Late-summer loveliness

For the easiest throw-together meal, match chutney, cheese and summer drinks 

Making your own chutneys and fruit pastes is easier than you might think and an economical and hugely satisfying way to stock your cupboards with tasty, seasonal treats. 

Zucchini Relish 

1.5kg zucchini, grated
300g brown onions, peeled and diced
1/4 cup salt
zest of 1 large lemon
10-12 cloves garlic, peeled
2 large red capsicum, seeded and diced
1 cup cider vinegar
4 cups Fairtrade sugar
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 tbsp cornflour

Day one: Combine zucchini and onion with salt and lemon zest in a large bowl. Cover and leave for 3 hours or in fridge overnight. 

Day two: Transfer to a colander and squeeze out most of the liquid.

Slice the garlic lengthwise into slivers and place in a preserving pan or large saucepan with the remaining ingredients, including 1 tbsp of the cornflour.

Bring to a simmer and stir regularly for about 30 minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened. If necessary, stir in the remaining cornflour mixed with a little water and simmer for 5 more minutes. Pour into hot, sterilised jars and seal.

Makes 6 jars 

Apricot Chutney 

1.5kg apricots
450g brown onions, finely diced
450g Fairtrade sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp nutmeg
4 cardamom pods
zest of 1 lemon
muslin cloth or spice bag

Halve the apricots, remove pits and roughly chop. Place the spices and lemon zest in a spice bag or small muslin cloth and tie closed with string. 

Put the spice bag with the chopped apricots and remaining ingredients in a preserving pan or large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, then simmer slowly for about 1 hour until the liquid has evaporated and the chutney reaches a jammy consistency. If it tastes vinegary you can continue to cook, though the vinegar flavour will mellow over time.

Remove spice bag, pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.  

Makes 5-6 cups.

Boysenberry, Apple and Lemon Fruit Paste 

Boysenberry, Apple and Lemon Fruit Paste  

1kg tart cooking apples, unpeeled, quartered and chopped
500g boysenberries (fresh or frozen)
5 tbsp water
450g Fairtrade sugar
seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod
zest of 1 lemon

Place the chopped apples (no need to peel or remove seeds) into a preserving pan or large saucepan along with the boysenberries and water. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for approximately 30 minutes, until the mixture is thick and pulpy. If necessary, top up with water 1 tbsp at a time.

Use a wooden spoon to push the pulp through a sieve into a bowl or large measuring jug. Discard seeds and peel. There should be about 300ml of puree.

Place puree into a pan with 200g sugar per 300ml puree. Heat gently and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add the vanilla seeds and lemon zest. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the mixture is thick and leaves a clear wake when a wooden spoon is dragged through it.

You can spoon the paste into a series of shallow, hot, sterilised jars, or into small shallow bowls, greased so you can turn out before serving. 

Makes approximately 750g of paste.   

Spice Plumberry Relish 

Spiced Plumberry Relish

200g cooking apples (weight once peeled, cored and chopped)
200g plums (weight once halved and pitted)
1 small red onion, diced
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp fresh diced garlic
2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp water
150g blackberries (fresh or frozen)
170g Fairtrade sugar
5 tbsp red wine vinegar

Put the chopped apples, halved plums, red onion, spices, lemon juice and water into a preserving pan or large saucepan with the lid on. Bring to boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20 minutes until plums and apples are soft and pulpy. Add the blackberries and cook for approximately 5-10 minutes until softened.

Add the sugar and vinegar, stir until dissolved and cook with the lid off for approximately 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches a jammy consistency and the flavour of the vinegar has mellowed. Pour into hot, sterilised jars and seal.

Makes 3 medium-sized (250ml) jars.

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