Sweet Apple Pickle

I love homemade pickle and chutney. I got the inspiration for this recipe from my Dad’s Stepmother who passed her recipe down to me. I have added a few extra ingredients of my own to the basic recipe and ended up with a lovely tasting pickle, just how I like it.

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The original recipe contained sultanas but I prefer some mixed dried fruit and a few chopped dates in mine for a more fruity and interesting flavour. I also added some mixed spice and mustard seeds and the final result is truly delicious. Leave to mature in a cool dark cupboard for around 6 weeks and the flavour will improve even more, although I couldn’t help myself trying some with cheese and oatcakes the same night I made it!

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I did offer some of my homemade pickle to my Dad when he came to visit a few weeks ago but he prefers Branston or Aldi pickle so that was that. He is always a bit suspicious anyway that I might try and put some carrots in his food, which he hates with a vengeance. He really doesn’t like Haggis either and thinks I’m going to try and feed him some very time he visits us in Scotland!

I love this recipe and eat it with loads of things, in sandwiches and even adding as a cooking ingredient sometimes to curries or to a sweet and sour slow cooked pork casserole. Yummy!

This is a great pickle to make for Christmas as it goes well with cold cuts of meat such as leftover turkey or a cooked ham and is amazing with cheese and biscuits. It is also worth making a second batch to give away as presents…….that’s if your family doesn’t eat it all!

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Ingredients
(Makes around 7 jars)

2½lb or 1.125kg of Apples eg Bramley or Granny Smith (weight after removing cores)
1 lb or 450g of sultanans (or 8oz / 225g of sultanas and 8oz / 225g of mixed dried fruit)
2oz or 50g of chopped dried dates
1lb or 450g of granulated sugar
1½oz or 40g of salt
1 teaspoon of dried ginger
½ teaspoon of mixed spice
1 dessert spoon of yellow mustard seeds
1 Pint or 570ml of malt vinegar
7 fl oz or 200ml of water
¾lb or 350g of peeled, chopped onions

Method

Wash the apples then remove the cores and chop into chunks. You can peel the apples first if you wish, but as my homegrown apples were so small I didn’t bother and it turned out fine. (The sweeter the apple you use, the sweeter the pickle will taste)

Put the apples with all the other ingredients into a large stock pot and stir to combine.

Bring to the boil while stirring frequently and boil well for around an hour, until the pickle looks thick and jammy. Keep stirring regularly so that it doesn’t stick to the base of the pan. I wear an oven glove when stirring in case the pickle spits as it’s boiling because it will be very hot.

Pour into hot sterilized jam jars and seal. Handle carefully as the pickle will still be very hot.

Tip; you can sterilize your jam jars by washing in the dishwasher. Alternatively wash and rinse well in hot soapy water then put in the microwave on High for a few minutes with a few cm of water in each jar to heat until the water is boiling. Carefully tip the water out, handling the jars with heat proof gloves and dry the jars thoroughly in a hot oven. Do not put metal lids in the microwave.

Store the jars in a cool dark cupboard to mature for 6 weeks and then enjoy with cheese and biscuits or cold meats. This pickle is also fabulous served with a curry or slapped into some cheese or ham sandwiches.

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