Monday, 27 September 2010

C is for... Cheese and chutneys

Cheese course

I love cheese and there are no shortage of them beginning with C. Richard picked up some delicious camembert from Borough Market and popped to Neal's Yard for some Crozier Blue (similar to Cashel Blue but made with sheeps milk instead of cows), Cardo unpasteurised goats cheese with a washed rind and, of course, we had to have some Cheddar - in this instance, unpasteurised Westcombe Cheddar. I served them with celery sticks and Fudges charcoal crackers and some home-made carrot jam ( a Victorian classic), chilli jam and cinnamon chutney that were gifts from my little sister last Christmas.

Deb's carrot jam
Enough to make 2 medium jars

1 lb, 4 oz/ 500 g carrots
1 lb, 4 oz/ 500 g caster sugar
The zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp brandy

Wash and peel the carrots, cut them into chunks and steam them for 40 minutes or until completely soft. Blitz them in a processor until very smooth and place the pureed carrots with the sugar, lemon zest and juice into a heavy-based saucepan. Stir over a very gentle heat until all the sugar has dissolved, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the almonds and brandy and stir thoroughly. Leave the jam to cool before spooning into sterilised jars. Seal the jars tightly and store in a cool, dry place.

Deb's chilli jam
Enough to make 4 small jars

10 red chillies, roughly chopped (seeds in)
8 red peppers, de-seeded and roughly chopped
A thumb-sized piece of root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 lb/ 400 g cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 lb, 14 oz/ 750 g caster sugar
8.5 fl. oz/ 250 ml red wine vinegar

Blitz the chillies, peppers, ginger and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Scrape the mixture out into a heavy-based saucepan with the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved and then bring to the boil. Skim off any surface scum and turn the heat down and leave the jam to simmer for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the jam has started to get sticky, continue cooking for 10 - 15 minutes more, stirring frequently. Make sure the jam doesn't catch and burn on the bottom. The jam should be thick and bubbling. Leave to cool slightly before pouring into sterilised jars. Tightly seal and leave to cool completely.

Deb's cinnamon chutney
Enough to make 1 jar

1 lb, 4 oz/ 500 g plums, stoned and roughly chopped
1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
100 ml white wine vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 cinammon stick
4 oz/ 100 g soft brown sugar

In a heavy-based saucepan, fry the shallots in the oil until soft. Add the plums, apple, vinegar, water, cinnamon and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly thickened. Spoon the jam into a sterilised jar, seal tightly and leave to cool completely.

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