Foraginglondon's Blog

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Medlar, apple & pear chutney 18/11/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,garlic,garlic,ginger,medlar,salt,vinegar — foraginglondon @ 13:21

Afternoon folks,

I made the medlar and apple jelly yesterday, as you could see from my previous post. SLight mistake my end and the jelly didn’t set, which means re-boiling, re-testing, sterilising the jars again and re-jarring. A huge pain in the backside and harsh lesson in the process.

Anyway, today is about using the medlar and apple pulp to make medlar, apple and pear chutney. I am using this process from the one described by hugh fearnley-whittingstall of River Cottage fame. What I really like is the fact that you can use the main ingredients twice. The pulp was used to make the jelly, the flavour and juice removed and is now making another flavour packed product.


  • 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil (I used rapeseed oil)
  • 4 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 5-7cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2kg Bramley apples, cored and chopped (I used some pears as only had 1.25 kg of bramley apples)
  • 500g dark Muscovado sugar
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • The left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or about 700g pears, peeled, cored and chopped


1. Warm the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices, stirring well and frying until the mustard seeds just begin to pop. This will only take a minute or so – be careful not to scorch the spices. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, stir well, and fry gently for few minutes.

2. Tip the chopped apples into a large preserving pan and pour over the spices.

3. Add the sugar, vinegar and salt, along with the left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or the pears if you are using them instead.

medlar pulp with everything else

medlar pulp with everything else

4. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for about 2 hours until thickened, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if you think it’s beginning to look too thick.

5. Bottle in warm, sterilised jars, filling the jars really full as the mixture will shrink slightly as it cools. Seal with vinegar-proof lids.


Apple and Ginger Jam 05/11/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,ginger,sugar — foraginglondon @ 10:24

Here is a fantastic recipe for using up a glut of apples, and making something that has a little bit of a kick in it for your breakfast toast.

glut of apples

glut of apples

I was hesitant at first, but since trying this jam this week I am converted.


  • 3 kilos apples
  • 3 kilos sugar
  • 100g crystalised ginger (available in larger supermarkets)


  • Peel and core apples.
  • Cover skins and cores with water and boil to a pulp.
  • Strain through a jelly bag.
  • Return this liquid to the pan and add sugar.
  • Stir till dissolved and add chopped apples and ginger and boil till sets – about 1 hour

A few pointers from my experience of making this.

  1. The reason for boiling up the cores and skins is that they contain the majority of the pectin. Pectin is what holds together fruit, and what will ensure your jam sets, rather than remaining a liquid. Some fruits are high in this and others not. Apples have plenty, but pears as I found out the hard way do not. Hence my pear marmalade did not set, and I had to re-boil with added pectin and lemon juice. Maybe this should be the subject of another blog as I learn’t plenty about this fairly dull liquid.
  2. You can replace the jelly bag with muslin, but the jelly bag will ensure the liquid is clear and no bits of peel get through into the jam.
  3. I found that it took quite some time boiling the mixture before getting to the setting point, so leave plenty of time or use recommended jam making equipment rather than regular pots and pans.
  4. I was also scared that the ginger flavour would not come through. I ended up adding more ginger (nearer 200g, which is what it is sold as) to the mixture. I recommend you taste the mixture and decide exactly how much ginger to add.
  5. Finally my mixture went a dark red, which is contrary to the green of the apple and the yellow of the ginger. I assume this is the sugar, but could be wrong.

Many thanks to Gillian Painter for the recipe

Enjoy making!


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