Recipe: Easy Beetroot & Hazelnut Mincemeat

Easy Beetroot & Hazelnut Mincemeat

You might think it is fairly late in the day to start making your own homemade mincemeat, but look carefully at the recipe details below…. cook time = 0 mins, prep time = 10 mins, (and even that is a generous estimate, I’m sure you could do it in 5 if you put your mind to it!).

This really is a cheat’s quick and easy way to make your own mincemeat, and couldn’t be easier.  The addition of beetroot and hazelnuts are my little twists to make sure people definitely know it is homemade, (there’s no point replicating the ingredients of shop-bought mincemeat exactly or you might as well just go and buy some!), but also because they add in turn a sweet earthiness, a bright festive pink colour, and a lovely sweet crunch.

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Recipe: Red Onion & Merlot Marmalade

Red Onion & Merlot Marmalade

There’s nothing lovelier than a homemade gift, and edible presents are the best of the lot.  I made a few jars of red onion marmalade many years ago, and one particular recipient has dropped very un-subtle hints every year since, wondering when the next batch might be appearing…. so here it is, along with a recipe for you to make your own.

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Recipe: Fig & Strawberry Jam

Fig & Strawberry Jam

One of the great things about fruit and veg ‘glut’ seasons is that even if you don’t have a garden or allotment of your own, you can often take advantage of the abundant crops via the overflowing bargain aisles at your local supermarket.

I don’t usually shop on a Sunday but popped to our local Co-op for a few essentials, and found these gorgeous looking strawberries and figs reduced for quick sale to under a pound a punnet.  Too good to miss, and I was in need of jam for some Wimbledon-watching scones.

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Recipe: Beetroot & Chilli Ketchup

Beetroot & Chilli Ketchup

Deciding what to dunk one’s chips into is a very serious and frequent topic of discussion in our house.  Ketchup? Mayo? Mushy peas? Curry sauce? I’m a bit of a ketchup fiend myself, and if its got a kick of chilli to it, all the better. Here’s something a little bit different, slightly spicy, vibrantly purple and a little bit awesome –  beetroot & chilli ketchup.  Perfect for slathering on your favourite veggie burger, to accompany a veggie ‘full english’, or indeed for dunking those chips in.

I’ve been experimenting with ketchup-making for a while, starting with a tomato mountain from our allotment a few years ago, and branching out into other additions, (apple, various herbs and spices, red wine, a courgette or two, or any other vegetables I had lying around…!).

But this is definitely one of my favourites – particularly as a winter ketchup, and would make such a lovely homemade gift, (if you can bear to give any away once you’ve tried it). Continue reading “Recipe: Beetroot & Chilli Ketchup”

Recipe: Figgy Christmas Chutney

Christmas Figgy Chutney

I know, I know!! So sorry to use that C-word in October, but I have two very good reasons to do so…. read on!

Firstly, this Figgy Christmas Chutney is designed to be given as a Christmas present, and therefore needs to be ready to eat in 9 weeks time, (arghh!).  Chutney needs at least a month to mature, for the vinegar-y flavour to completely mellow, (many months make it even better!).   So now is the time to dig out your biggest saucepan, find some figs and get this chutney on the go in readiness for that Christmas cheeseboard. Continue reading “Recipe: Figgy Christmas Chutney”

Recipe: Morello Cherry & Raspberry Jam

We have a shamefully neglected morello cherry tree in a pot outside our front door, and last winter I was 100% sure it had kicked the bucket.  I intended to take it to the dump, but thankfully never got around to it, and lo and behold, it sprung back into life and for the last few weeks has been drooping under the weight of a huge crop of great big juicy morello cherries.  There’s probably a moral in that somewhere.

This jam began as a thank-you present for some lovely ladies who have been helping with childcare over the last term, but in order to make enough pots I bulked out our cherries with some raspberries.  Both are fairly sour so this is a jam with some ‘zing’ to it, which I love, but if you prefer you jam super-sweet you could use eating cherries and perhaps strawberries in place of the raspberries.  Continue reading “Recipe: Morello Cherry & Raspberry Jam”

Recipe: Peach & Walnut Chutney

24 hours later and the house still stinks of vinegar, but I’m confident it will all be worthwhile when this gorgeous Peach & Walnut Chutney is ready to eat next month.  There seems to be a lot of peaches and nectarines on special offer in supermarkets at the moment – I got 3 punnets for £1 each – so why not take advantage and have a go at some preserving?   Continue reading “Recipe: Peach & Walnut Chutney”