Hedgerow chutney for autumn

October 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

A beautiful sunny autumn day today reminds me that on the last such day back in September I gathered a basketful of hedgerow fruits and made the rather good recipe below. Thanks go to Tastethewildblog.co.uk for this.

The recipe is straightforward and the suggestion of using a mixture of cooking and eating apples is inspired – the cookers thicken the chutney whereas the eaters retain their shape and provide a contrasting texture.

The finished jars of chutney look very handsome on my preserves shelf down in the cellar and one or two lucky people might find a jar in their Christmas stocking.

Recipe for Hedgerow Chutney

Adapted from a recipe found on http://tastethewildblog.co.uk/

Makes 4-5 lbs

2lb mixed hedgerow fruits – e.g Hawthorn haws, rose hips, elderberries, blackberries, rowan berries, sloes
1 pint malt vinegar
2 lbs onions chopped
2 lbs apples peeled and chopped (ideally half eating apples and half Bramleys)
4 oz sultanas
4 oz raisins
1lb Muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
1 generous pinch chilli flakes
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Place the chopped apples and onions in a bowl, cover and leave overnight.

Next, make the fruit vinegar. Remove any large stalks and leaves from the berries, rinse and dry them and put them into a large pan. Cover with the malt vinegar, heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the berries are losing their colour. Strain off the liquid and discard the fruit. You should have about a pint of deep purple fruity vinegar.

The following day put the apple and onion mixture, the fruit vinegar and all the remaining chutney ingredients into a preserving pan and boil together for about 2 hours, stirring frequently. The chutney is ready when it has reduced considerably and when you draw a wooden spoon across the surface of the chutney, a channel remains for a second or two before filling up with liquid.

Put in sterilised jars and cover or seal. The chutney is best left for a month or so to mellow before eating.

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