Until today, I’d always lived up to my scaredy cat name and been more than a little terrified of making preserves. It wasn’t so much making the chutney or jam itself, more the whole process of sterilising jars and keeping everything scrupulously clean. It always seemed like such a palaver and I was sure I’d mess it up, scold myself with boiling water and produce a preserve that didn’t last five minutes, rendering the whole thing pointless.
But then I discovered that you don’t have to boil your jars for ages in a humungous pan of water, you can actually perform the whole sterilisation process in a dishwasher on the hottest setting! I had to give it a go. All I already had the perfect beginners recipe.
Back in November, I visited my sister in New York and one lunchtime she presented me with a platter of round slices of toasted french bread, smothered in melted cheddar and served up with this chutney on the side. She’d made the chutney to use up a glut of apples from an apple picking trip to upstate New York and I immediately knew this recipe had to go on the blog. However, a lack of glass jars and me constantly forgetting to order them, combined with my preserving phobia, led to a 3 month time lag. (continue reading…)