Without fail, Justin & I start each day with a mug of coffee and a banana each. We both always have to save the final bite for Fudge. He sits there staring and salivating until it’s offered to him.
Bananas are his favourite food… after pork pie… and sausage… and chicken… OK, bananas are his favourite fruit!
They’re probably our favourite fruit too – I love them sliced with peanut butter in a sandwich. We’ve shared quite a few banana-based recipes on here as well. We’re officially bananas for bananas!
Curated by H is for Home
Justin’s parents’ neighbours have a few different fruit trees in their garden. In the past couple of years, we’ve had some of the harvest. Last year we made spiced apple chutney, the year before apple cheese. This year, we picked almost 5 kilos of plums – the sweetest, ripest plums we’d ever tasted!
We both ate half a dozen each in a couple of days but we would never be able to work our way through many before before they began to get over-ripe. I’d already made jars upon jars of fruit jam & jelly this year, so I turned half into spiced plum chutney and half into plum jam.
I used recipes from the good old Cordon Bleu Preserving recipe book for both.
The job of stoning was a monotonous, boring job but the resulting preserves were well worth the toil!
When the chutney was cooking the house was filled with the most delicious smell – I wish I could bottle that alone!
Here’s the spiced plum chutney recipe:
1tbs ground ginger
1tbs ground allspice
2tbs ground mustard seeds
2tbs dried chilli flakes
425ml/¾pt white malt or white wine vinegar
450g/1lb soft brown sugar
- Wash & stone the plums and put them in a pan with the ginger, allspice, mustard seeds and chilli flakes
- Tie the cloves in a muslin bag and add to the pan
- Add the salt and 300ml/½pt of the vinegar
- Simmer gently until the plums are soft (about 3 hours)
- Put the sugar into a large measuring jug/basin with the remaining vinegar and leave to dissolve. Add to the plums when cooked
- Bring to the boil and allow to boil gently until thick (about another 2 hours)
- Pour into warm, sterilised jars and screw down immediately
- Leave for 4-5 weeks before using
And here’s the jam recipe…
3kg/6½lb granulated or preserving sugar
- Wash the plums, cut them in half and remove the stones
- Tie half the stones in muslin
- Place the fruit in a preserving pan with the water and cook gently until tender
- Add the sugar and heat gently until dissolved
- Add the bag of stones
- Boil rapidly for about 25 minutes or until the jam sets when tested
- Remove the bag of stones and pour the jam into warm, dry sterilised jars. Cover and tie down
It’s a deliciously sweet accompaniment to morning croissants.
There were still LOADS of apples left over after making an apple & blackberry pie a few weeks ago. I hate wasting food so had to do something with them. “I’ll make apple chutney!”, I thought.
My Cordon Bleu Preserving book contains recipes for 4 different versions of apple chutney however it was the spiced one that took my fancy (for this read, “It was the one where I already had all the ingredients in the house.”) This recipe makes a humongous amount of chutney, but it’s easily adapted if you don’t have that much fruit to preserve. It’s a steeper, the flavours mellow if the chutney is left a week or so before consuming. So far, we’ve discovered that it makes a delicious accompaniment to a cheeseboard. It really suits a creamy brie and sharp cheddar – not so much blue cheese. I’m vegetarian, but I’ve had it on good advice that it’s also very good with pork pie (Justin) and sausage rolls (Duncan). What do you recommend?
- 36 large apples - peeled, cored & sliced
- 1½lbs/680g sultanas
- 3lbs/1.4kg demerara sugar
- 4oz/115g mustard seeds
- 2 fresh chillies, sliced into rings
- 2 rounded tsps ground turmeric
- 2oz/60g ground ginger
- 1½lbs/680g onions, halved & thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed with salt
- 2pts/1L vinegar (I used distilled white vinegar, but you can used ordinary malt vinegar)
- Put all the ingredients into a large pan (a jam pan is ideal) and simmer for 1½-2 hours until very soft and pulpy
- Turn into sterilised jars and cover
A few tips for making successful chutneys, relishes & ketchups:
-1- Once opened a jar must be refrigerated and consumed within a week.
-2- Don't allow the vinegar to come into contact with with metal whilst in store.
-3- When preserving with vinegar, don't use copper or brass preserving pans. Use aluminium or stainless steel and only use enamelled iron pans if there are no chips to the enamel.
-4- It's important to cook chutneys and sauces thoroughly otherwise they will not keep.