"The Queen
of Condiments"
Kirstie Allsopp
"The finest jams, chutneys and pickles I have ever eaten"
Clarissa Dickson Wright
"It's just me and a slotted spoon love"
Victoria Cranfield

Commonly asked Questions about cooking Boxing Day Chutney.

Q: I have to take warfarin daily, and have been advised to avoid cranberries.  Is there an alternative to cranberries that could be used in your recipes for people like myself?

A: You can just leave out the cranberries and drop the sugar by 227g/8oz  (this is an educated guess, before potting let a little cool and taste it, if not sweet enough for you return the sugar and bring back to the boil as the sugar will create a little more liquid) You won't get pockets of pink in the jar so it won't be as pretty but the strongest flavoured component is the apricot.  If you wanted the occasional tarter pop in the jar then I suspect gooseberries could be substituted but they are out of season and I haven't tried it!

Q: Do I use dried cranberries or fresh – if fresh can you suggest where to buy them? do major supermarkets carry such a product?

A: Fresh cranberries are in season now, you can buy them from most green grocers and supermarkets in the run up to Christmas.  A packet usually weighs 340g.

Q: I  have had problems with it being too thick - or at least it is in comparison to the Kirsty's which looks almost liquid. Mine is chunky and you can clearly identify the apricots and other fruit. I couldn't get the naturally dried apricots so had to get the 'orange' ones instead. Any advice?

A: The initial photo shot was of the cooking ingredients before the soaked dried fruit was added.  Once all ingredients were added and brought to the boil (stirring to avoid sticking) it thickened quite quickly.  If it is too thick for you return to the saucepan with more orange juice and bring back to the boil before re-potting.

Q: I have had some problems with this recipe. There seems to be far too much liquid and it took a long time for the mixture to anything like resemble chutney – as I would have expected.

A: The orange juice should be totally absorbed by the dried fruit before being added to the cooked mixture of onions, apples etc. The cider vinegar should be somewhat thickened by the breakdown of the apples and reduced by the cooking of the onions. when the sugar is added it will create some additional liquid which should quite rapidly thicken to the consistancy of a pouring custard while you constantly stir (otherwise liquid comes to the top as the solids drop and catch on the bottom). Stir as you fill the jars so that the liquid is well distributed (continuing the analogy custard packed with bananas). As you are using quite dry fruit it will continue to absorb liquid and thicken as it cools.

Boxing Day Chutney Recipe - updates!

I am totally blown away by the interest in this recipe , thank you! For those that are interested I am writing a book of all my recipes , if you would like to be notified when it is available, please register your interest on the home page of my website here: http://www.cranfieldsfoods.com/

I have been asked 

Can you tell me how to store and how long it will keep once opened?

and have replied as follows:

"You will need to sterilise your jars and lids first.

Easiest way is to wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse and put in a cool oven until all the water has evaporated and the jars are dry/hot. Let them cool before filling! Alternatively use something like Milton Sterilisation tablets and follow the advice.

The lids (especially if reusing) must be clean, unscratched and sterilised either by boiling or milton sterilisation. Scrupulously clean jars and lids will minimise the chance of the chutney going mouldy over time.

Use clean kitchen towel to remove any trace of chutney from the rim before lidding.

When filled, let cool and give the jars a good wash in case any residue has stuck to the outside.

If re-using lids use the jam paper circles to put on the surface of the chutney before putting on the lid.

You can dip the wax papers in brandy before popping them on the top…….great smell when opening, helps the chutney keep and doesn’t hurt the flavour one little bit.

Once sealed should keep for a year, once opened 3-4 weeks if it lasts that long!"

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Warmest Regards,

Victoria

Cranfields' on Kirstie's Homemade Christmas!

Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas will be on Channel 4 from 8th-10th December at 8pm

Cranfields' Foods will feature on Kirstie's Homemade Christmas during episodes 2 & 3 airing on the 9th & 10th December 2009

Crafty Kirstie Allsopp is back for a spectacular 3-part special that will see her create the perfect homemade Christmas.

Earlier this year, Kirstie turned her dilapidated Devon cottage from a shell to a chic vision of country living.

Now, with the festive season just round the corner, Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas will see her use Meadowgate as a base to take viewers on a yuletide journey of decorating, wonderful gifts and perfect entertaining.

Kirstie will be embracing crafts from around the country and her own love of doing up and making do to create the perfect Homemade Christmas.  

Among the craftspeople taking part in this festival of craft is Victoria Cranfield of Cranfields Foods in North Devon who shows Kirstie how to make Cranfields’s Boxing Day Chutney and Cranberry and Mulled Wine Relish for Kirsties hamper and the Christmas table.

Victoria said: ‘It was fascinating to meet Kirstie and be involved in the filming both at Meadowgate and at home, the enthusiasm and warmth shown by her in previous series is genuine, which made the whole experience very enjoyable. Luckily Kirstie had bought some of my preserves at a Charity craft fair and enjoyed them, you never know where sales can lead!’

Packed with brilliant tips and information, the series will be a goldmine of great and creative ideas that the viewers can replicate at home.

Each day, Kirstie will take on a theme and offer viewers the perfect guide to transforming any home into a Christmas spectacle – from Christmas decorations and hand- and homemade presents, to perfect Christmas entertaining with plenty of food, drink and general merriment.

If you would like to buy either of the preserves featured they are available through our website or for a full list of stockists visit www.cranfieldsfoods.com or telephone Victoria on 01271 850842

Merry Christmas!