How to make chutneys, jams and cordials for Christmas gifts
It all started with Christmas presents one year when I was particularly strapped for cash. Homemade gifts for friends seemed the only answer.
Chutney was my bright idea. Much as I love cakes and sweet things, there’s clearly no shortage of these at Christmas, and I wanted to make something that hadlongevity, that didn’t have to be eaten straight away, but could be taken home and saved for another time.
And so I tried my hand at tomato and apple chutney from The Edmonds Cookery Book. When I was growing up, this was in everyone’s home, an iconic kitchen guide for every young married Kiwi couple building a life together. I elevated the season’s weak tomatoes with the sweet and tart flavour of braeburn apples and sweet spices – cinnamon, cloves.
I found friends eating it there and then, plunging knives into the jar without so much as a wedge of cheese or cracker
The chutney was received so well that I found several friends eating it there and then, plunging their knives straight into the jar without so much as a wedge of cheese or cracker to accompany. I was over the moon. With preserving there’s always a long wait before you get to taste your wares, which makes a successful finished product (and happy recipients) all the more rewarding. The best thing was how touched everybody was: touched that I had taken the trouble to make it myself, touched that I had shunned the homogeneity of the shops. I needn’t have worried about them thinking I was cheap …
Preserving buy canada goose jacket ebay is the original “waste not, want not” approach to cooking. It’s an ancient artisanal technique that both celebrates a seasonal glut of fruit and vegetables, and extracts all the goodness from them, creating something entirely new. It also gives those ingredients a second life – one that lasts a lot longer than when the fresh ingredients are in season.
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The success of that first Christmas chutney spurred me on to take the whole thing further, to try and honour this ethos of preserving good ingredients on a larger scale. And so my business, Newton & Pott, was born, starting with a stall on London’s Broadway Market, and leading eventually to my book, The Modern Preserver. I still love making the chutneys myself, which has evolved to jams, pickles, fermentations and more. And I have stuck fiercely to making my preserves in small batches.
This Christmas, I hope I can inspire you to make presents at home for your own friends. I’ve given you an apple chutney recipe today, preserved with an ale for a traditionally British, winter feel. Chutney is great for accompanying the Christmas after-dinner cheeseboard, but I encourage people to think of new ways to spice up their meals with it so it doesn’t languish in the back of the fridge – try it with scrambled eggs in the morning or with a pork belly roast.
My luminous rhubarb and ginger shrub (a type of cordial) is lovely added to hot, cold or fizzy water, or as a Christmas tipple topped up with prosecco and a cheeky dash of gin. Lastly, this year’s Christmas marmalade, because the scent of torn clementine rind is always the first sign are there any canada goose outlet stores of festivities, and whisky the last.
▶ Cook’s tip: Pour warm jam or chutney into hot, sterilised jars straight from the oven, then screw on hot lids.
Apple and ale chutney
Makes 6-7 jars (300ml each)900g onions, diced600ml cider vinegar400g golden granulated sugar1.5kg apples (whatever variety is abundant)Zest of 2 lemons300ml ale2 tsp salt
For the spice bag1 cinnamon stick1 star anise1 tsp chilli flakes1 tsp peppercorns1 bay leaf
1 Sterilise your jars and lids by washing them in warm soapy water and rinsing thoroughly. Put them in a warm oven (around 120C/250F/gas mark ½) for at least 20 minutes.
2 Put the onions, vinegar and sugar into a large, wide-rimmed pot, then put on a high heat to boil. Lower to a simmer, then reduce the mixture by about one-third – which takes around 15 minutes.
3 Wash , peel and core the apples, then chop into small cubes, about 1cm square. Mix into the onion/vinegar syrup along with the zest.
4 Prepare the spice bag by cutting a muslin square big enough to hold all of the spices and tie with a piece of string, then add this to the apples and onions. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
5 Make a cartouche (to cover the surface of your chutney and prevent a skin forming) by cutting out a piece of parchment paper the same size as the circumference of the pot, with a hole in the middle for the steam to escape. Put this on top of the apples and onions, then continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the cartouche from time-to-time to stir the mixture, so it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pot.
6 Once thickened, remove the cartouche and stir through the salt and ale. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the point where your spoon leaves a trail on the bottom of the pan.
7 When ready, ladle the chutney into your warmed sterilised jars until it’s 5mm from the rim. Seal, label, date and store in the cupboard for up to 12 months. Once open, keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Rhubarb and ginger shrub
Makes around 1 litre (2x 500ml bottles)1.6kg rhubarb50g ginger (more if you like it spicier)600ml water
For every 550ml of juice, add:200g caster sugar¼ vanilla pod2 tbsp lemon juice (about ½ lemon)1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Wash and chop the rhubarb into 2cm-long pieces, discarding the tops and bottoms. Wash and roughly dice the ginger, with the skin on, and put both ingredients into a pot with the water.
2 Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the canada goose coat 1000 bulbs promo rhubarb is soft, mashing as you go.
3 Sieve the best canada goose coat for women rhubarb through a large piece of muslin or a jelly bag, then leave it for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. When the juice has been strained, discard the pulp.
4 Sterilise your bottles and lids by washing them in warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly, then put them in a warm oven (around 120C/250F/gas mark ½) for at least 20 minutes.
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5 Measure the rhubarb juice (you should get about 1.1 litres) and calculate the sugar, vanilla and lemon juice to this measurement. Put them in a pan and bring to a gentle boil authentic canada goose outlet on a medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
6 Remove from the heat, skim off any scum formed with a spoon and allow to cool slightly before adding the vinegar
7 Ladle into your warmed, sterilised bottles, leaving 5mm headspace. Seal, label, date and store in the cupboard for up to 3 months. Once open, keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
Clementine and whisky marmalade
Makes 6-7 300ml jars2kg clementines2 lemons, zest and juice2 star anise2 litres water2kg preserving sugar100ml whisky
1 Sterilise your jars and lids by washing them in warm soapy water and rinsing thoroughly. Put them in a warm oven (around 120C/250F/gas mark ½) for at least 20 minutes. Put a few small plates in the freezer for testing the marmalade’s setting point later.
2 Prep the clementines by washing, scrubbing and rinsing. Cut each in half, head to buy canada goose jacket ebay toe, then slice into very fine half-moon slices (rind and all), while reserving as much juice as possible.
3 Put the slices and juices in a large, wide-mouthed maslin pan with the juice and zest of the lemons and the star anise. Add the water and bring to a boil, reduce to a medium heat canada goose coat 1000 calorie a day meal plan and continue to simmer for up to 45 minutes, stirring intermittently until the rind has softened.
4 Stir through the sugar until it has dissolved – you don’t want it to stick to the bottom and burn – then bring back to a rolling boil on a high heat for about 20-30 minutes, or until setting point is reached. To reach setting point, test your marmalade by removing it from the heat, and put a small drop of the hot mixture on to a plate from the freezer then put it in the fridge for 1 minute. After the minute, the mixture should wrinkle at a gentle push with a finger, meaning it’s ready to jar. This is called the “wrinkle test”. If there’s no wrinkle, then put it back on a high heat and test every few minutes until the wrinkle has been achieved.
5 When ready, ladle the marmalade into your warmed sterilised jars, so that it’s 5mm from the rim and seal. Label, date and store in the cupboard for up to 12 months. Once open, keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Kylee Newton is owner of Newton and Pott preserves in London and author of The Modern Preserver (Square Peg); newtonandpott.co.uk