A glut of fruit & veg

plums This time of year there is always a glut of at least one fruit or vegetables & it is such a pity to waste them if you have grown them If you grow your own you get more & more that you hate waste.Try a few of my recipes for excess fruit & vegetables.Try my plum ketchup.



This is a favourite of mine & if I have not enough plums given to me I will buy them for this recipe.I do not grow my own but will often swap for cabbages etc!.It is great with sausages & will keep for at least a year.

Makes 2 litres

8lb /3.6kg plums

8oz /225 gms currants

1lb onions/450gms onions (chopped small)

2pints/1.2litres distilled white vinegar

2oz /50gms coarse salt

1lb /450gms brown sugar

Tie the following spice in a piece of gauze.

6 – 8 dried chillies

1 tbs black peppercorns

1 tbs mustard seeds

half oz /10g root ginger


  • Remove stones from fruit & place in a large pan with with currants,onions and the bag of spices.Add half the vinegar bring to the boil & simmer & gently cover for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft.

  • Remove the bag of spices,place the contents of the pan into a liquidiser & blend till smooth (if necessary sieve as well)Rince out the pan & return the puree & the bag of spices to it adding the salt,sugar & remain vinegar.

  • Bring to simmering point & cook uncovered for 1 & half – 2 hours or until it has reduced to about 3 & half litres or 2 pints

  • stir now & again to prevent sticking.

Pour into sterilised jars & seal.



This relish has such a lovely colour & is great with burgers & sausages.

Makes about 1kg/2 1/4 lb

6 large corn on cob (you can use tinned or frozen)

10 oz white cabbage chopped finely

2 small onions finely chopped

475 ml/16fl oz distilled malt vinegar

200g/7 oz light brown sugar

1 red or green pepper finely chopped

5ml/1tsp salt

15ml/1tbs plain flour

5ml/1tsp mustard powder

2.5ml/1/2 tsp turmeric


  • Put the corn in a pan of boiling water & cook for 2 minutes,drain & when cool strip the kernals from the cobs. If using frozen or tinned omit this bit.

  • put the kernals in a pan with the cabbage & onions.Reserve 30ml/2tbs of the vinegar then add the rest to the pan with the sugar.

  • Slowly bring to the boil,stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.Simmer for 15 minutes.

  • Add the pepper & simmer for a further 10 minutes.

  • Blend the salt,flour,mustard and turmeric with the reserved vinegar to make a smooth paste.

  • Stir the paste into the vegetable mixture & bring back to the boil.Simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

  • Spoon the relish into warm sterilised jars,cover & seal.

Use within 6 months of making & once opened store in the fridge & use within 2 months.



This is a mild fruity British chutney.You can make it with a combination of apples & pears instead of just apples…Great with cheese.

Makes about 2k/4lb.

1.25kg/2 1/2lb under ripe cooking apples (windfalls are good)peeled ,cored & & chopped.

625g/1 1/4lb onions coarsely chopped.

2 lemons finely sliced into semi circles.

300g/10oz raisins.

500ml/17fl oz cider vinegar

400g/13oz dark brown sugar

1tbs salt

1tsp ground ginger

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground turmeric.


  • Put the apples,onions,lemons,raisins & vinegar in the preserving pan.Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until the apples are soft but still have some texture.

  • Add the sugar stirring until it has dissolved.Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes until most of the liquid has dissolved and the mixture is thick.

  • Re3move from the heat,add the salt & spices.

  • Ladle into hot sterilised jars & seal.The chutney will be ready to eat in a month (if you can wait that long)

  • Shelf life about 1 year.



Small bunch of mint

a few strips of lemon rind

1kg/2lb apples coarsly chopped.

1.75 litres 3 pints water or dry cider

granulated sugar

juice of 1 lemon

3 – 4 tbs finely chopped mint


  • Tie the lemon rind & mint together with string.Put in the preserving pan with the apples and 1.25 litres/2 pints of the water or cider.

  • Bring to the boil ,then simmer , stirring occasionally or until the apples are pulpy.Pour into a jelly bag.Leave for 2 – 3 hours or until it stops dripping.

  • Remove the pulp from the jelly bag and return it to the clean pan.Add the remaining water or cider.Bring to the boil ,then simmer for 20 minutes.Drain through the jelly bag as before.

  • Combine the two batches of juice and measure it.Allow 500g/1lb sugar for every 500ml/17fl oz juice.Pour the juice into a cleaned preserving pan & add the lemon juice.

  • Bring to the boil & boil for about 10 minutes.Add the sugar stirring until it has s,and boil rapidly for 8 – 10 minutes or until setting point has reached.

  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.Stir in the chopped mint,then pour into sterilised jars and leave to cool completely.

  • Cover each jar with a waxed paper disc,then seal.

  • There is no need to core the apples if chopped by hand.If you are using a processor,remove the cores first as broken pips can impart a bitter flavour to the jelly.Remember to put the cores in the pan with the apples as they contain a large amount of pectin.



This recipe belongs to a family of fresh salad like chutneys that are served to refresh the palette.Grated apple or carrot can beused instead of onion.

500g/1lb sweet purple or white onions,sliced into thin rings.

1 tbs salt

1 – 2 fresh green or red chillies deseeded & finely chopped.

3 tbs white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

2 tbs chopped mint or coriander


  • Put the onion rings in a colander & sprinkle with the salt.Mix well & leave to drain for about 1 hour.

  • Squeeze the onion to extract as much moisture as possible,then mix with the other ingredients

  • Leave to stand for 1 hour to let the flavours develop.

  • The chutney is ready immediately but will only keep for 1 week refrigerated.



For this recipe you can use any plums you like ,but as plums soften easily make sure you choose very firm fruit.

Makes about 900g/2lb

900g/2lb firm plums

150ml/1/4 pint apple juice

450ml/3/4 pint cider vinegar

2.5ml/1/2 tsp salt

8 allspice berries

2.5cm/1inch root ginger cut into match stick pieces

4 bay leaves

675g/1 1/2lb granulated sugar


  • Wash the plums,then prick them once or twice using a wooden cocktail stick(toothpick)

  • Put the apple juice ,vinegar,salt,allspice berries,ginger & bay leaves in a preserving pan

  • Add the plums to the pan & slowly bring to the boil.

  • Reduce the heat & simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the plums are just tender.

  • Remove the plums with a slotted spoon & pack them into hot sterilised jars.Add the sugar to the pan & stir over a low heat until dissolved.

  • Boil steadily for 10 minutes or until the mixture is syrupy.

  • Leave the syrup to cool for a few minutes ,then pour over the plums.

  • Cover & seal.Store for at least a month before using & use within a year.





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