Musings of a disordered but endlessly enthusiastic kind. Wine, food, art, gardening, France, Italy and home again giggerty gig.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Major Marshall’s Chutney: (Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning)
Each day this week we’ve hit the ground running, no early morning chats putting the world to rights over a leisurely cup of tea in bed, no checking over-night e.mails and responding, no singing in shower, just straight to work on the harvest. The last Early River’s plum chutney is made and it’s my personal favourite, Major Marshall’s Chutney. Slightly more Indian than Anglo-Indian, a touch of the Raj brought home, one imagines, by an officer suffering sub-continent gastronomic withdrawal, but with only English summer garden produce to hand and perhaps a campaign chest of spices. Major Marshall’s Chutney
6-8 lbs Plums stoned and halved Pickling Spice (see below) 2 lbs red onions 2 lbs red tomatoes –skinned (green are good too –un-skinned) 1 ½ pints of red wine vinegar 2 lbs tart apples 1 lb dried apricots 1 lb golden syrup (one 450gms tin) 1½ lbs Demerara sugar 1-2 tablespoon tomato puree 6 tablespoons pickling salt
Picking Spice ½ teaspoon anise seeds (optional) 10 allspice berries 1 teaspoon of dried garlic (or four or five whole fresh cloves) 6 thin slices of fresh fat ginger 6 bay leaves 8 green cardamoms roughly crushed 6 dried chillies or 2 teaspoons chilli powder 2 two inch lengths of rolled cinnamon 6 cloves 2 tablespoons coriander seeds 2 tablespoons dried methi (fenugreek leaves) optional but good 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 2 whole mace blades 2 teaspoons mustard seeds 15-20 mixed peppercorns Muslin to wrap all the spices and tie in a bundle (faggot or bouquet garnis)
Mince the onions, tomatoes and apples in blender to rough chop. Mince the apricots to fine chop. Add all the fruit to very large pickling pot or kettle and add rest of ingredients. Add spices in muslin faggot. Cook on moderate heat until well-reduced and makes a furrow on the surface with a wooden spoon. You may need to check spicing for heat and strength and remove faggot when personal taste has been acheived. Bottle in sterilised jars. Ready immediately if you, like me, can’t resist, but will age nicely for months to come and only get better. Good with everything! I’m afraid the rest of the story is in pictures only until I have time to write with poise, I leave you caught red handed!
Enough to start my own shop? Plum Jam on the go. Plum Wine starting to ferment. Early Transparent Gages - next on the list!