Friday, 16 September 2011


The best thing about the onset of Autumn...possibly the only good thing about the onset of the falling fruit and the inevitable glut of all things apples and pears that ensues. And what do you do when you have a glut? You preserve that's what you do. With this and an upcoming weekend trip to the country, which will no doubt result in me returning to Dublin laden with produce from the garden, my thoughts have turned to chutney. Also, I've been looking for an excuse to use up those long saved empty jars that have been lurking in the back of my press for so long.

Spurred on by my new Australia Women's Weekly cookbook, (I had a bit of an accident in a bookshop lately that saw me leave with not one but four new cookbooks, rather proud of them I am too!) I was inspired to research chutney making. Initially, this was so I would be extra prepared for any excess fruit and veg I might be taking home with me at the weekend, but inevitably,  I got carried away and went out and bought the excess fruit and veg I needed. Waiting for things is not my forte!

I made two varieties. An onion marmalade, which did actualy use up some excess onions I had, and a classic tomato chutney. The onions came out lovely and are very tasty. Looking forward to having them as an accompaniment with some steaks soon. The tomato chutney was pretty good for a first go. I don't think I used the right sugar. I used a soft brown when I think I would have been better off with a granulated and I could have let it reduce down a little more. The end result was a little watery but tastes and smells delicious. Had it in a cheese sandwich for lunch today and it more than did the job.

The onion marmalade was very easy. All you need to do is:
  • Heat some oil and butter in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the onions. I had them finely sliced in half moons. Cook for about 10 mins.
  • You can add garlic at this stage if you like.
  • For 5 onions you should then add 200ml of red wine and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and seasoning. You can add herbs or spices as well depending on the flavours you want.
  • Leave to simmer for 30-40 mins until the onions are soft and sticky.

Here's the tomato chutney recipe. It's from the Women's Weekly book.

Simply throw everything in the pot. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer uncovered for an hour and pour into hot sterilised jars. Seal and leave to cool. The smell from the kitchen I've been reliably informed is of Christmas. Seeing as all the shops seem to be getting in on the Christmas game extra early this year, it would appear my kitchen does not wish to be left behind.

I'm hoping to pick up a glut of beetroot at the weekend because what I really want to make is beetroot relish. Maybe now after these two trial runs I'll have some idea of what I'm doing. Will of course let you know how I get on. 

1 comment:

  1. Mouth decidedly watering. Send me some marmalade, please!