Apple & Walnut Chutney

This apple & walnut chutney was a hit last Christmas and I am very behind with the edible gift preperations this year so it’s making its second appearance in the hampers! I’m not really getting into my usual Christmas spirit but had to get a wriggle on with chutney making so that it had time to mature before the festive season hits. This one is great with cheeses and cold meats too. I will bring you the recipe for the savoury biscuits shortly.

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Caramelised Red Onion Chutney

Of all the chutneys I make at Christmas time this caramelised red onion chutney is the one that people are still talking about in summer, so much so that I have had to start making a mid year batch to tide people over, myself included! Aside from pairing it with cold meats or a cheese board, its excellent at pepping up cheese on toast, on pizza with goats cheese or in a quiche. I found this amazing recipe courtesy of the Guardian website and the recipe is by Fraser Doherty of Super Jam fame.

I use large red onions so find that makes approximately 1.4 litres which is roughly enough for 3 medium 300ml jars and 3 small 180ml jars. The recipe isn’t specific on what sort of brown sugar so I use 100g light brown and 100g dark brown sugar to cover all bases. And again, as per my other chutney post, your house will smell of onions and vinegar for a good few days after making this.

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Tomato and Chilli Chutney

I am psyching myself up for Christmas so brace yourselves for a deluge of edible gift ideas that will be headed this way….. A few years ago I was really strapped for cash right before Christmas so I had to get creative with cheap homemade presents. Everyone was delighted with their homemade biscuits, mincemeat and chutneys so I have been making them every year ever since and will share some of them with you over the coming weeks.

You can make this chutney as mild or hot as you like by adjusting the amount of chillies to suit your taste.

For those who have never ventured into chutney making territory before, cheap preserving jars are available on eBay, at Hobbicraft shops and online and a great UK website for supplies is http://www.nutleyskitchengardens.co.uk/jam-preserve-making/ Size wise I tend to use jars of roughly 180-225ml capacity.

I have a 5lt casserole pot with a heavy copper base which I use for chutney making so if you don’t have a preserving pan a good quaility 4-5lt saucepan/casserole pan will do the trick. Also, be aware your home will smell of vinegar for days afterwards so I suggest opening windows, whacking up the extractor fan to max and not having any washing drying indoors whilst embarking on chutney making! It really is worth all this prep so I hope I have forewarned you rather than put you off!

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Onion Chutney & Cheddar Palmiers

A few weeks ago I bought Jo Wheatley’s new book Home Baking and whilst flicking through it, came across this scarily simple but impressive recipe. My workmate Tracy requested cheese and biscuits over cake for her office birthday celebrations last week so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out this recipe and use up some of my homemade caramelised red onion chutney. The original recipe calls for 2 tbsps of chutney but I doubled the amount as it didn’t seem to go far. You could also use a thin layer of chilli jam and Cheddar or Marmite and Gruyère for different flavours.

Cheese Palmiers

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