Saturday, October 8, 2011

Apple and pear chutney

"Not impedimenta, sweetie. Expulso is the best!" Gemma is sitting on the sofa with her laptop, helping Sammy get to the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the Wii, Carmela is measuring herself against the doorpost to check whether she has grown in the last 3 days, and I am in the kitchen making chutney and listening to Fabrizio Andre singing Bocca di Rosa. (Si sa che la gente da buoni consigli se non piu puo dare cattivo esempio. People only give good advice when they can no longer set a bad example.)

Ingredients (makes slightly over 1 kg, enough to fill three 1 lb jars)
350ml cider vinegar
350g brown sugar
250g sultanas
4 tsps minced ginger
1kg cooking apples
400g pears
1 large onion
good pinch of salt
8 cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
20 coriander seeds
20 allspice berries

  1. Put the cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds and allspice berries in a muslin bag.
  2. Combine the vinegar, sugar, sultanas, ginger and salt into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and add the spices in their bag.
  3. Peel and roughly chop the onion, and add to the saucepan.
  4. Core and peel the apples and pears, chop roughly, add to the saucepan and mix well.
  5. Bring to boil, reduce heat to minimum and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, stirring frequently. When the chutney can be parted with a wooden spoon to reveal the bottom of the saucepan, it is ready.
  6. Transfer to sterilised jars, seal and store for at least 2 weeks (longer if possible).
Apple source
The apples for this recipe came from Bernie and Bruce, the parents of Sammy and Carmela's friend, Callum. They were knobbly little things (the apples, not Bernie and Bruce) but taste great.

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