Papaya Magazine

11.11.14 / Jam, Jelly and Chutney

At this time of year I get down to the business of preserving the autumn harvest.
I must make tens of kilos of jams, jellies and chutneys each year. They aren’t for sale directly, but do end up as ingredients or accompaniments to many of my dishes.

The greenhouses have been cleared of tomatoes, the ripe ones ending up as tomato sauces and the green ones becoming chutney.
The tomatillos have been frozen as a salsa with lime basil or combined with some poblano or ring of fire chillies to make yummy chutneys.

I’ve had a bumper grape harvest and have combined them with the orchard’s apples to make some great jellies.
A bit of foraging produced lots of brambles and rosehips which have also become jellies.
Rosehip and apple jelly is fantastic with roast pork. The bramble and grape jellies get squeezed between sponges or just smeared across some toasted homemade brioche.

The apples have also come in handy as a jelly base to make apple and cape gooseberry jelly which is sensational with roast duck. It has the most amazing light amber colour and looks great in a jar. It would make a fabulous Christmas present. I’ll have to boost my cape gooseberry crop next year.

The last of the courgettes, French and runner beans have become relishes and chutneys of varying spiciness. The milder ones are great with cold meats and the richer ones with strong cheese or even roast lamb.
Last night’s dinner of homemade dosas with lamb curry was fabulous with courgette and green tomato chutney.

The horseradish is waiting patiently to be harvested or I may just dig it up as needed to freshly grate into sauces for seafood or roast beef.

Ring of fire is my favourite of the chilli varieties that I grow, and is so versatile.
A lot will end up with a secret spice combination to make my sweet chilli sauce. Mixed with a little lime I use it as a dressing for little canapés of prawn or chicken.
Any chillies that don’t find their way into sauces, chutneys or relishes get strung up to dry for later in the year. At the moment I have ring of fire, habanero and poblano chillies drying above the fire.

Enough natter now, it’s time to get back to the kitchen. The last bucket of apples is calling me and those chillies aren’t going to chop themselves.
And after that?
Perhaps a cup of tea, scone and some grape and apple jelly... or gooseberry ....maybe black currant jam...rosehip and bramble?...

 

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