Wednesday 1 October 2014

Autumn Marrow Chutney

1kg Marrow
1kg Tomatoes
500g Apples
500g Onions/Shallots
500g Light Brown Sugar
600ml Cider Vinegar
50g Root Ginger
12 Cloves
2tsp Peppercorns
1tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Pinch of Salt
2tsp Chilli Flakes

Peel and seed the marrow and cut into 10mm slices, arranging them in layers in a bowl, sprinkled with salt.
Leave the marrow to sit overnight, where the salt will draw out most of the excess water from the flesh.
Drain the marrow, rinsing thouroughly before cutting into cubes and placing it in a large pot.

Peel, seed and chop the apples, tomatoes and onions, adding them to the pot with the marrow.
Add the sugar and vinegar to the vegetables before making a 'Spice Bag' from a square of material wrapped around the Ginger, Cloves, Peppercorns, Corriander Seeds, Salt and Chilli.

Once everything is in the pot, slowly bring to the boil and simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours, stirring occasionally

When cooked, spoon the still hot mixture straight into sterilised jars and seal immediately.
(We sterilised the jars and lids in the dishwasher, removing them still warm for filling)

A good chutney, kept air-tight be kept form months, assuming it lasts that long and doesn't get eaten too quickly. Keep in a cool, dark location, away from temptation...

Serving Suggestions
This chutney is perfect with cold meats over the Christmas period, an excellent accompaniment to a cheese board with a glass of port, or a fresh spring salad and homemade bread.

Monday 18 August 2014

Rhubarb Crumble Tart

Pastry Base:
200g Self-Raising Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
100g Shortening / Margerine
1 Egg (beaten)
1 Tbsp Milk
Rhubarb, cut into half inch pieces
350g Castor Sugar
2 Tbsp Self-Raising Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 Egg (beaten)
1/2 pint Milk
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract


Pastry Base
Sift flour and baking poweder into a bowl, adding the sortening (cut into small cubes) and rub into breadcrumbs before stiring in the beaten egg and milk. Once the dough forms a lose ball, take out and pat into the bottom of 12x10 inch baking tray, making sure you spread it evenly and make a half inch rim around all sides.

Arrange the sliced rhubarb evenly across the pastry base, almsot covering the entire area, not worrying about small gaps as these will fill with the crumble and custard mixetures.

Custard Topping
Combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon and sprinkle over the rhubarb.
Mix together the milk, egg and vanilla extract, then pour it over the rhubarb and crumble mix.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425°F (Gas MArk 7) for 20 minutes, before reducing the heat to 375°F (Gas Mark 5) for the remaing 15 minutes. Ensure the rhubarb is tender and the custard doesn't jiggle in the middle when the tray is lightly shaken.

The tart is delicious either warm or cold

I like mine warm with custard, cold with ice cream or to accompany a cupe of tea as a treat.

If you slowly simmer additional rhubarb in a small saucepan, with sugar and the juice/zest of a large orange, the cooled fruit is just another of the many option you have to go with this dessert.