RECIPE: Make our Persian blackberry relish and apple ‘mango’ chutney
PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:14 22 August 2020
Group food and drink editor Charlotte Smith-Jarvis shows you how to use up some of late summer’s seasonal fruits.
If you grow your own or know someone with green fingers, chances are your fridge, fruit bowl and countertop are brimming with produce right now.
A quick glance at my own kitchen reveals no doubt we are in the most bounteous part of the year. Bunches of emerald green French beans and oversized cucumbers from my dad’s allotment. Carrier bags of Bramley, Discovery and Russet apples and damsons from my parents’ garden. A single, humungous heritage tomato from my friend Rach’s greenhouse, ripening in tissue on the windowsill. And a bowl of blackberries, which are still going strong on the brambles in the copse opposite my house.
Much as I love making cakes, roasts and pies with all the wild freebies I gratefully receive, there’s only so many times I can face blackberry crumble, apple crumble, apple cake and the like.
With the weather last weekend being completely rubbish in my little corner of East Anglia, I decided it was time to don a pinny, stick on the radio and get on with a bit of preserving.
I’ve got two recipes for you this week. Firstly a Persian-spiced blackberry relish, which is absolutely gorgeous with lamb (I served it up with slow-roasted lamb shoulder and pilaf rice), with pork, and even with cheese. It’s addictively sweet and sour, with a gentle buzz of heat imparted by steeping a chilli in the liquid while it simmers.
Second up is a mango chutney – made with Bramleys and a whole host of ground and whole spices. Sorry to my dad who angled I should make Devonshire apple dumplings with them – he’s the only person I know who’d eat it...but maybe that was his point...
Also this week an apology. There were a couple of errors in last week’s recipe for chocolate oaties. Firstly the measurement for the icing should have been tbsps (the T was missed out) and the recipe omitted in the method when the sugar was to be added. It goes in with the flour and cocoa etc. Thanks to everyone though who wrote this week, telling me they’ve made the slices and enjoyed them. One reader even dropped a note to say her favourite school day dessert was tea leaf cake – have you ever heard of it? Email me
Persian-spiced blackberry relish
200g washed blackberries
2tbsps caster sugar
2tbsps white wine or cider vinegar
1tbsp each fresh chopped mint and coriander
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
½ fresh red chilli (do not chop)
1/4tsp fresh ground black pepper
Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan with a splash of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chilli. Now crush with the back of a fork if you like your sauces chunky, or press through a sieve for a smooth finish. Serve warm. I enjoyed it with shredded lamb, dressing a beetroot, walnut and stilton salad, and spooned into a bun with grilled halloumi and salad.
Apple ‘mango’ chutney
(makes 10 jam jars worth)
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1kg (chopped, cored, peeled weight) Bramley or other cooking apples chopped into rough 1-2cm pieces
1litre malt vinegar
1 large white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
500g golden caster sugar
250g light brown sugar
400g raisins or sultanas
300g dried apricots, roughly chopped
1 pointed red pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm pieces
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2tsps garam masala
2tsps hot curry powder (or medium if you like it milder)
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp garlic powder
20 whole cloves
2tsps nigella (onion) seeds
2tsps sea salt
Put everything into a very large saucepan or preserving pan (I used my big pasta pan). Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour. Most of the apple pieces will break down but you’ll be left with a few soft chunks.
Ladle carefully into clean sterilised jam jars while still hot. Seal, label and store in the cupboard for up to one year. Once opened keep in the fridge and use within two weeks. If you don’t think you’ll be able to use it all up in that time, you can freeze it in little pouches. As well as being a natural partner for a cheese scone, cheese board or curry, the chutney is great mixed into a nut loaf before baking, as a glaze over ham, in a bacon sandwich (make it like London’s Dishoom with naan bread), and stirred into a casserole. It will be superb with game in the ‘er’ months too.
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