Seasonal Blackberry Chutney

 

Blackberry Chutney

The season of mellow fruitfulness is upon us so this month’s recipe looks at preserving for the winter. The recipe this month comes from Soups, Savouries and Sweets by A Practical Housewife (Mrs Taylor) Published in 1889.

Ingredients

1 kg of blackberries, 2 large onions (finely chopped), 1 ½ cups of brown sugar, 2 cups of red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Method

Place all the ingredients in a preserving pan. Stir over a medium heat without boiling until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 – 1 ½ hours until it thickens
. Pour into sterilize jars.

Beautiful dark red chutney to go with cold meats and cheese.

Summertime and the living is fruity

This is such a good summer for fruit, the berries are falling off the bushes, the plums are hanging off the branches and the apples are swelling. There are dishes that can only be eaten at certain times of the year, Christmas pudding, simnel cake and for me Summer Pudding. It can only be made from fruit straight of the bushes or if you haven’t a garden straight from the greengrocers. At this time of year I can’t get enough of it. Here is a recipe from Elizabeth David’s Summer Cooking, but it is that kind of dish which can have many variations depending on the fruit you have at the time. Try any mix of raspberries, red/black currants, strawberries, gooseberries, blackberries, loganberries. I sometimes make little mini versions.

Summer Pudding

1lb/500g raspberries

1/4lb/125g red currants/black currants

about 1/4lb/125g sugar (to taste)

Thin sliced bread with the crust removed. (slightly dry so that it absorbes the juice)

Method

Stew the fruit and sugar gently for around 2-3 minutes until the juice runs, taste and add more sugar if you prefer. Leave to cool. Line a deep dish (a pudding bowl or souffle dish) with the slices of bread. Make sure it is completely lined with no gaps. Fill with the fruit but keep a little of the juice. cover the top with a layer of bread.

Put a plate or saucer on the top then a weight. Leave overnight in the fridge or cool larder. Then when you are ready to serve, turn it over and pour over the remaining juice.

Serve with a good dollop of cream, cream fresh, yoghurt or ice cream.

enjoy – think about putting a fruit bush or two in the garden. Raspberries are so easy to grow.

 

Apples aren’t the only fruit

 

growing fruit in containers

I know it’s the wrong time of year to be focussing on fruit but we’ve just spent the day planting the Arundel Community Orchard and I feel the need to wax lyrical about growing your own fruit.

Anyone can do it and the taste of fresh fruit, juicy raspberries, freshly picked apples, sweet sweet strawberries and tart gooseberries is second to none. In the summer I’m lucky enough to be able to graze the garden for fruit as the season progresses from raspberries through to blackberries & apples.

Fruit is easier to grow than you might think and there are plenty of books around to help.From beginners through to extreme pruning.

I have just looked through the list of fruit growing books I have in stock from those from those for beginners to seasonned organic gardeners, from traditional garden practices to new ideas. From growing in containers and miniature fruit trees to orchards.

and although apples aren’t the only fruit they are a good place to start.

Blackberry chutney

Blackberry Chutney

The season of mellow fruitfulness is upon us so this month’s recipe looks at preserving for the winter. The recipe this month comes from Soups, Savouries and Sweets by A Practical Housewife (Mrs Taylor) Published in 1889.

Ingredients

1 kg of blackberries, 2 large onions (finely chopped), 1 ½ cups of brown sugar, 2 cups of red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Method

Place all the ingredients in a preserving pan. Stir over a medium heat without boiling until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 – 1 ½ hours until it is thick. Pour into sterilize jars.

Beautiful dark red chutney to go with cold meats and cheese.