Preserving your harvest for use over the winter months is a great and easy way of having home grown produce available all year round. This is a great versatile recipe for making at the end of summer or the start of autumn, when you have an abundance of leftover tomatoes and chillies.
4 Cloves of Garlic (or 4 teaspoons of minced garlic)
2-4 Chillies (fresh or dried)
230g soft brown sugar
250ml apple cider vinegar
Start by weighing out 1kg of fresh tomatoes.
Put a large heavy bottomed saucepan filled with water on your stovetop and bring to the boil.
Cut a cross into the bottom of each tomato with a knife and add them straight to the boiling water and turn the saucepan off.
Wait until you see the tomato skin start to split (roughly 1min) and using tongs, take the tomatoes out of the water and leave to cool.
While you're waiting for the tomatoes to cool down, peel, core and grate 3 large apples (any variety of apple will do). Set the grated apple to the side.
Peel and chop 2 onions and 4 cloves of garlic until they're finely diced. Slice and dice 2-4 chillies (you can use any chilli you like for this recipe and modify depending on your tolerance for heat).
By now your tomatoes should be cooled enough to handle. Gently remove the split skins and cut out the stalk.
Roughly dice the tomatoes into medium sized chunks.
Put a clean large heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove and coat the base with oil (any type of cooking oil will do). Add the onion, garlic, chilli to the hot oil and cook until lightly browned.
Add 230g of soft brown sugar to the saucepan and stir gently until sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, add the grated apples to the mixture and stir them through evenly. Keep stirring on full heat for around 3-5 minutes until the grated apple starts to turn translucent.
Add 250ml of apple cider vinegar and the diced tomatoes to the saucepan and stir through until mixture is boiling.
Once boiling temperature is reached, reduce the temperature until the mixture is simmering. Allow to simmer gently without a lid for around 1-1.5hrs.
Stir the mixture every 15min to prevent it sticking to the pan.
When the mixture starts to thicken it's time to start preparing your jars. Ensure they are clean sterile.
To sterilise jars you can use either of these methods.
1. Add jars and their lids to a pot of boiling water and allow them to boil for 5 minutes. (Note: do not add cold jars to boiling water, rinse under warm tap water first so they don't crack).
2. Add cold jars and their lids to a cold oven and turn on to heat to 100degrees, once the oven reaches temperature keep the jars at 100deg for 10min.
After sterilising is complete carefully remove the hot jars from the boiling water or oven. Take the relish mixture off the stove top and spoon the hot thickened mixture straight into the jars and seal immediately (you should use oven mitts or a tea towel to tighten the lids as the jars will be hot).
Allow jars to cool at room temperature. As the jars cool the lids should suction closed. If any jars do not seal properly these should be kept in the fridge & consumed within 4 weeks.
The preserved relish can be stored in a pantry or other cool dark location for 12 months. Once opened, jars of relish should be kept in the fridge and consumed within 4 weeks.
This is a great tasty recipe perfect for serving with a hot warm crusty bread loaf on a cold winter's day.