Daily Archives: August 21, 2012

Green Tomato Chutney

With the amount of rain and lack of sunshine this summer it looks like many greenhouse owners will have a glut of green tomatoes. Fear not, this tasty recipe transforms them into a delicious chutney that will see you through to next summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ lb green tomatoes (1.25kg)
  • 2lb onions (900g)
  • 2 ½ lb cooking apples (1.25kg)
  • 1lb seedless raisins
  • 6 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • 2 level dessert spoons ground ginger
  • 1lb 6oz soft brown or Demerara sugar (625g)
  • 1 oz pickling spice (25g) – optional
  • 3 pints genuine malt vinegar (1.75 litres)

What you will need

  • Small preserving pan
  • 8 x 1lb (450g) preserving jars
  • A mincer (or a food processor)
  • A string and some gauze

Method

Wash the tomatoes and cut them into quarters; peel the onions and quarter them; quarter and core the apples, leaving the peels on and keep them in water to prevent browning.

Using the medium blade of the mincer, mince the tomatoes and place them in the pan; next mince the onions, then the raisins followed by the apples, adding them all to the pan.

Now add the garlic, the cayenne, salt, ginger and sugar, blending everything thoroughly. Next, if using the pickling spice, tie it in a small piece of double-thickness gauze and attach it to the handle of the pan so that it hangs down into the other ingredients.

Now pour in the vinegar, bring to a simmering point, remove any scum from the surface, then let it simmer very gently for about 3 ½ hours without covering. Stir now and then, especially towards the end, to prevent sticking. It is ready when the vinegar has been almost absorbed, the chutney has thickened to a nice soft consistency and the spoon leaves a trail.

Pour the hot chutney into hot jars, filling them as full as possible and seal with a tight lid. Label the jars once the chutney is cold.

Store for at least three months in a cool dark place before using. This allows it to mature and mellow in flavour. It will be worth the wait!

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Finally, the 2012 inaugural tomato eating ceremony!

On the evening of Thursday 16th August 2012, Mr Mac and I were finally able to  pick our first tomato of 2012. It was one of the sungold variety and despite the appalling growing conditions it had, it did not disappoint.

It has become tradition that we share the first tomato each year. So the tomato was picked from the vine, taken to the kitchen, washed, sliced in half and sprinkled with a little salt. This year we contemplated some black pepper (I know – we are just crazy) but quickly changed our minds.

On the count of three we both ate our little half tomato. It was so sweet and delicious it probably did not even need salt.

Sungold really are the sweetest tomatoes I have ever come across and I have a challenge with fellow blogger  Carrot Tops that they are sweeter than his favourites, gardeners delight.

Unfortunately, I had to wait another 4 days before any more were ripe enough to eat and finally, in the middle of August, I was able to go down to the greenhouse and pick my first salad!