Daily Archives: 31 August 2009

National days

Who on earth creates and legislates (if they are?) these ‘National Something Ridiculous’ Days?

Recently on Twitter I have seen National Tapioca Pudding Day, National Blueberry Muffin Day and National Piña Colada Day!

Surely, these must have been made up by some over zealous (or desperate) marketing agency?

Believe it or not the humble ploughman’s lunch was also created in the sixties by an advertising agency to promote the traditional pub lunch! I certainly don’t take exception to this though, as there’s nothing nicer on a warm summer’s day than sitting in the beer garden of a country pub enjoying a delicious wedge of cheese with pickle and a hunk of bread – washed down with a cold half pint!

Have a go at this gorgeous Chutney – no ploughman’s lunch is complete without it. It’s well worth the effort. Let me know how you get on.

Ploughman’s Lunch Chutney

No Ploughman’s Lunch is complete without this great Chutney.

Ploughman's Lunch

Ploughman's Lunch

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time 3-3½  hours
Makes approximately 2.3kg  (5lb)

Cooking apples 1.8kg (4lb) peeled, cored and roughly chopped
Onions 900g (2lb) peeled, halved and thickly sliced lengthways
Dry cider 500ml (16fl oz)
Sultanas 175g (6oz)
Seedless raisins 175g (6oz)
Salt 25g (1oz)
Ground ginger 15g (½oz)
Sweet paprika 1 tbsp
Clear honey 225g (8oz)
Soft dark brown sugar 110g (4oz)
Distilled malt vinegar 900ml (1½pints)
Clean jars and acid resistant lids

1 Place the apples and onions in a large, heavy-based preserving pan. Add the cider and cook over a moderate heat for 20 minutes, until the apples and onions start to soften.

2 Add the sultanas, raisins, salt, ginger, paprika, honey and sugar to the pan. Pour in half of the vinegar, stir well and cook for 20 minutes.

3 Stir in the remaining vinegar and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Then, reduce the heat and allow the chutney to cook at a gentle bubble until reduced by approximately two-thirds, or until when a spoon drawn through the centre leaves a gap that is slow to close up. Stir the chutney frequently to prevent it burning.

4 Remove the pan from the heat and allow the chutney to cool until cold, then spoon into clean jars. Using a clean skewer, work the skewer backwards and forwards through the chutney to remove any air bubbles.

5 Wipe the tops of the jars clean, and then cover with acid-proof lids. Store in a cool, dark, dry and airy cupboard. Preferably, allow the chutney to mature for 2-3 months before using.

Recipe taken from the Around Britain Dairy Cookbook.

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