Category Preserves

Quick & very easy pear chutney

Made in about 20 minutes, this simple chutney is a terrific complement for all manner of savoury dishes: quiche, cold meats, cheese…… I particularly like to use this chutney as a topping for savoury cheesecakes: the sweet tang of the chutney is a great foil for the rich lusciousness of the cheesecake. About this recipe I have been […]

Whole ham with chilli, marmalade and rum glaze

I adore hams, not just around Christmas and the New Year, but at any time of the year. Ham is wonderful eaten hot as the key component of a roast dinner, but for me it is at its best when sliced (thickly!) and served with some good bread, cheese, pickled shallots and a few chutneys: […]

Gooseberry chutney

This is my very simple recipe for gooseberry chutney made on this occasion with some frozen red gooseberries I had picked last year. It makes a great accompaniment to cold meats, cheese, smoked fish, to name just a few. It is sharp, buy with a nice level of sweetness. I also use it in my […]

Piccalilli: a prince among preserves!

Post updated August 2016: photos of new batch added Piccalilli is one of my favourite preserves and making a batch late summer is something of an annual ritual that I always look forward to. A good piccalilli should have crunchy, identifiable vegetables in a fairly thick sauce. The sauce should be almost velvety in texture […]

Sun-dried Tomato & cheese scones

This is another savoury twist on the wonderful sweet scones that are traditionally served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. The dough for these particular scones is flavoured with sun-dried tomatoes and a little mature Cheddar. These are ideal split and topped with a fresh herbed cream cheese (chopped basil is wonderful!) and home-made chutney or chilli jam. […]

The joys of a food dehydrator: “Andrew James” product review & tips

I was very lucky to have received an Andrew James food dehydrator that some friends bought me for Christmas: a food dehydrator is a gadget I had been thinking about owning for a while, primarily with a view to making my own fruit and vegetable powders (I will come to these in a moment!), but also to have […]

Stilton, pear & piccalilli pork pies

This one of my favourite pork pies and it goes down especially well at Christmas: pear, Stilton and piccalilli are so good for each other anyhow as part of a cheese board or light snack, and they work particularly wonderfully in a pie with a crisp, melt-in-the-mouth pastry. A pork pie confession! Growing up near […]

Chilli Jam

This is one of the easiest preserves to make and it tastes wonderful. I always make a large batch towards late summer once the chillies are ready in the greenhouse. It is a great way to use up a glut of ripe tomatoes, but this chilli jam works very well using tinned tomatoes. A versatile […]

Bread & butter pickles: spicy, sweet cucumbers

Good preserves are terrific partners for good bakes, and these sweet, spiced and crunchy cucumbers are very easy and quick to make. Essentially these are sliced, salted cucumbers, bathing quite happily in a sweetened and spiced vinegar. And it is always exciting to pop open a new jar of preserves, especially in the winter months, with that evocative […]

Traditional scones

Scones are fabulous on their own on a sunny day with a pot of tea, or can brighten up the drearist day with ease, but they are, of course, an important component of Afternoon Tea whether sweet or savoury. Scones are one of the easiest and quickest things to make, with a batch made from […]

Rhubarb & strawberry cordial

This is a very refreshing cordial, made using the some of the rhubarb and the first of the year’s strawberry pickings from the allotment. Just dilute it with ice cold water or, better still, sparkling water: 1 part cordial to 4 or 5 parts water. I have used star anise in the recipe to give […]

Tomato & Pesto Canapés

Home-grown tomatoes with freshly made pesto make for one of my favourite flavour combinations and I have been making simple tarts using these two ingredients for many years. As with many of my bakes, I love eating miniature versions, as the idea of grazing casually on finger-food never fails to excite me, so these canapé-sided tartlets […]

Beetroot Chutney

Ideal with cheese (especially a good goat’s cheese) this is another preserve I look forward to making each summer/autumn when my beetroots are ready to harvest. As a variation I have sometimes made it with golden beetroot but the vibrancy of red beetroot strikes a more dramatic chord on the plate. The amount for each […]

Amuse-bouches: why stop at just one?

I am such a fan of amuse-bouches/canapés or just a good selection of nibbles: at a restaurant it is often these appetisers that intrigue me the most. I can honestly eat them one after another (the mark of a good canapé) and there are times when I would be happy to forego a meal, opting […]

Pickled shallots – a preserve of great beauty!

It’s an exciting time of the year in the late summer with preserves-a-plenty to be planned over the coming weeks. With an abundance of vegetable and fruit on the allotment preserving is a key part of the growing year. Now I adore pickled shallots and can eat them straight from the jar! Along with other […]