I am into making preserves, jams and chutneys at the moment. The abundance of fruits on this small island inspire me, their ripeness and freshness, straight from the tree into the pan. It’s like preserving the freshness for the winter when the local variety will no longer be available. I like cutting my own fruit…. I love being outdoors, the clear blue skies and fresh sea breeze and I also look forward to the blistering sun at midday when everyone swelters and sweats but it does not affect me and I remain surprisingly cool….. I think that shows how much how I really love it ! I have no problem being in the heat during siesta time. This is a paradise on earth …..
So a new discovery yesterday, quite a delicious one. The local melons were so cheap at the vegetable market and I cut the last few apples left on the trees and started making this chutney straight away… capturing the freshness for the winter months when I will dream and long for the heat of the summer to return.
I was advised to try a new way of sterilizing jars and lids this week and although more time consuming, it is I feel a much safer method for sterilization.
What you need to do is boil the jars and lids in a large caldron for 20 minutes, then using tongs take two sets of jars and lids, fill, cover immediately with lid and turn upside down down for a few minutes. Keep the water temperature on a low boil until you finish the process. It is true that this is a long process but I feel more satisfied with this method of sterilization somehow.
Here is the recipe for the Melon Chili Ginger Chutney. It has the same consistency as the traditional mango chutney and it is going to be a great accompaniment to curries, with poppadums, or simply served with a cheese platter or ploughmans lunch http://britishfood.about.com/od/faq/f/ploughmans.htm
You will need :
1 kg Apples, preferably cooking
1 kg Melon
6 limes, zest and juice
2 kg Sugar
3 teaspoons sea salt, I use Maldon www.maldonsalt.co.uk
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger but you can add more if you prefer
Dried chili flakes, 1 used 3 teaspoons but adjust according to your taste
Chop up apples with skin on and pour the lime juice and mix well to prevent discoloration.
Cover and stew on low heat until soft and mushy,.
Break up with masher.
Peel the melon and chop.
Add to the apple mixture and cook until you can mash it up. Add the grated ginger.
I do not like a completely puréed look and leave some bits and chunks.
Add the sugar, stir and bring to a rolling boil for around 10 minutes. Do not overdo it as you want to retain a light color.
Use the saucer method for testing the setting point. Place a saucer in the freezer and test the chutney by putting a few drops on the cold plate. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it has reach setting point. If it is still runny, return to heat, boil and retest.
Chop up the dried chili and use the quantity you are comfortable with. I used r teaspoons of while dried chilis and chopped them up. This makes it very spicy as we prefer spicy chutneys but it is best to put less and I increase it if you wish.
I usually calculate that each kilo of fruit yields 12 x 150 g jars. Sterilize jars as described above and fill.
The taste is fantastic. I enjoyed making it and look forward to sharing and eating it very soon….