Spreads for all occasions: from Christmas chutney to pear and coffee jam – recipes

Pear and ground coffee jam (pictured above)

Prep 20 min
Cook 30 min
Makes 6-7 x 250ml jars

2kg ripe but firm pears, peeled
50ml lemon juice
950g sugar
1 tsp coffee beans, roughly ground

Put several small saucers in the freezer. Wash the jars and lids, then sterilise in the oven at 100C (80C fan)/212F/gas very low for at least 20 minutes.

Core the peeled pears, blitz half of them to a pulp in a food processor, and cut the other half into ½cm cubes.

Put the pulp in a large, wide-rimmed, heavy-based pan with the lemon juice, bring to a boil, then stir in the sugar to dissolve. Bring back to a boil on a high heat, add the pear cubes and cook, stirring only intermittently (so the mixture doesn’t stick or burn), for 15-20 minutes.

Once it starts spitting aggressively, do a wrinkle test by removing the pan from the heat, taking a cold saucer from the freezer, applying a quarter-teaspoon of the thickened jam on to it and cooling in the fridge for a minute. Check for a soft set by pushing the jam with your finger – there shouldn’t be a strong wrinkle on the surface. If it’s not at the desired thickness, continue to boil and test until it is ready.

Remove from the heat, skim off any foam from the surface with a spatula and stir through the ground coffee. Ladle into the hot, dry sterilised jars, leaving a 2mm gap from the top. Clean the rim with a damp cloth and seal while stil hot.

Clean the jars of sticky residue, cool, label and date. Store unopened in a dark place for up to eight months; once opened, refrigerate and eat within five weeks.

Chocolate and chestnut spread


Kylee Newton’s chocolate and chestnut spread.

Kylee Newton’s chocolate and chestnut spread.

Prep 15 min
Cook 15 min
Makes 2-3 x 250ml jars

250g chestnut puree, or 250g blended cooked chestnuts
200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
250ml double cream
30g golden caster sugar

Wash the jars and lids, then sterilise in the oven at 100C (80C fan)/212F/gas very low for at least 20 minutes.

If using whole cooked chestnuts, blend into a paste with 100ml boiling water.

Roughly break up the chocolate into a small heatproof bowl and melt it slowly over a saucepan of boiling water.

In another saucepan, heat the chestnut puree, cream and sugar on a medium-low heat, until it comes to a gentle simmer. Add the chocolate and stir until completely combined.

Ladle into the hot sterilised jars, leaving a 2mm gap from the top, and seal immediately with the lids. Clean the jars of any sticky residue and, once cool, label and date.

Refrigerate (due to the cream content) for up to a month. Wrap it up and tell your recipient to find their present in the fridge this year, rather than under the tree.

Christmas apple and date chutney


Kylee Newton’s Christmas apple and date chutney.

Kylee Newton’s Christmas apple and date chutney.

Prep 30 min
Cook 1 hr
Makes 5-6 x 250ml jars

1.5kg apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm cubes
400g red onions, peeled and diced
200g dates, roughly chopped
450g dark brown sugar
650ml red-wine vinegar

For the spice bag

30g fresh ginger, sliced

2 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp cloves
4 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, halved
8-10 green cardamom pods, gently pounded
2 tsp salt

Wash the jars and lids, then sterilise in the oven at 100C (80C fan)/212F/gas very low for at least 20 minutes.

Put the first five ingredients into a large, heavy-based, wide-rimmed pan and bring to a boil on a medium-high heat

Make a bag for the spices by cutting a large square of muslin, then tie in the spices securely. Add this to the bubbling pan. Stir intermittently to start with, then more regularly as the consistency thickens and it bubbles more.

After 25 minutes, stir in the salt. After 30-35 minutes, the mix should have reduced considerably, and turned thick and sticky. Run a wooden spoon across the bottom: it’s ready when it leaves a clear trail for about five seconds.

Remove the spice bag, then ladle the chutney into the hot, dry sterilised jars, using a teaspoon and pressing down to eliminate any trapped air, and leaving a 2mm gap from the top. Clean the rim with a damp cloth and seal while still hot.

Clean the jars of any sticky residue and, once cool, label and date. Store to mature for three weeks. The unopened chutney will keep in a dark space for up to 12 months; once opened, refrigerate and eat within three months.

Quince and rosemary jelly


Kylee Newton’s quince and rosemary jelly.

Kylee Newton’s quince and rosemary jelly.

Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Strain 4-8 hr
Makes 4-5 x 250ml jars

2½kg quince (to make about 1½ litres juice)
800g-1.2kg sugar (depending on how much juice you get from the quinces)
70ml lemon juice
2 large rosemary sprigs

Wash the quinces, then cut into cubes, including the peel and cores. Put into a large pan and add enough cold water to cover completely (you’ll need about three litres). Bring to a boil and cook rapidly for 60 minutes.

Lightly mash the mixture, leave it cool it slightly, then strain through a large hanging muslin or jelly bag set over a bowl for four to eight hours. Do not be tempted to squeeze the bag, because this can cloud your jelly.

Put several small saucers into the freezer to chill. Wash the jars and lids, then sterilise in the oven at 100C (80C fan)/212F/gas very low for at least 20 minutes.

Measure the quince juice into a large heavy-based, wide-rimmed pan, add the lemon juice and bring to a boil. For every litre of liquid, add 800g sugar and stir to dissolve. Strip off the rosemary leaves and add to the pan. Bring to a rapid boil and cook on a high heat for 25-30 minutes. It should almost threaten to boil over and will turn pink and syrupy.

Do the wrinkle test by removing from the heat and taking a saucer from the freezer: put a small drop of jelly on the plate and cool in the fridge for a minute. Check for a hard set by pushing the jam with your finger, giving you a clear wrinkle on the surface; if there is no wrinkle, continue to boil and test every two minutes until it’s ready.

Take off the heat, leave to sit for two minutes (until the bubbles have settled), skim off any foam and ladle into the hot sterilised jars, leaving a 2mm gap from the rim.

Clean the rim with a damp cloth and seal immediately. Clean the jars of any sticky residue and, when cool, label and date. Store unopened in a dark place for up to 12 months; once opened, refrigerate and eat within five weeks.

Kylee Newton is author of The Modern Preserver (Square Peg, £25).

The Guardian

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