Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Friday, 13 August 2010

My latest article in Country and Town House is a pear chutney. We have been tucking into this over the last few weeks since I made it - Steven Wallis (Masterchef winner) used it to make our pastrami sandwiches on the day of Maren's birthday and gave it a thumbs up! Praise indeed, so I thought I would share with you in case any of you are in a preserving mood.

Golden Pear Chutney
Makes two 500ml jars
Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time about 1 hour
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
800g.1il 12oz ripe pears
150g/5 1/4 oz dried apricots, finely chopped
250g/8 3/4 oz golden sultanas, such as Orange River
300g/10 1/2oz caster sugar
300ml white wine vinegar
100ml marasla wine
1 cinnamon stick
1 stem ginger preserved in syrup plus 2 tbsp of the ginger syrup
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
Equipment: Large saucepan, 2 jam jars, wax paper discs, jam funnel (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan and gently fry the onions until soft and golden. Peel and core the pears and chop into small chunks. Add the pears to the pan with the choppped apricots, sultanas, sugar, vinegar, marsala and cinnamon stick. Finely chop the stem ginger and add to the pan with the ginger syrup. Heat the pan over a gentle heat for about 40 - 60 minutes until the pears are cooked and the chutney has a thick syrupy consistency. The actually cooking time will depend on how ripe the pears are. If the chutney still seems thin add anouther 50g of sugar and simmer for a little longer. Whilst the chutney is simmering, sterilize your jam jars. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water and rinse well. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 1/140C/275F place the jars on a baking tray and heat for about 20 minutes. Remove the jars carefully from the oven using a clean tea towel. Season the chutney with salt and pepper to taste and then carefully soon the hot chutney into the sterilized jars, using a jam funnel if you have one, and seal with a wax paper disk and lid. The chutney can be eaten straight away but the flavours will develop if left in a cool dark place for a month and will keep for a year provided that the jars have been properly sterilized.


Lucie said...

Sounds delicious - lovely article. Another winner Hannah. Lucie x

The Selkie said...

My husband loves pastrami sandwiches, I'll have to try this for him, sounds yummy! Have a happy day!