"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

Why you should use naturally dried apricots.

I am so pleased so many of you have had a successful chutney making experience and enjoy what you have made.  Some however have been less fortunate, the primary reason seems to be the type of apricot used.

Please try to find naturally dried apricots, they may be less pretty but they taste much better and because they haven't been treated  they act as little sponges soaking up both the orange juice and any excess liquid from the pan.

If you have made the chutney with the wrong type of apricots and find the chutney too runny you can recover your chutney as follows.

Gently cook more apples  in a little orange juice until they are just soft but still in shape.  Drain (you don't want any extra liquid) add to pan, bring to boiling point and pot.

For those in Australia, any white granulated sugar will do, I use beet sugar simply because we grow it in the UK, there is no difference in taste.

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

Kirsties Boxing Day Chutney Recipe

Boxing Day Chutney as seen on Kirsties Homemade Christmas

2lb/900g onions sliced

2lb cooking apples chopped

1 pkt/340g cranberries

2pints cider vinegar

2oz/50g fresh root ginger(before pealing) finely diced

1tbsp coarse sea salt

tsp mixed spice

zest of 2 oranges

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2lb naturally dried apricots chopped

1 pkt dates (175g/60z)pitted and chopped

1lb raisins

Juice of 8 oranges/1 pint orange juice

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2lb white sugar.

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Place all the first ingredients in a saucepan gently bring to the boil.

The object is to let the onions go transparent, the cranberries start to pop and the apple break down.  You don't want to lose all texture so a 5min simmer once at boiling point should do.  Remember to stir.

In a seperate bowl mix the dried fruit and pour over the orange juice. Stir well. The mixture should absorb all the orange juice in approx 20mins

The dried fruit can be done before the ingredients for cooking to save time.

Add the marinated fruit to the saucepan with the  sugar.

Stir well and bring back to  boiling point, stirring all the time.  Don't leave the saucepan at this time or the contents will catch and taint the chutney.  The free liquid will start to thicken quite quickly and the chutney can then be bottled.  Lid immediately.

For the sizes of fruit/technique see Kirsties video .

Please add comments it you need further info and I will post with the response.

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!