Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Devil's Chutney... Temptingly Sweet, Wickedly Hot!

After our recent Strawberry binge, I still had quite a few left over that were past their prime.  So the only thing I could think about was making a chutney that would go with cheeses, BBQ's and could be used as a marinade for meats.  As a self confused Chilli fan I was looking for something with a kick of heat.  Strawberries and Chilli?  Was I going mad?... No!  This Chutney has turned out to be insanely sweet followed by an intense heat, and with an after taste that lingers leaving you craving more.  If you have any left over Strawberries left over from all the sweet treats of a visit to your local Pick Your Own, then give this a go, you can adjust the chilli to suit your tastes.  Mix things up and make it as individual as you. x

Spicy Strawberry and Chilli Chutney

  • 1 kg Strawberries - Roughly Chopped

  • 60 g Dried Crushed Chilli

  • 500 ml White Wine Vinegar

  • 500 ml Cider Vinegar

  • 1 kg White Caster Sugar

  • 2 tbsp Grated Fresh Ginger

  • 60 g Dried Cranberries

  • 60 g Apple - Peeled and Roughly Chopped

  • 2 tsp Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper

Place all the ingredients into a large pan and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for around 3 hours or until the sauce has reduced and becomes thick and sticky when a small drop is placed on a cold plate.  Sterilize your jars (see note).  Carefully spoon the chutney into the jars and seal immediately with a vinegar proof lid, this is any lid that has a coating on the inside, not metal as this will corrode.  Label and date your jars.  Your chutney will be ready after a couple of weeks, but will improve with age.  Once opened store in the fridge.  I have to confess, I opened a jar within 1 day (I'm not very patient), and the Chutney tasted great.


Properly sterilising your jars is essential. If you are reusing old jars, check for cracks. Wash all jars in hot, soapy water and rinse in freshly boiled water, then turn upside-down on a clean tea towel to drain. To heat sterilise your jars, preheat the oven to Gas3/170C. Stand the jars on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Or put the clean jam jars in a deep pan and cover with boiling water. Bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. It is also possible to sterilise jars in the microwave. Half-fill jars with fresh water and microwave on full power until the water boils.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sweet Pickings

Today was our first visit to the Pick Your Own at Lifton Strawberry Fields.  The first crop of the season are now ripe for the picking and are huge, sweet and juicy to boot.  The kids really enjoyed collecting their own lunch, dinner and breakfasts for the next few days.  Well, they did have a punnet each and they were big punnets.  But then what better excuse do you need to see how many things you can make with Strawberries.  Of course the great classic of Strawberries and Cream are pretty high on everyone's list, but today the first port of call was Strawberry Drop Scone Pancakes with Ice Cream.  Hope you enjoy this summer treat. x

Strawberry Sauce

Roughly chop your Strawberries and pop into a pan.  Add Caster Sugar to taste and cook away on a med-low heat until the strawberries are completely softened.  Give a little squash with a potato masher, or blender if you prefer a smoother sauce.

Drop Scone Pancakes

  • 250g Self-Raising Flour

  • Pinch of Baking Powder

  • 25g Caster Sugar

  • 2 Eggs

  • 275ml Milk

  • 50g Butter, Melted

  • Sunflower Oil

Gently melt the Butter in a small pan, and set to one side.  Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk in the wet ingredients, adding the butter last.  Place a small amount of sunflower oil in a frying pan.  Using a dessert spoon drop the mixture into the frying pan, once the mixture turns matt, flip and lightly brown the other side.  You should be able to do a few pancakes at a time, then pop them in a dish in a low oven to keep warm while you cook the remainder of the mix.  Serve with the Strawberry Sauce and Ice Cream.