Charlton Christmas Chutney

As promised here is a second installment to my Christmas themed entries. Today is a recipe of an old classic but with my own personalised packaging, much like my Chocolate Truffle Gift Jars post which were also presented in recycled baby food jars. A perfect little gift of…

Charlton Christmas Chutney

large jar

(Incase you didn’t know already, my surname is Charlton, hence the name of the post).

I will admit that I am a novice chutney maker so I have cheated slightly by getting some inspiration from various books. But then again, I don’t believe you can be completely unique when it comes to this kind of chutney as its so simple and to be Christmassy you have to stick to traditional spicing. I do think I’ve played around enough with flavours to brand the family name!

The recipe fills about 8 x 250ml baby jars or 4 x Ikea’s smallest rubber sealed jars.

Make sure that the jars and lids are thoroughly cleaned in hot soapy water, rinsed and left to dry in a oven of 150c for at least 15 mins. Making sure that they do not touch in the oven. As this is a hot recipe you need your jars to be hot from the oven to stop the glass shattering. So have your jars in the oven 15 mins before you chutney is finished. Also, if you can have a small extra jar for any extra chutney you make as it will be too late to sterilise anything when you begin to transfer things.

**I wasn’t quite sure about putting the rubber bands from the Ikea jars in the oven, so I washed these in soapy water and then left them in a bowl of boiling water for 5 mins**

Ingredients

Ingredients

For the chutney:

  • 800g of cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 500g fresh cranberries
  • 250g pitted dates, chopped in three
  • 2 satsumas/clementines
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 250ml white wine vinegar
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • Wax paper for sealing

You can mix you the recipe as much as you want depending on what you have in the house. I made two batches and one had plums in it that I needed to use up, it also didn’t have the cayenne pepper as my father in law is allergic. So make sure to think about that sort of thing when giving any food as a gift!

I didn’t have a large enough pot for this recipe so I split mine into two. So to begin with I combined my apples, onion, cranberries, dates, sugar, spices, vinegar and salt into a bowl and gave it a thorough stir. Take your 2 satsumas and zest them over your bowl. Cut in half, squeeze in the juices and then scrape the pulp in also. Give everything another stir and than transfer into your two large pans, or one if you have it!

Bring to a boil and then turn down to the a very low heat and leave for about a hour, stirring occasionally to check it doesn’t stick to the bottom. It’s done when the fruit is no longer recognisable.

pots

Carefully take your jars out of the oven and fill with your chutney. Seal with a piece of wax paper and leave for 1 minute then seal your lid on too. And thats your chutney done! Happy to sit unopened for 1 year!

Now for my little bit of crafting!

Before anything else, I painted my small jar lids with specialist metal and glass paint in a shimmer teal colour to cover up any old text from the baby food.

Labels

Labels

I’ve decided to make some personalised labels and Christmas Pom poms to go on my jars to make my gifts look that bit more special than supermarket conserves. You can find printable labels in lots of places online, especiallyPinterest. I’ve done a combination of bought paper and printed labels. There are so many beautiful papers out there at this time of year, with colours that you’d never get with printing. Mine is from Paperchase and has a vivid magenta, violet and gold pattern.

Depending on the size of my lid, I cut a circle of the special paper to cover top of the lid and then a smaller printed circle with my chutney name to stick on top. If you want to keep things simple though, the paper on its own looked great with the teal edge of the lid.

Still looks good with no label

Still looks good with no label

Then for my finishing touch, my teeny tiny pompoms! The easiest cutest thing you will ever make. They can then be reused by the recipient as a Christmas tree decoration. So hopefully a little part of you will be around long after the chutney is gobble up. Aw!

Pom pom supplies

Pom pom supplies

You will need.

  • Some wool that compliments your label.
  • Ribbon that’s contrasts or matches your wool.
  • Small scissors
  • A fork
  • Crimping scissors for you ribbon (optional)

4 steps

Pom pom!

Pom pom!

Take your wool and wrap and over lap it approximately 20 times around the centre of your fork prong. Cut a length of ribbon, long enough to wrap around your small jar or shorter to dangle from you large one. Thread you ribbon through the centre prong of your fork and tie the ribbon as tight as possible into a double knot. Slip the wool off the fork and snip down the tow edges to get your fluffy Pompom.

Enjoy with a cheese platter or as we have been doing in our house, with a teatime cheese toasty! Yum!

Festively fabulous!

all jars

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Red Pepper, Chorizo & Ricotta Pie.

This week I had a few mummy and baby friends over for lunch and decided I would cook my chicken and bacon pie. Although it turned out fine, I took for granted that it’s usually a weekend pie, especially when you’re cooking the chicken from scratch and don’t have hubby to watch the baby.

What I should have cooked was my simpler and more summer lunch appropriate…

Roasted Sweet Potato, Red Pepper, Chorizo & Ricotta Pie.

The slice is nice!

This is a sweet, creamy, cheesy savoury pie that I got from an old cookery book my mum gave me years ago.  Although, I’ve mixed the recipe up a bit over the years.

Pastry ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry base;

  •  200g Plain Flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g White vegetable fat (cut into small pieces)
  • 50g Butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 2-3 tbsp Iced water

You can of course use shop bought pastry for extra ease but I find this pastry very easy to make.

Sift the flour and salt in a bowl and then rub the fat and butter into this using your fingertips until it becomes a breadcrumb consistency.  Next sprinkle drops of the ice water over the top and blend the mixture with a spoon until it clumps together (you may not need all the water).  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a ball of dough.  Chill for at least 30mins.

Pie Filling

For the filling;

  • 3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves (left in skins)
  • 150g Chorizo, sliced into 1cm chunks.
  • 125g ricotta cheese
  • 100g Cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 tbsp Crème Fraîche
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Some sprigs of rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to170°C(fan assisted)

Cut the sweet potato and red pepper into 2.5cm cubes.  Lay these out onto a large baking tray along with the garlic, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 25mins.  Then add the chorizo and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.

While cooling, get a large bowl ready.  In it squeeze out the pulp of the roasted garlic.  Next add the ricotta, cheddar, crème Fraîche and egg yolks.  Mix until smooth and set aside.

Ricotta Filling

Remove you pastry from the fridge.  Roll to app £1 coin thickness and big enough for your pie dish.  Line your pie dish with the pastry and trim the excess.  Spoon the ricotta mixture into the pastry dish and spread to cover the base.  Then cover this with a layer of your roasted vegetables and chorizo.  Brush the exposed edges of the pasty with your beaten egg, scatter with a few sprigs of rosemary and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Season to taste and enjoy.  Easy Peasy!

Yum!