Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Five go to Kent for the weekend...part 2

"For the cheap fruit and veg, some U-Roy on the sound-system and the blokes selling proper Jerk Chicken and Curry Goat, Brixton Market can't be beaten..."

I bet you thought I'd keep you all waiting for weeks before I got round to posting part 2 of my Kentish apple themed post. But here it is and it's only a week since I posted part 1! I managed to spend a weekend in London for the first time in about a month, so after my Saturday morning ritual - tea, toast and a good half hour spent slagging off James Martin for being unable to read an autocue properly - got down to some serious cooking.

First up though was a trip to Brixton Market for a few extra ingredients, and while I wouldn't say Borough has too much to worry about on the gourmet front, I really loved the atmosphere there on a Saturday morning. For the cheap fruit and veg, some U-Roy on the soundsystem and the blokes selling proper Jerk Chicken and Curry Goat, it can't be beaten.

Given that it takes a couple of hours to cook, it was the chutney, made with the apples from my friend's orchard (see part 1 here), to start with. I (rightly or wrongly) assume that many people reading this won't have made their own chutters before, so why bother? Well mostly for the bragging rights, just think, you'll be able to look people in the face and say "I am a chutney maker". And if telling girls that doesn't get you laid, what will?

Also the home made version is far tastier than that gloopy stuff you buy in the shops and actually very cheap - for this one you need apples, raisins, onions, sugar, vinegar and few store cupboard spices. And lest you think that I'm just jumping on the chuntey bandwagon (I've read a few articles extolling its virtues recently), I made my first batch years ago...

Spicy Apple Chutney

(makes 4 or so jars worth)

1kg apples (I used russets and coxes, but traditionally you'd use cookers) - peeled and finely chopped
2 large onions - peeled and finely chopped
200g raisins
1 large piece ginger - peeled and grated
500ml vinegar (I mixed cider and malt)
400g brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

  1. Add all the ingredients to a large pan (you'll need a pretty large one!) and bring to the boil, stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves into the vinegar
  2. Turn the heat right down and leave to simmer for at least a couple of hours, giving it a stir every 10 minutes or so.
  3. You'll know when it is ready when it is thick and treacly, and when you draw a spoon across the bottom of the pan it leaves a clear channel behind (a bit like the parting of the Red Sea).
  4. Leave to cool and then pack into sterilised jars (see below).
  5. Ideally you should leave it to mature in a cool, dark place for a couple of months before tucking in. But if you can't wait I'm sure it won't matter too much.
NB: to sterilise the jars, you can put them through a hot wash in the dishwasher or just fill them with hot water from the kettle (not boiling or you might crack the glass).

The dry ingredients

After a couple of hours of cooking

Follow my instructions and come Christmas time you'll have the perfect accompaniment to your Boxing Day feast of homemade pork pie, leftover turkey or goose, ham, cheese etc etc.

To follow, recipe for a Dorset Apple Cake....

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious and pretty straightforward - surprisingly so. Also a good way to use up all those windfalls or bruised apples.