Madame Pickles

Hello, Lorraine here, Harriet’s mum.
For the last couple of weeks I have been psyching myself up for the jam and chutney making season.
I love scavenging the fruit and vegetables, I’m no gardener and make use of any glut my friends are willing to pass onto me and foraged fruit found while walking my puppy, Flint.

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This year the blackberries are plentiful, the sloes are in abundance and I am eyeing up some medlars which will be ready later on in the autumn.

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My greatest problem is shortage of jam jars and pots. Every year I give friends and family samples of my wares with a threat of no jam next year if I don’t give the jars back!
So far I have made raspberry and apple jam, marrow and ginger jam, piccalilli, chutney, blackberry vodka and raspberry vodka. (Generous donations of raspberries, apples, green beans and marrows made by Liz and Paul, Marcel and Mandy.)
After a new delivery of vegetables from Mandy’s garden I will be making beetroot chutney – when I can get some more jam jars….
For anyone that might be interested in trying the recipes I use, here they are:
Raspberry and Apple Jam

1 kg peeled and cored apples
1 kg Raspberries
150 ml water
3 kg sugar
Cut apples into small pieces
Put in large pan with the water, bring to the boil, simmer covered for 15 minutes until
the apples are cooked.
Hull the raspberries and add to the apples, mush them down.
Add the sugar, heat slowly, stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
Bring to the boil.
Continue to boil until the jam has reached setting point. (Put a dribble of the mixture onto a cold plate, tip the plate, if the jam goes into creases rather than just running across the plate, the jam is ready for bottling.)
Carefully pour the jam into warm sterilised jars. Screw the lids on and turn upside down until cool. (This creates a vacuum and the jam is less likely to get mould.)

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You can replace the raspberries with blackberries for blackberry and apple jam.
Marrow and Ginger Jam

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3 kg Marrow peeled, seeded and diced
3 kg sugar
4 lemons
100 g root ginger
Its easiest to put the marrow into a food processor and blitz it into small pieces.
Do the same with the ginger and lemon peel.
Place the marrow, ginger, lemon peel, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl, cover, keep in a cool place or the fridge overnight.
Transfer to a large pan, stirring occasionally and bring to the boil.
Simmer for about 4 hours until it reaches setting point.

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(The jam will become a rich toffee apple colour.)
Place in sterilised jars, tighten the lids, turn upside down until cool.
Chutney
1 kg apples, peeled, cored and chopped
500 g onions peeled and chopped
4 to 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
7 cm piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
200 g dried fruit (I use a mix of sultanas and dates)
3 fresh chillies finely chopped
500 ml vinegar
250 g soft brown sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
As for the marrow and ginger jam, it’s easiest to blitz everything in a food processor.

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Put all the ingredients in a pan, stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved then bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour stirring regularly to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
When the chutney is thicker and you can drag a wooden spoon through the mixture and the chutney doesn’t immediately flow back into the gap, the chutney is ready for placing in sterilised jars.
Leave for at least one month to allow the flavour to mature.
(Chutney isn’t an exact science, put more chillies in if you like it hot, leave them out if you don’t, put whatever dried fruit in you like – I ran out of fresh chillies and put harissa flakes into one batch)
Piccallili

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½ kg prepared marrow
100 g runner beans
Small cauliflower
½ kg onions (pickling onions if available)
250 g prepared cooking apples
180 g salt
3 fresh chillies
3 cloves
100 g root ginger
850 ml white malt vinegar
100 g sugar
1 tbs mustard powder
1 tbs turmeric
1 tbs cornflour
Cut vegetables into small bite size pieces. Place in a dish and sprinkle with the salt.

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Leave to stand overnight.
Rinse and dry vegetables
Place the chillies, cloves, crushed ginger in muslin, tie securely and put in a pan with the vinegar.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the muslin, add the vegetables and sugar to the vinegar and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
Make a paste with the mustard, tumeric, cornflour and a little vinegar.
Add to the pan of vegetables.
Boil for 3 minutes stirring constantly.
Pour into sterilised jars.

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Raspberry and/or blackberry vodka
500 g fruit
500 ml vodka
100 g sugar
Wash the berries
Combine all the ingredients in a container with a screw top lid large enough to hold the fruit and vodka.
Shake vigorously then give a shake every day for a week.
Shake every couple of weeks.
Do this for 3 months.
Strain through muslin and bottle.
Add extra sugar if necessary.
(Don’t throw the fruit away! It’s good for a boozy dessert.)

I hope you enjoy these recipes.
In the next week or so I will be making beetroot chutney, sloe gin, Heddy’s recipe for Limoncello – need to buy more vodka and to think I tell everyone I’m not that keen on the stuff, I’m more of a whisky girl….
The Medlar jelly will be later into autumn when they are bletted – going soft and not looking very nice!!
All of the above subject to me getting more jam jars – friends and family are you listening? PLEASE –  I NEED MORE JAM JARS!!!!

Lorraine

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