Apples and Pears …..

I was fortunate enough to have been given an absolute shed load of apples and pears just recently …. and made the obligatory flurry of apple cakes and pear cakes (disastrously I hasten to add) …. perhaps should have waited for the pears to ripen a tad more before hoofing hunks of rock hard pear into a delicious spicy sponge cake !!!! The apple cake was slightly more successful .. although I really should have used light muscavado sugar instead of caster sugar !! I also threw together (get me ….) an apple, pear & blackberry crumble as a bribe for my Mum …. It was a ” You cook Sunday dinner and I’ll bring pud” scenario …… It worked .. The crumble was yum ! All was well with the world !! Happy days !

I also embarked upon my own personal chutney challenge …. and with still having a plethora of fruit adorning every part of my kitchen  .. I went on a hunt for the chutney that I could use the most fruit in !! Whereupon I remembered the lovely Allegra McEvedy and her book  ” Colouring the Seasons” and low and behold .. there in the Autumn section sat and Apple & Pear Chutney recipe ….. and so I began ! I chopped and peeled and prepped .. and bubbled and left it to its own devices … and jars of chutney were born !!!!!

Apple & Pear Chutney

4 good sized eating apple (I used 6 smaller ones … you can’t choose your windfall) peel & chop into 1cm chunks

3 good sized pears . peel and chop into 1cm chunks

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 large white onion (chopped very small)

2 sticks of celery (choped very small)

I tsp ground cinnamon (or one stick broken up)

4 cloves

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp allspice

250 ml red wine vinegar

4oz  brown sugar

Heat 4 glugs of olive oil or nut oil in a heavy bottomed pan ! Add the onions and garlic with the thyme and stir into the oil .. saute for approx 10 mins ! Add all the spices and mix well … continue to saute for another 5 mins !

Add the apples & pears .. stir through . Add the vinegar and sugar .. stir and leave on a very very low heat !

Allegra suggested 1.5 hrs but I left mine for 2.5 hrs as after 1.5 hrs my fruit appeared too hard still !

Then ladle into sterilised jars .. leave to cool ! Then enjoy at room temp. with a great cheeseboard festooned with all the cheesy loveliness of the nation 🙂

(Recipe adapted from “Colouring the Seasons:A Cooks Guide – Allegra McEvedy)

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