Somebody gave me a huge bag of windfall apples…I never waste anything if it can be helped .Apples and pears must be the most versatile fruit known and so delicious.It is thought that there are over 2000 different types of English apple but only about 5 are ever sold in the supermarkets…What a waste!! Seek out your local apples and try a few of these recipes.
Although this recipe is made with dates and stem ginger ,I only had dried apricots and a few pieces of stem ginger and a small piece of grated root ginger.It turned out really well.
a few cloves of garlic (if liked)
1litre /nearly 2 pints vinegar
115g/4oz preserved stem ginger
450g/1lb soft brown sugar
2.5ml cayenne pepper
Quarter the apples,remove the cores and chop coarsely.Peel and chop the garlic.
Place the apple and garlic in a pan with enough vinegar to cover.Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes.
Chop the dates and ginger and add them to the pan,together with the rest of the ingredients.Cook gently for 45 minutes.
Spoon the mixture into warm sterilised jars and seal.
Fiery bengal chutney.
This is a fiery chutney ,not for timid taste buds..Although it can be eaten a month after making ,it is better matured for longer.
115g/4oz fresh root ginger
1kg/2lb cooking apples
6 garlic cloves ,finely chopped
450ml2 cups malt vinegar
400g/14oz demerera sugar
2 fresh red chillies
2 fresh green chillies
Peel and shred the ginger,peel core and roughly chop the apples.Peel and quarter the onions then slice as thinly as possible.Place in a preserving pan with the garlic,raisins and vinegar.
Bring to the boil and simmer steadily for 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally until the apples and onions are softened.
Add the sugar stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Simmer the mixture for about 40 minutes,or until thick and pulpy stirring frequently towards the end of cooking time.
halve the chillies and remove the seeds then slice them finely.
add the chillies to the pan and cook for a further 5 – 10 minutes or until no excess liquid remains..Stir in the salt and turmeric.
Spoon the chutney into warm sterilised jars ,cover and seal immediately,then label when cool.
Leave to mature for at least 2 months,store in fridge once opened and use within the month.
Orchard fruit butter
1kg /2lb apples chopped (no need to peel and core)
600g/1lb pears chopped (no need to peel and core)
600g/1lb peaches halved and stoned
1litre/1 and qtr pints sweet cider or water
1kg /2lb soft brown sugar
1tsp all spice
half tsp cloves
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Put the chopped apples,pears and peaches in the preserving pan with the cider or water.Bring to the boil,skin,reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Either press the fruit through a sieve or pass it through a food mill.Return the puree to the cleaned pan.Add the sugar,stirring until it ias dissolved.Bring to the boil then simmer,stirring frequently for 1 – 2 hours or until the mixture has reduced and become very thick.
Grind the allspice and the cloves in the spice mill or coffee grinder.Add to the pan with the cinnamon and continue to cook for a minute or two.Pour into warm sterilised jars and cool.
………Serving suggestion….. Use as a filling for cakes and tarts or serve with cold meats.Shelf life 2 years.
HOT apple jelly
Apples make a really firm jelly that can be flavoured in many ways,here red chillies are used to give a sweet-hot jelly and is great served with meats ,added to sandwiches or as a last minute flavouring to casseroles.
1kg/2lb apples of any kind
4 – 5 fresh or dried red chillies coarsely chopped
1 fresh chilli for each jar.granulated sugar
- Put the apples and the chopped chillies in the preserving pan and add enough cold water to cover.Bring to the boil,then simmer for 25 minutes or until the fruit is pulpy.
- Pour the fruit into a sterilised jelly bag and leave to drain for at least 2 – 3 hours or until it all stops dripping
- Measure the juice and allow 500/1lb sugar for every 500ml/17fl oz of juice.Put the juice and sugar in the cleaned pan.Bring slowly to the boil ,stirring until the sugar has been dissolved.Reduce the heat and skim well.Return to the boil for 15 minutes or until setting point has been reached.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.Skim well ands pour the liquid into sterilised jars.
- Slit the chillies lengthways and trim off the stalks.When the jelly is semi – set,carefully insert a chilli into each jar.Pierce any air pockets that form by prodding with a long ,thin wooden skewer.Cover each jar with a wax disc and seal.
Pears in brandy or vodka
3 – 4 ripe pears
300 – 400g/10 – 13 oz granulated sugar
1litre brandy or vodka
- Wash the pears ,dry and prick in a few places with a sharp wooden skewer or tooth pick.
- Arrange the pears in the sterilised jar add the sugar and vanilla pod and pour in enough brandy or vodka to cover the pears then seal.
- Keep in a cool dark place for 3 – 4 months.For the first few weeks ,shake the jar every few days to help dissolve the sugar.
- For a sweeter result add up to 500g/1lb sugar.