients all in there, chopped up and sprinkled. Then came the vinegar.
Then a few good stirs to thoroughly combine the ingredients and a slow start so you can dissolve the sugar properly.
Nearly finished - a little faster temperature at the end to evaporate the last of the beer (I used a bottle of Newcastle Brown which had come from my friend Annie's - she was teetotal).
Here's the end result. A lovely reddy-brown colour from the tomato puree. Where possible I always use new lids (got from Lakeland I think) but some jars are a non-standard size so just have to have their own lid - scalded and heated - back on.
Tomorrow it's jam making and some Persimmon Curd. I'm looking forward to trying that.