I also began my retirement last Wednesday- which feels like a windfall gift (even if I did have to work 35 long years as a teacher to earn it!)
What better way to spend the first day of my future life of leisure, than happily stewing apples and making chutney?
My chutney recipe used up 2-3 lbs (1 1/2 kilos) of the apples.
First I sterilised the jars by giving them a hot wash in the dishwasher and then dried them on a low heat in the oven until ready to use (about an hour and a half in all, which was just about the time it took to make the chutney.)
In a large saucepan, I softened 250g of sliced onions in some flavourless oil and added the peeled, cored and sliced apples (minus any bruises or worms of course). I mixed in 2 tsp mixed spice, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp salt, 400 ml of cider vinegar and 400g of sugar and brought that up to the boil.
I took a spoonful of the mixture and put it on a clean saucer. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, I drew a line through it -and the chutney remained parted like the Red Sea -so I knew it had reached the 'jammy' stage.
I bottled it up into the hot jars, using a jam funnel and topped each jar with a wax disc before sealing loosely. Once the jars had cooled, I tightened the lids and put them away in the store cupboard to mature. I'll open one in a few weeks time, to see it I got the whole process right.
|Apple, Date and Sultana Chutney|
Next, I stewed another 3 apples to make a crumble- including some mini ones which I served as part of a cafe gourmand: a cup of expresso coffee with a selection of mini desserts.
This one was autumn themed: afore mentioned mini crumble, a mini bottle of creme anglaise, some blackberries from the hedgerow and a bramble jam tart. Very pretty- and went well with a little glass of Calvados too.
|Autumn cafe gourmand|
Tonight I am baking two of the smaller Bramleys 'in their dressing gowns'. The apples are peeled and cored, filled with dates and sultanas and a good squirt of golden syrup, laid on shortcrust pastry rounds
|Apple in It's Dressing Gown|
Other apple recipes on the blog include Normandy Apple Tart, Black Pudding and Apple Muffins, Apple Lattice, Toffee Apple Ice Cream, Apple and Sultana Battelmann and Spiced Apple Cake.
|Spiced Apple Cake|
|Toffee Apple Ice Cream|
|Black Pudding and Apple Muffins|
|Normandy Apple Tart|
|Apple and Sultana Battelmann|
I am also going to add one cooking apple to a chicken curry to make A Very English Curry. Watch out for the recipe on a future blog.
I still have one whole bowlful of apples to go, so would appreciate any of your apple recipes and ideas.
In the meantime- I hope you find these recipes scrump-tious.