Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Our fig trees are in full fruit, so it's time to make some chutney. I've used a combination of recipes - from the up to date River Cottage Cookbook and the very venerable Constance Spry Cookery Book - I have a 1956 edition, published a year before I was born and four before old Constance died. It's great - full of mysterious references to what "RT" would cook in certain circumstances, and packed with a mix of French, English and Indian Colonial recipes.

My gallimaufrey of a recipe is:

1.5kg fresh figs
500g squash, cut in small cubes
500g onions, cut in small dice
500g sugar
350g raisins
100g garlic
600ml white wine vinegar
50g dried tomatoes, rehydrated (I threw in the water they had soaked in too)
100g fresh ginger root, sliced
2 teaspoons of peppercorns
50g mustard seed
1 teaspoon cardamons
1 cinnamon stick, crumbled
12 cloves
25g salt

Put the whole lot into a big pan, bring to the boil, and simmer gently for about 3 hours, making sure it does not stick to the pan.
Pot into clean jars and seal. Label. Store for at least 3 weeks, preferably longer.

Looks weird, tastes wonderful (the story of much of my cookery.)

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