Jams, chutneys and ketchups

Sugar free Lemon Curd

I adore lemon curd but have only just found this, guess what I will be making soon.

  • 4 Tablespoons butter (½ stick)
  • ½ cup lemon juice, preferably fresh
  • 1 cup sugar equivalent artificial sweetener, I use Splenda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 small pinch salt

Cut butter up into pieces (around 8 to 10 pieces is good). Put the butter into the freezer.

Blend the rest of the ingredients together, with either a stick blender or standing blender.

Add the butter.

Heat slowly in small saucepan or double boiler. Whisk or stir frequently. When curd begins to thicken to the point where it coats the spoon, or leaves a trail when the bottom of the pan is scraped with a spatula, or is 170 F, remove from heat (don't let it get to boiling)

Quick Apple chutney

150 g soft light brown sugar.

100 g sultanas

125ml malt vinegar.

2 eating apples, peeled,cored andchopped

3 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 onion finely chopped

Heat a large frying pan till hot. Add the sugar and sultanas and heat until sugar is just melting.Add the vinegar and cook till all the sugar is dissolved and starting to caramellize. Stir in all the other ingredients and cook for 10 minutes or till the Apple is tender and the mixuture is thickened. Remove from the heat and put into a sterilised jar.This will not keep as long a normal chutney but it won't stay on the table long either.

Tomato chutney

Roast, grill or BBQ 6 tomatoes and 2 shallots. If you can’t get shallots then use a medium onion cut in half through the root, so it holds together. Cook them until they are lightly charred then remove the skins and roughly chop the tomatoes and onion. Put in a blender with a little red wine vinegar (other vinegars can be used – see at the end), seasoning, finely chopped parsley and extra virgin olive oil. Blend till it changes colour to a thick pink sauce. Chill for a while then serve with BBQ meats, fish. or vegetables.

I didn’t have red wine vinegar the first time I made this so used white wine vinegar, it was fine. I will try it using lime juice next time, instead of the vinegar. With the large number of green tomatoes we have and the even larger number of red ones we already have in the freezer, I decided to make chutney. I looked at a number of recipes and mixed them up and came up with the following.

2 kg green tomatoes, chopped
500g apples, peeled, chopped and cored
*250g sultanas
*625 g onions, chopped
*500 g sugar - I mixed soft brown and granulated
*2 tsp salt
*500ml cider vinegar/white wine vinegar mixed (I find malt vinegar is too harsh)
*1 tsp ground ginger
*1 tsp ground red chillies

Now the easy bit. Chuck it all in a pan that easily takes the whole lot in one. Bring slowly to the boil giving it a stir every now and then to dissolve the sugar. When it is boiling well (careful it can spit and will be hot) turn it down to simmer for 30-45 minutes. By this time it will be reduced and starting to thicken, keep simmering until it reaches a consistency that is a little looser than you want the end product to be as it thickens as it cools. Pour into sterilized jars and cover and label. Leave to cool before putting away.

Now if you like that you can change things round to use what ever is in season or there is a glut of. Just make sure you use all the items marked with * and change the fruit to whatever is available.

If you have a smaller quantity of fruit reduce the other ingredients in the same proportion and watch the simmering time as it will be less.

Some suggestions: peaches, courgette or marrow, mango, plums, runner beans, pears, apples on their own Makes 1.5 litres (approx)

Tomato Ketchup

3 kg ripe tomatoes
2 tbls salt
600 ml white vinegar
1 1/8 cups (250 g) 9 oz white sugar
1/2 tsp each of ground cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and Cayenne pepper

Quarter the tomatoes, place them in a preserving pan with the salt and vinegar, and simmer until they are soft and quite broken up.

Rub the mixture through coarse muslin or a fine nylon sieve; then return it to the pan and add the sugar.

Simmer until the ketchup starts to thicken, and then add the spices to taste, a little at a time, stirring thoroughly.

Meanwhile, heat enough bottles to hold the ketchup, and prepare seal, a boiled cork to fit the bottle and either waxed or covered with greaseproof paper tied securely over.

When the ketchup is thick enough, fill the hot bottles, leaving a head-space.

Seal immediately, or allow the ketchup to cool slightly; then fill up the bottles, leaving a headspace, and sterilize at 88°C for 30 minutes.

Seal immediately. Label when cold.

Note Remember that the ketchup will be thicker when cold, so do not reduce it too much.This one is from the BBC and looks quite easy.

Another tomato ketchup


1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions ,
1 thumb-size piece fresh root ginger , finely chopped or grated
2 garlic cloves , chopped
1 red chilli , deseeded and finely chopped
800g tomatoes , briefly whizzed in a food processor or finely chopped
100g dark brown sugar
100ml red wine vinegar
2 tbsp tomato purée
coriander seeds

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan, then fry the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli for 10-15 mins until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and some seasoning, then boil for 30 mins, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and is sticky.

Cool slightly, then whizz in a blender or food processor until smooth. If the sauce is a bit thick for your liking, stir in a dribble of boiling water. Sieve, then funnel into a bottle or jar while still hot. Cool completely before serving. Will keep for 3 months in the fridge.Found this recipe online on the Southernfood site, I will be using it with our tomatoes which we have loads of this year.

This homemade ketchup takes time, but the final result is well worth the effort. I start this the day before, then I refrigerate the tomato pulp and liquid mixture to boil down and process the next day.

* 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
* 2 teaspoons whole cloves
* 1 (3- to 4-inch) cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
* 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
* 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
* 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
* 12 pounds tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
* 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 small hot red pepper, finely chopped, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons pickling salt

Put the celery seeds, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, and mustard seeds in a cheesecloth bag. Tie up and set aside.

In a small stainless steel or enamel-lined saucepan, combine the vinegar and spice bag. Bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 25 minutes. Remove the spice bag and discard. Set the vinegar aside.

In a large stainless steel or enamel-lined kettle (at least 8 to 12 quart size), combine the chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, and red pepper or cayenne. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue at a gently boil, stirring frequently, for 25 minutes. Add the spiced vinegar to the tomato mixture and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes longer.

Drain the tomatoes into a large stainless steel saucepan, then put them through a food mill to extract as much juice and pulp into the saucepan as possible. Discard the solids. Add sugar and salt to the extracted pulp and juices. At this point, you can refrigerate this mixture overnight and finish the next day. Bring the tomato pulp mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and boil for about 2 hours, or until reduced by about 2/3 and thickened to a ketchup consistency.

Meanwhile, prepare the work area, canner, jars, and lids. See Preparing Jars for Canning and Boiling Water Processing.

Fill jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Use a small plastic or stainless steel spatula to remove air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, and fit with lids and seals.

Transfer to a rack in the canner and lower into the hot water. Add more water, as needed, so you have 1 inch over the jars. Cover, bring to a boil, and continue boiling gently for 15 minutes.

Makes 3 pints.We have a big crop of pears this year so I have searched for recipes to use. I will be bottling some in plain syrup and there is the usual chutney but I found this recipe for an unusual preserve, on the Cottage Smallholder site and will definitely give it a try.

Pear and lemon jam

2 kilos of pears (peeled, cored and chopped
3 medium lemons (strained juice and zest)
1 kilo of granulated sugar
1 litre of water

Peel, core and chop the pears and place in a large covered bowl, to stop them browning.

Remove the zest from the lemons carefully to avoid adding the bitter pith. Set zest aside. Squeeze the lemon juice and strain.

Add the water, chopped pears, lemon zest and juice to a large heavy bottomed saucepan.

Simmer very gently until the pears are just soft. Pour in the sugar and stir, over a medium/low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Bring the heat up to a rolling boil . Allow to boil hard for ten minutes before testing for a set. If it has not reached setting point. Continue to boil rapidly, checking for a set every four minutes or so. When the jam has set remove from the heat.

Allow the jam to stand for a few minutes and pour into warmed sterilised jars. Cover with screw top lids or wax disks and cellophane tops. Label when cold. Store in a cool dry place.Another Nigella recipe, perfect with hot or cold ham.

Peach chutney

4 cans peaches in syrup (do NOT use those canned in juice)
1 tsp black peppercorns
6/7 cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli flakes
2 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and thinly sliced (do not grate)
4 half cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp rice vinegar (white wine vinegar will do)
Open the tins and put the contents in a large pan. Add all the other ingredients and heat. Gently boil for 1 minute. Pack into preserving jars, with the spices evenly distributed. Cool then refrigerate.

This quantity makes several jars so goof if you want to make them as presents. For your own consumption half or quarter the ingredients.


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