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As summer comes to an end and autumn begins, many of us are switching from burgers on the grill to jacket potatoes in the oven.
With a wide variety of gorgeous autumn produce on offer, this is the perfect time to get to work in the kitchen making chutneys, pickles and jams that will take you through to spring.
To save you slaving over books, we are sharing our favourite recipes that will make your mouth water and taste buds tingle.
Tomato chutney is an autumn kitchen cupboard staple and a great way to use up anything still growing on the allotment.
This recipe does take two days to complete, but is so worth it.
What you will need:
500g red onions
1 large tablespoon of sea salt
500g juicy sultanas
500g cooking apples
500g organic brown sugar
1.14 litre spice pickling vinegar – we love Sarsons
Slice and skin the tomatoes and chop the onions as finely as you can, then place in a large bowl with the salt. Put a clean tea towel over the top and leave somewhere cool overnight.
Next day chop and core the apples and chop the sultanas too.
Mix the sugar and vinegar in a large pan, then stir as you bring to the boil and totally dissolve the sugar. Add the apples and sultanas and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the tomatoes and onions in a colander, add to the pan and return to the boil. Then simmer the liquid for around an hour, stirring now and again until you have a lovely thick, pulpy mixture.
Once cooled, put into clean, sterilised jars and enjoy with bread and cheese.
Damson Jelly is a fantastic preserve that you can spread on buttered toast or enjoy with colds meats and Sunday lunch.
To make a decent batch of delicious jelly you will need the following ingredients and a little bit of patience, as this can be a fiddly recipe to perfect:
2kg soft, ripe damsons
The juice of two organic lemons
A bag of preserving sugar
Once you have washed the fruit put it in a large pan together with 300 ml of water. Slowly bring to the boil before simmering for around an hour or until the damsons are soft.
Very carefully sieve the hot fruit and catch the resulting liquid in a large bowl. Leave to rest for around three hours.
Next measure the cooled mixture into a pan and add 500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid. Stir this over a low heat and once the sugar has completely dissolved, raise the temperature and boil until the ‘setting point’ is reached. To find the setting point, put a little jelly onto a saucer, cool slightly then push with your finger. If the mixture wrinkles it is ready, if not, return to the heat, boil for five more minutes and test again.
Put the jelly into sterilised jars, cool before sealing and use within a year, but we think it will be eaten sooner than that!
September is the perfect time for blackberry picking and these purple beauties are perfect for making jam.
To make traditional no nonsense blackberry jam, you will need around three hours of time and the following ingredients:
2kg of just ripe blackberries – if they are a little sharp they will set better than over-ripe fruit
100 ml water
3 tablespoons of organic lemon juice
2kg caster sugar
Put the blackberries, lemon juice and water in a large pan and simmer until the fruit has broken down and is soft and lumpy. This tends to take around an hour and a half.
Once ready, add the sugar and bring to the boil whilst stirring all the time. You can then start testing for the ‘setting point’ using the same method as above. Once ready, place into sterilised jars and seal immediately. Leave in a cool, dark place for 24 hours and then you are ready to enjoy with fresh bread or scones and cream.
Happy cooking and let us know how you get on.