The beginning of the new year has been a good time to do a thorough stock take and to start making more chutney.
Thank you to everyone who bought food from me in the run up to Christmas. I lost count of the number of Panforte and biscuits I made! Thank you also for the lovely comments – it is pleasing to hear that you enjoy eating the foods I have made as much as I have enjoyed making them.
I have made three chutneys so far this year
Apricot, apple and hazelnut which has cardamom seeds, ginger and mixed spice giving a crunchy texture and spicy fruit flavour
Plum, pear and apple with chilli and pepper giving a hot flavour
Pear and apple which is a classic chutney flavoured with cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
All three chutneys are maturing and will soon be ready to purchase. Those of you who are local to Southborough can buy a selection of my chutneys and jellies from Southborough Butchers on London Road. They all go well with cold meats and cheeses and can also be used to enrich casseroles and gravies.
September has been a busy month in the kitchen which has meant not enough time to write about what I have been making! I went fruit picking at the end of August, not sure whether the damsons would be ripe yet. They were – and I ended up picking quite a few. I love the dark purple skin with the dusky bloom – quite unlike other plums. They are quite tart raw, but when cooked with the other chutney ingredients, they produce a deep, concentrated flavour.
Since then, I have made three batches of Spiced Damson Chutney which is a firm family favourite – made with allspice berries, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. The chutney goes well with cheese or cold meats and can also be used as a sauce for duck.
Some cranberry sauces can be rather sweet. I like to make this compôte as it has a spicy tang and is not full of sugar. The cranberries are cooked with orange juice and zest, some red wine, cinnamon and cloves along with a little sugar and then port is stirred through to give it a rich flavour.
It tastes delicious with Christmas dinner as well as gammon and is equally good with cold meats, especially ham, for a Boxing Day spread. After opening, it should be kept in the fridge, but left unopened, it will last several months. The jars may contain whole cloves.
If you would like to order a jar, they cost £3.50 for 190ml.
It is also available in a 3 jar selection pack – try combining it with a spiced redcurrant jelly and an apple and sage jelly to give you accompaniments for various meats for £10.00.