Well, it’s been a good year for apples, and as I enjoyed making the chutney and jelly so much, I made some more apple preserves.
First up, some more chutney, this time apple, date and ginger. Recipe here. I didn’t have any cider vinegar, so I used malt with no ill effect, although I’d like to try cider vinegar next time. I also used paprika instead of cayenne and mixed spice instead of allspice. This was for no culinary reason – I just didn’t have any cayenne or allspice. I made double, as I had a lot of apples, and it smells lovely, and tastes very promising. I’m looking forward to cracking into it in a few weeks.
Next, I moved onto jam – this one, the wonderful sounding Caramel Apple Jam. From the comments describing it as ‘apple pie jam’ it was clear that I had to try this. Although I was a bit confused by the recipe calling for pectin. ‘Pectin?’ I thought, ‘with apples?’ I wasn’t sure why you’d add pectin to one of the most pectiny fruits there is. And then I saw the instruction to boil for 1 minute and had my answer: either laziness or impatience. Forget the pectin and boil to a set as usual – about 15 minutes, in my case. This is an American recipe and so calls for processing in a water bath, something that is obligatory for canning here (botulism being an undesirable ingredient on both sides of the Atlantic) but I’ve never seen an instruction to waterbath jam in a British recipe. So, of course, I didn’t. Hot jam into hot sterilised jars, sealed before they cool, and the job is, as they say, a good’un. It’s lovely, by the way – very sweet but really autumnal and comforting, and would make bread and jam taste (and feel) like cake.
Here they are on the top of our (as yet unlit, although it won’t be long) range. Jam on the left, chutney on the right.