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Recipes

At this time of year when the gardens and allotments of Stamford are bearing fruit after all the hard work of spring and summer planting and nurturing the crops you may find that you have a sudden abundance of fruit and vegetables. Also, the Bunker may be well stocked with produce that has been kindly contributed from local allotment holders, gardeners and shops. You may even have a friendly neighbour, who is keen to share with you some of their summer produce.

An age old method of preserving surplus fruit and vegetables is to create a chutney. This may be simply fruit, vegetables or dried fruit mixed with vinegar, sugar and spices and cooked until it reaches a jam like consistency. Chutney can be of a smooth or chunky consistency. Vinegar is the most essential ingredient in preserving chutneys as it inhibits the growth of bacteria and moulds. Sugar and salt also have natural preservative actions and balance the flavour of the tart vinegar to give chutney its characteristic sweet and sour flavour. Spices add flavour and depth which matures over time in homemade chutney.

In homemade chutney there are no colourings or preservatives. You will find with a homemade chutney will have more flavour than shop bought alternatives. Importantly, it is a great way to make best use of short term surpluses that can produce tasty preserves over the coming months and that way we can ensure that we are feeding bellies, not bins.

Apple Chutney with Raisins

Ingredients

1.25kg of apples
225g raisins
350g of onions
1 tsp of salt
1  piece of fresh ginger
1 tsp of spice mix, namely; cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mace and cardomon
250ml of white wine vinegar

Method

1.  Whizz the ginger in a blender.

2. Peel and prepare your chosen fruit. Dice the onions. Measure all other ingredients.

3. Place all the ingredients in a heavy based pot. Cover and slowly bring up to the boil.

4. Reduce down to a simmer and simmer until the chutney has reduced and is thick and syrupy. Stir constantly! Depending on how soft the fruit is, this may take an hour and a half.

5. While the chutney is still hot, bottle it in warm sterilised jars. Put the lid on immediately.

Hot Pepper Relish

Ingredients

6 large peppers
1 onion
2 cooking apples
4 cloves of garlic
3 chillies
1 lb of sugar
8 fl oz of water
8 fl oz of white wine vinegar
1 tsp of salt

Method

1. Grill the peppers until black, bag and then peel them.

2. Peel and chop the apples, garlic and onion.

3. Put all veg in a blender and then whizz.

4. Place all the ingredients in a heavy based pot. Cover and slowly bring up to the boil.

5. Reduce down to a simmer and simmer until the relish has reduced and is thick and syrupy. Stir constantly! 

5. Pour into small sterile jars.

Fruit Chutney

Ingredients

2kg fruit (apples, peaches, plums, rhubarb etc)
500g onion, diced
250ml white wine vinegar
300g sugar
Pinch salt
Spices
Dried fruit (optional)

Method

1. Peel and prepare your chosen fruit. Dice the onions. Measure all other ingredients.

2. Place all the ingredients in a heavy based pot. Cover and slowly bring up to the boil.

3. Reduce down to a simmer and simmer until the chutney has reduced and is thick and syrupy. Stir constantly! Depending on how soft the fruit is, this may take an hour and a half.

4. While the chutney is still hot, bottle it in warm sterilised jars. Put the lid on immediately.

Green Chutney

Ingredients

400g of courgettes
400g of onions
400g of green tomatoes
250g of green peppers
125g of cooking apples
6 cloves of garlic
1 piece of fresh ginger
2 chillies
350g of sugar
300ml of white wine vinegar
2 bay leaves

Method

1. Whizz garlic, peeled ginger and chillies in a blender.

2. Chop all other vegetables and put in a pan and add remaining ingredients.

3. Place all the ingredients in a heavy based pot. Cover and slowly bring up to the boil.

4. Reduce down to a simmer and simmer until the chutney has reduced and is thick and syrupy. Stir constantly! Depending on how soft the fruit is, this may take an hour and a half.

5. Remove bay leave

6. While the chutney is still hot, bottle it in warm sterilised jars. Put the lid on immediately.

Top Tips

• Use granulated white or brown sugar
• Only use white wine vinegar, malt vinegar is not suitable as it gives an excessive, vinegar taste to the end product
• Simmer in a good heavy based pot, a cheap pot may ‘catch’ underneath
• Stir constantly, especially at the start of the cooking process to dissolve the sugar
• Cook on a medium temperature, low and slow
• Make sure the lids on the bottles are in good condition, because if they are dented they will let the air in
• Bottle the chutney while still hot and ensure the sterilised bottles are hot too.
• Put the lid on immediately.
• Label and date the chutney

Sterilising Jars and Bottling

1. If collecting used glass jars, make sure the lids fit securely and haven’t been bashed or dinged. Any air getting into the preserve will contaminate it.
2. Give the bottles and and lids a good wash and rinse well. Try get the labels off. Boiling the bottles in a large pot of water is very effective.
3. Preheat an oven to 150°C and dry the clean bottles for 10-15 minutes.

A Community Project of Stamford Methodist Church, Charity Number 1182848

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