Suddenly, it’s November and getting cold outside – have you started thinking about Christmas yet? If you’re looking for homemade foodie gifts for your friends and family, now is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen.
It doesn’t really matter whether you’re inspired by a classic farmhouse kitchen vibe or prefer the practicality and contemporary style of an uber urban kitchen, there’s nothing quite like the welcoming aroma of homemade jam or chutney bubbling away on the stove.
All it takes is some vegetables, some gorgeous glass jars and decorations, and perhaps a rainy afternoon in the kitchen – oh and an inspiring recipe. Over to Mary Berry, the queen of the kitchen.
900g red peppers (3), green pepper (1), aubergine (1)
700g onions (finely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (crushed)
300ml vinegar (white wine or distilled malt)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp coriander seeds (crushed)
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
First of all, peel the tomatoes: prick them with a sharp knife, then put in a bowl with boiling water. Drain and cover with cold water after a few seconds, then peel the skin off easily.
Next, prepare the vegetables: chop the tomatoes and aubergine, and chop and deseed the peppers. Place the chopped vegetables in a large saucepan with the onions and garlic and bring to the boil, then lower the temperature and gently simmer for 1 hour with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
Now add the sugar, vinegar, salt and spices and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil the mixture for another 30 minutes until a chunky chutney consistency is reached and any surplus watery liquid has evaporated. If you can draw a wooden spoon through the chutney, leaving a channel at the bottom of the pan for a couple of seconds, it’s ready.
Finally, ladle the chutney into sterilised jars and top with wax discs and paper jam covers, then seal the jars. When completely cooled, label and decorate your jars of Christmas Chutney in festive style and put aside until Christmas.