For the last few years, I have made a tiny batch of chutney just for the Christmas period. For me, I really appreciate a large Christmas ham ready in the fridge and chutney always sets off that Christmas feast. The chutney or pickle also has to be something new to me, without it being of the Letitia Cropley's extraction in "The vicar of Dibley"! Previous years, I have used our blackberries with mace, balsamic and red onion ; another year was black cherries, dill, chilli and champagne vinegar. It's all good fun!
For two jars you will need...
6 shallots (or onions - 240 g or 8.5 oz)
thumb of ginger (20 g or third of an oz)
225 g or 1 cup of fine sugar
118 ml or half cup of cider vinegar
240 ml or 1 cup of water (with some on standby if too thick)
1 teaspoon of salt
small sprig of rosemary
1 teaspoon of crushed pink peppercorns
Into a saucepan, bring your water, vinegar and sugar to a boil while you peel and dice the quinces. Put the quinces in the pan immediately so they do not oxidise. The quinces will take 35 minutes to cook down, so reduce the heat after five minutes of a good boiling heat. Start slicing the shallots or onions very finely and add in once you are done (these need 20 minutes cooking minimum so if you are slow, do it before!!) . Next, grate or slice the ginger - I like thin slices - place in the rosemary whole so you can remove it later. Finally, in the last 10 minutes, add the diced apple which needs less cooking as you want to see the chunks in the mix without forgetting to add the salt. There should be some liquid but not too much (carry on cooking if need be - also testing if the quinces are soft. Remove the rosemary making sure you use a teaspoon to get the precious juices around the stem). Put into sterilised jars and keep in the fridge or a cool cupboard until Christmas.
ALTERNATIVELY: If you can not fine quince you could use pear or apple but just cook for 15 minutes - also reduce the water by a third adding more if too thick.
Ginger and quinces...