7 September 2010

grilly grow bag groceries - orchard pickle, chutney & jam


aren't my labels wobbly. 

Cheap printer you see

pseudo hoisin/ damson plum, fragrant oriental sauce

1 kilo whole damson, washed
100g rice wine vinegar
200g cider vinegar
200mil water

220mil dark soy sauce
150g muscovado sugar
100mil sherry/ mirin or Chinese Shaosing wine

1 large orange, quartered, skin on
3 - 5 plump garlic cloves  (I used 5)
1 thick teasp tamarind paste
2 star anise
fresh ginger root, sliced but not peeled
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
1 cinnamon stick, snapped


mix the damson with the vinegars and water, and simmer for 20 mins
add the remaining ingredients one at a time
bubble down gently, stirring regularly, for about one hour till you have a thick dark sauce and the damson are dissolved completely

when you are happy with your soy to sugar balance, strain through a metal sieve and bottle.

damson jam

3 kilo damson fruit
2.4 kilo jam sugar
1 orange
1 apple
800mil water

jam method

pour above ingredients into your jam or steel pan
gently simmer, whilst stirring, for 45mins - 1 hour till reduced by a third to a thickened, clear and shiny texture
strain through a steel sieve, and return your fruit mix to the heat, boiling rapidly
watch for it producing glass-blower bubbles on the surface, and measure the temperature to 103deg - 104

maintain the temp for 5 mins

check your set on a cold saucer (this is the plum jam)

and bottle

pure plum jam

1 kilo whole plums
890g jam sugar ( no special maths, I'd opened the bag already)
300mil water

No attempt at pectin generating, as I didn't want the apple hint (or lemon if I'd used citrus).

simmered all ingredients gently for 30mins
sieve and extracted the pulp
put back in the clean pan and boil for 5 mins at 103deg - 104 using a thermometer
test the set on a cold saucer
and bottle

pseudo "Branston" damson & apple-chunk chutney, smooth 

2.5 kilo damson, whole
sliced fresh ginger, skin on
1 kilo muscovado sugar
300mil cider vinegar
2 teasp thick tamarind paste dissolved in 150mil water 
1/2 teasp cayenne powder
1 teasp salt
1/4 teasp allspice powder
1 snapped cinnamon stick

1 apple sliced into small, slender pieces


place all the ingredients, save your apple, in your stainless steel pot
simmer for 1hr - 1hr30, till reduced and dark
strain in a steel sieve
add your apple and heat through for 5 mins, keeping the slivers whole
& bottle

Cotswold spiced pickled, sweet & sour syrup, plums

1 kilo whole plums
300mil or so of cider vinegar
sugar to balance (I put approx 250g)
ginger root
sliced rind 1 lemon
a snapped cinnamon
2 cloves
1/2 star anise

Add a little more sugar if you prefer it less tart.

simmer the ingredients for 20 - 30 mins till the plums are tender.
lift out the plums and put into warm clean jars
boil your sauce for 5 mins
strain through a steel sieve
and pour the juice over your plums
seal your jars tightly

damson gin


1 kilo damson, cleaned pricked
2 x 75cl bottle gin
300g sugar 

Mix and bottle. 
As with sloe gin, gently tip the bottle each day for a week
then once a month
store in a dark place for 3 - 6 months



The Wandering Pit said...

They all look delicious-the labels don´t seem wobbly to me!

Joanna said...

Your method of jam making is completely different to the way I've been doing it !!! I thought there was only one way and this clearly shows that's so not the case.... and here are all the lovely recipes for your sauce and spicy plums too! And you remind me that I picked some sloes last month and put them in the freezer, must go and buy the gin....

fantastic labels Gilly Grow Bag :)

Celia said...

Wow, you've been busy! Love the jams - often you don't need pectin with plum anyway, as it's quite high in natural pectin. And I adore the glow of the damson gin...

Gill the Painter said...

Hello again Tracey.
The labels are just a bit of fun, but they've cleaned out a toner, so I'll not print them again.

Hi Joanna.
What method do you use? I sort of just taste it (making sure it's not molten), add a bit more sugar.

I tend to like using preserving jam, as I can keep the sugar down but still get that set.

Gill the Painter said...

Morning Celia.
Isn't the colour of damson stunning.

I don't know why we are making damson gin really. We've still got sloe gin left from 2007.

Still, we can take it to family, who enjoy a shot with an ice cube in it. Slange!

joanna said...

For the plum jam, cook fruit first till soft with a little water, then add the sugar, dissolve at low temperature, once no crystals left, bring the whole lot to the boil and up to about 104/106 C and start testing for set. The only time I used jam sugar I ended up with plum membrillo that wouldn't come out of the jar, heehee. I use that preserving sugar, if I can get it, the one with the big crystals sometimes. But I'm so not a jam expert, it's far worse than making bread! You can make jams with a lot less sugar, and keep them in the fridge, Hugh FW has a recipe for that somewhere and I was reading something somewhere about jam made with sugar free applejuice for diabetics, but didn't get further with it... sounds interesting though. We all do it differently that's what makes it fun!

And I still haven't got the gin.. is there a brand that's best, or just go for the cheap stuff from the Co op do you think?

Gill the Painter said...

Just go for the cheapest - mine was from Tesco.

I'm never too fastidious about the set, as I quite enjoy jam when it's got the ability to soak into my toast.
So long as it's not brown sludge!

Interesting about HFW apple juice jam, Joanna.
As Tony really doesn't want to eat my jams.
I'll have a look on his forum and see if I find it.

joanna said...

B made a lovely pear, apple and ginger thing yesterday, it was supposed to be chutney but I thought it tasted like a savoury fruit jam when I had it on some bread and butter. The fruit stayed in chunks, russet apples and hard little pears. So not quite chutney and not quite jam but very good and not sweet as these things go. 1.25 kilos peeled and chopped fruits, 250g chopped onions, 300g cider vinegar, 250g brown sugar, fresh ginger, 1/2 tsp salt, all spice, stick cinammon, green peppercorns, coriander seed. He cooked the fruit a bit first and then added the rest and it made a very dry preserve/chutney/jam. I am rather taken with it...

joanna said...

Forgot there was 250 g dried mixed fruit in there too. Waitrose's vine fruit mix, huge pieces!

He's moved on to piccalilli today....

Gill the Painter said...

I'll try that out. Thank B for me.

Choclette said...

Oh my Gill, you have been busy and it all looks wonderful. I had a go at making plum jam yesterday and thought I'd turned it into toffee. But glad to say I've just tried it on some toast and it ain't half bad and it ain't toffee - phew. I didn't sieve mine, I just removed the stones beforehand, but I only had a small amount so it didn't take too long. Just made some sloe gin today after managing to forage about 1/4 bottle full - oh well it's a start!

azelias kitchen said...

Your jams, sauces, pickles & chutney look lovely Gill, gorgeous colours aren't they?

I bet that chutney goes beautifully with the cheese.

I would be making some pear chutney right now from FIL's pear tree pickings but still have some left from last year...need to think of what else to do with them!

Gill the Painter said...

Hi Choclette
Phew! indeed on that jam.
It's a funny temperamental business this jam making isn't it.
I suppose if you make it often enough, it's like anything. You get to know and feel when it's right.

My 2007 sloe gin took well over a year to "brew". I probably used half the amount of sugar, but can't remember.

That's the advantage of a blog, you can record your work. :)

Gill the Painter said...

Morning Azelia
The colour of the damson is quite something isn't it. I didn't expect it.

There don't seem to be so many recipes in my books for what to do with pears.

Unknown said...

Hello Grilly busy bee: I've been very much remiss in reading up on a lot of things the last two weeks. Anyway what a beautiful bag of groceries you've made! And the photography is superb. I think first prize from me goes to the pseudo Hoisin damson plum sauce. They all look yummo! Elisa

Gill the Painter said...

Howdy Elisa.
Good to see you again. It's quite a success that hoisin sauce, especially as it's fashioned from fruit.

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