Sauternes Jelly

Ingredients

500g green grapes

1 large cooking apple (about 250g)

1 unwaxed lemon

400ml water

400g granulated or preserving sugar

1 × 375ml bottle of Sauternes or

Muscat dessert wine

1–2 tbsp brandy (optional)

Method

Rinse the grapes and the apple, and discard the grape stalks. Crush the grapes; the easiest way to do this is to pulse them in a food processor a few times.

Chop the apple and lemon into small pieces, or pulse these in the food processor as well. Put all the fruit in a roomy pan with the measured water.

Cover and bring to a simmer for 25–30 minutes until reduced to a pulp; press this down with a potato masher or jam skimmer towards the end of cooking.

Strain the cooked mixture through a scalded jelly bag set over a large bowl, or double-strain it using a fine sieve (see page 97). Leave to drip through for several hours or overnight, as necessary.

Towards the end of this time, sterilise your jars and twist-on lids. Chill a couple of saucers or spoons, ready to test for setting point. Pour the grape stock into a measuring jug, discarding any sediment. Measure out 350ml of the stock and pour this into a large heavy-based pan or preserving pan.

Bring to the boil. Add the sugar a third at a time and stir lightly until it has dissolved. Increase the heat to a steady boil for 5 minutes; the surface will be covered with white bubbles.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir (in one direction only) to disperse the bubbles. Pour in the wine and return the pan to the heat.

Bring the mixture up to a steady boil again for 8–9 minutes, until setting point is reached (see page 15). Remove from the heat and lightly stir in the brandy, if using.

Rest the mixture for several minutes before tipping into a wide-necked jug with a good pouring lip – if a skin has formed then first remove with a slotted spoon or jam skimmer. Tap the jug carefully on the work surface to knock out any air bubbles.

Pour the jelly into the jars, filling to the brim, and seal immediately. Invert the jars for a minute or so, to ensure the lids are sterilised, then turn the right way up and leave to cool.

Store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year. Keep in the fridge once opened and use within 3–4 months.

Carrot Chutney

Ingredients

1.2kg carrots, peeled and grated

1 tbsp fine sea salt

1 tbsp coriander seeds,

lightly crushed

1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed

500ml cider vinegar

700g sharp cooking apples, peeled,

cored and roughly chopped

(500g prepared weight)

200ml water

30g fresh root ginger, peeled and

roughly chopped

2 mild to medium red chillies,

halved lengthways, deseeded

and roughly chopped

5 fat garlic gloves (30g peeled weight)

Finely grated zest and juice of

2 unwaxed limes

600g golden granulated sugar

Method

Place the prepared carrots in a bowl with the salt, coriander and caraway seeds and cider vinegar. Mix to combine. Cover the surface with a piece of baking parchment and leave in a cool place overnight.

The next day place the prepared apples with the measured water in a large heavy-based pan.

Cook over a gentle heat until the apples have reduced to a smooth purée. Meanwhile, blitz the ginger, chillies, garlic, lime zest and juice together to a paste using a food processor or pound together in a pestle and mortar.

When the apples are cooked, turn the carrots and the spicy vinegar into the pan and mix to combine. Bring to simmering point then add the sugar, stirring until it has completely dissolved.

Return the mixture to a steady boil for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and then frequently towards the end to prevent it catching, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick, glossy and you can catch a glimpse of the bottom of the pan when you draw a wooden spoon across.

Meanwhile, sterilise your jars and twist-on lids.

Remove the chutney from the heat and spoon into the warm jars, filling to the brim and gently tapping the jars on the work surface to knock out any pockets of air. Seal immediately.

Ideally, don’t open for 2–3 weeks, in order to allow the flavours to mingle and mellow. Store in a cook, dark, dry place for up to a year. Keep in a cool place for up to 3–4 months once opened.

Peppered Cider Apple Cheese

Ingredients

A little olive or sunflower oil (optional)

1kg cooking apples

500ml cider (or 1 × 440ml can)

400g granulated sugar

1–2 tsp cracked black pepper (bought, or coarsely crushed whole peppercorns)

Plus a little extra if wanted

Pinch of fine sea salt

10–12 walnut halves (optional)

Method

If you are using small jars or ramekins to shape the cheese, brush the insides with a little oil. If using a 10 × 20cm heatproof dish or loaf tin, line it with baking parchment, allowing plenty of overhang.

Rinse the apples and remove the stalks. Halve and quarter and roughly chop into 3cm pieces – there’s no need to peel or core them. Put in a roomy pan with the cider, cover and place over a medium heat and cook until the apples are completely soft.

Tip them into a large sieve or a mouli placed over a bowl and rub through to remove the skin and pips – you should have about 800ml smooth purée.

Return the purée to the cleaned-out pan and place over a medium heat. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Continue to cook gently for about

30–40 minutes, stirring frequently and running a spatula around the sides of the pan, until the mixture is velvety smooth and gelatinous and there is a very clear path across the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds when you drag a spoon across it.

Remove from the heat and stir in the pepper and salt. If you like, scatter a little extra black pepper and/or position a few walnuts (flat side uppermost) in the base of the jars or the tray, then spoon the mixture into the containers.

Seal the jars with lids and allow to cool, or follow the directions on page 123 for small dishes or a tray.

You can store your fruit cheese in sealed jars in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year; once opened, keep in the fridge. Cheeses wrapped in parchment and stored in airtight containers will keep in the fridge for a year, but do remember to wrap them up again after using.