I love Christmas.
I also love making things and baking things and creating things and this year I’ve become enamoured with the home made Christmas idea. Last year, I made my own jams, chutneys, nuts, truffles and a whole heap of cakes and biscuits. They went down surprisingly well.
This year I am hoping to go one better and make even more and do Christmas on a budget. For those people who I draw big blank next to when trying to think of gifts I am going to make gifts rather than stuff some cash in an envelope or give a hastily bought gift card.
I know that I love the personal touch and to receive a gift which involves a bit of thought means a lot to me, especially at this time of year.
Last night I made my Christmas Chutney as it needs a minimum 2 weeks to mature, this is a Nigella Lawson recipe and though I am yet to taste it, it smells DIVINE.
700g Granny Smith Apples
250g Dried Cranberries
350ml Apple cider vinegar
1tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Tumeric
1tsp ground Cumin
1tsp ground coriander
1. Slice the apples into halves. Slice the halves lengthways into smaller pieces, roughly 0.5cm width.
2. Place the apple pieces and finely chopped onion into a saucepan with all the other ingredients and 2 tsp salt. Heat the mixture until it is simmering quickly. Cook the mixture for 45 minutes or until the chutney has thickened slightly and the fruit has become soft.
3. Spoon the mixture into sterilized jars and screw the lids onto the jars tightly. Allow to cool before storing in a cool, dark place.
This was a relatively cheap recipe to make. I already had all the spices, sugar and onion. Which left me to buy the apples (£2), dried cranberries (£3) and cider vinegar (85p) meaning 4 jars of amazing chutney cost me £5.85. I’ve sterilised old jam jars and will tart them up with ribbons and decorations I already have to keep other costs down.
Warning: Your kitchen will smell pretty strongly of vinegar for an hour or so afterwards!