For those of you who want to get ahead here is the recipe for the Spiced Apricot and Orange Chutney from Delia's Christmas.
400g/14oz no soak apricots
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
225g/8oz soft light brown sugar
425,l/15 fl oz cider vinegar
1 medium onion chopped
50g/2 oz sultanas
2 tablespoons finely grated root ginger
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 level tablespoon of salt
grated zest and juice of 1 small orange
Fills 1 3/4 pint (1 litre) preserving jar
Begin by chopped the dried no soak apricots into smallish chunks. Then place them in a sieve and wash under cold water shake off any excess water and then put them into a large saucepan.
Now in a separate small saucepan add the coriander seeds and heat the pan to roast the seeds as soon as the seeds begin to spit and splutter transfer them to a pestle and mortar and crush them lightly before sprinkling them over the dried chopped apricots. Add all the remaining ingredients to the apricots then heat gently stirring all the time until the sugar crystals have dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved bring everything up to a simmering point and simmer the chutney (covered) for about 45 minutes to one hour. The apricots and the onions need to be quite tender but its important not to overcook the chutney or it will go too thick. The right consistency is chunky rather than liquid jam. Do not forget the chutney will thicken as it cools down in any event. When ready spoon into warm sterilised jar or jars. Seal straightaway and then label up when cold.
I always leave chutney for six weeks from the date of making to allow it to mature. From my personal experience, Chutney keeps a lot longer than a year but as always when keeping preserves over suggested times please initiate common sense. If the preserve is starting to fizz, there are mould specks, air bubbles, it does not look right but you cannot put your finger on it - ditch it. Especially with preserves kept in oil (oil preserves are kept in the fridge) but it can happen with other preserves as well. So if your inner voice is saying don't touch it then don't. Nine times out of ten though the preserve will be safe.
I am particularly fond of this chutney. It goes well with ham and cold Turkey and has a lot of flavour. In fact I always make at least a couple of batches at least of this chutney as we do on a regular basis have either cold meats, a ham hock, or small gammon joint throughout the year. I would suggest a couple of batches for Christmas for your own use and a couple of batches for use in the year. If however making for Christmas hampers then you will need to make as many batches as required to fulfil the amount of hampers you have to fill. Although the recipe says for one large jar I do tend to use smaller jars for this recipe so that if it is going for hampers more people get a chance of a taste.
Its nice to get ahead.
Catch you soon.