Of all the preserves I make, Chutney is the one most frequently mis-understood and mis-represented in some cookery books, cookery programmes and food blogs.
Chutney is a savoury preserve made from fruit and vegetables, cooked in vinegar, sugar and spices. Smooth in texture, the flavour is a mature balance of all the ingredients in the jar.
Once mature, it will be like conversation, smooth, fruity and spiced with interest.
During my Edible Gifts course at Vale House Kitchen last week we made batches of one of my favourite chutneys, Hot Date Chutney. The preparation and cooking time took almost four hours. Traditional chutneys cannot be rushed. Quicker recipes are often relishes not chutneys. Continue reading Edible Gifts – Hot Date Chutney
Tessa Munt’s parliamentary debate last Wednesday about The Jam and Similar Products 2013 Regulations stimulated a media storm. Today I made my views known on the Alan Titchmarsh Show and these are my key reasons.
I am happy to encourage the use of great British fruit such as the Bramley Apple and to encourage the production of low sugar preserves for dietary reasons, if labelled as such. One year I had more than 300 pounds of Bramleys from one tree and made some excellent traditional preserves with them.
The suggestion that the new regulations will make exporting easier is very questionable as very few other countries use the word Jam to describe fruit preserves.
The 60% was set after scientific research at Bristol University into the keeping qualities of sweet preserves. Continue reading Alan Titchmarsh Show – Jam Debate
Originally from South America, tomatoes were first grown in the UK as ornamental climbers, and cultivated for their decorative leaves and fruit. The Elizabethans thought the fruit was poisonous and the colour a sign of danger. By the 19th century, commercial cultivation of tomatoes became popular with the appearance of glasshouses in Kent and Essex. With thousands of varieties, well known types include; Cherry and Cocktail, Plum and Baby Plum, Beefsteak and Classic. The most popular for use in cooking and preserving are Classic and Beefsteak.
I grow tomatoes to eat and preserve as chutneys, sauces and chilli jam. In late summer, my small tomato greenhouse is full of plants with an abundant crop. For preserves, I grow “Ferline F1”. Their ripened flavour and deep red colour are perfect for Red Tomato Chutney and Ripe Tomato Sauce. Continue reading Tomatoes – Grow and Preserve
Recipes for citrus marmalades have been recorded since the early seventeenth century, but the marmalade we enjoy today was developed by the Victorians. In the mid seventeenth century, bitter orange and lemon marmalades were made from the fruit pulp and stewed apple. The peel was sliced thinly into long strips.The consistency of this marmalade would have been similar to a fruit cheese and cut with a knife, rather than being spooned out of its container. Many recipes tended to be rule-of-thumb and gave unpredictable results. In 1681, Rebecca Price’s record of her mother’s Seville orange marmalade gave proportions of sugar to fruit, but omitted the volume of water to be used or the cooking time. Continue reading Marmalade Recipes
Seville Orange Marmalade – Made Easy
As well as being informative, videos are great fun to make.
For a limited period of time, I would like to share with you my video about making Seville Orange Marmalade. The video is usually only available inside my ebook First Preserves: Marmalades.
Those of you who have already bought First Preserves: Marmalades please update it to receive the video.
Please let me know what you think about the video and my books, have fun making marmalade
Seville Orange Marmalade – Made Easy
For me, the new year heralds the arrival of Seville oranges and getting to know my kitchen intimately as I juice, slice, simmer and boil the fruit into marmalade. Seville oranges have a short season, from late December to the end of February. Recipes for orange marmalade have been recorded since the early seventeenth century, but the marmalade we enjoy today was developed by the Victorians and Seville orange marmalade is the king of marmalades.
The walls of Seville oranges are tough and the inside full of pips.These provide masses of pectin, a gum-like substance and helps the marmalade to set. When it is combined with the correct percentage of sugar it creates the traditional jelly-like consistency. I select Sevilles with a rich orange colour, and a characteristic aroma.They are an economical fruit as 1kg of Sevilles will yield 3kg of marmalade. I have made marmalade with both organic and non-organic Sevilles, but the slightly higher price per kilo for Ave Maria organic Sevilles is worth paying. This organic variety has a more intense aroma and flavour in marmalade than the usual non-organic varieties, so hunt them out. Continue reading How to make Marmalade
My 2013 delivery of organic Seville oranges is due from Leigh Court Farm near Bristol on 5th January. Their arrival will mark the start of juicing, slicing, simmering and boiling to produce the king of marmalades.To get myself into marmalade mode before the Sevilles arrive, I like to make lemon and lime marmalade. Although these citrus fruits are available all year, different varieties appear in markets during the winter months. I like to use Eureka or Lisbon lemons for their high acid and juice content. With limes I prefer the large Persian, Tahiti or Bearss lime from Florida and Brazil. The best fruit is thin-skinned, juicy, firm to the touch, and free from blemishes on the skin. Avoid small-fruited acid citrus varieties with dark, tough green skins-Kabosu, Makrut Lime or Combavas and Sudachi. They are small-fruited acid types and better suited as flavouring in soups, curries and salads. Continue reading Lemons and Limes – A Marriage for Marmalade
To coincide with the arrival of Autumn, Fortnum and Mason held a two day Artisan Market, showcasing some of their most talented producers so that customers could taste their autumn creations and quiz them on techniques. Guy Tullberg from Tracklements made chutney in the demonstration kitchen on the First Floor and Steve Benbow, Fortnum’s beemaster provided honeycomb to taste. I was delighted to meet Liz Knight from Forage Fine Foods and taste her wonderful products, especially the Rose Petal Preserve.
Fortnum’s had also invited chutney enthusiasts to enter the first Fortnum’s Chutney Challenge and have their creations judged by Continue reading Fortnum and Mason’s Chutney Champion