Foraginglondon's Blog

For all your foraging needs in London

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

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.


 

Medlar and Apple Jelly 17/11/2010

Filed under: apple,foraging,medlar,sugar — foraginglondon @ 14:51

I’ve nearly finished the Haw biscuits. Hope you managed to grab a few whilst they are still on the trees. I went to the Islington Farmers Market over the weekend and picked up some medlars. I had been on the lookout for them during the autumn period, but there doesn’t seem to be any growing around my way. So, there they were a few punnets of brownish apple/rose looking things. I decided to buy a couple and see what can be done with them.

Medlars are actually part of the rose family and not native to the UK. They do not ripen and require bletting. I suggest looking up Medlars to understand more about them.

Medlar

Medlar

The first recipe I found was for Medlar & Apple jelly, and the pulp from this can then be made into medlar & apple chutney.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg medlars (quartered but not peeled)
  • 500g Bramley cooking apples
  • About 650g granulated sugar

Method:

1. Quarter the medlars. Peel and chop the apples and tip the fruit into a preserving pan, or any heavy-bottomed, deep, wide pan, with just enough water to cover.

chopped medlars and apples

chopped medlars and apples

2. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, until the medlars are soft and pulpy.

3. Strain through a jelly bag on a stand set over a large bowl. Don’t be tempted to poke, squeeze or force the pulp through the bag or you’ll get a cloudy jelly, just leave it to drip over the bowl for several hours or overnight. Don’t discard the pulp though – it’s perfect for adding to ourchutney.

4. Measure the juice, pour into a clean preserving pan and bring to boiling point before adding the sugar (for every 1l of juice, add 650g of sugar). Stir, in one direction only to reduce foam, until sugar is totally dissolved then boil rapidly for 8 minutes or until the setting point is reached.

Boiling medlar jelly

Boiling medlar jelly

If you have a preserving thermometer, it should read 104.5°C; if you don’t have a thermometer, drop a little jelly onto a saucer which you have chilled in the fridge. Let the jelly cool for a minute then push it gently with your finger. If it crinkles, it has reached its setting point. Remove from the heat and skim off any scum using a slotted spoon.

Testing the setting point

Testing the setting point

5. Decant carefully into a warm jug and pour into warm, sterilised jars.

Jarred medlar jelly

Jarred medlar jelly


 

 
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