Taste Autumn with chutneys

The courgettes and tomatoes in the glass house are coming in at a very fast rate. Now is a good time to make chutney to keep them

The courgettes and tomatoes in the glass house are coming in at a very fast rate. Now is a good time to make chutney to keep them

all used up and you’ll be enjoying your products well into winter with cheese and cold meats.

I am mixing the courgettes with some tomatoes along with a little bit of cayenne pepper for heat. I am calling it lightly spiced courgette and tomato chutney. I think when you make it you should leave it for a couple of months to mature and develop a nice flavour. They’re so nice they make you want to cook up chutney and jams. There is also lot of rhubarb at the moment and it looks like there will be a lot of plums this year so here are some recipes to use up those lovely ingredients.

Lightly Spiced Courgette and Tomato Chutney

Makes 1 litre

8-10 courgettes

500g onions

500g tomatoes

500g soft brown sugar

1 pint malt vinegar

5 garlic cloves, crushed

Thumb-sized piece of root ginger, grated

1tsp salt

Grinding of black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Sterilize the jars. Roughly chop all the vegetables and place in a large, heavy bottomed, stainless steel pan with the vinegar, sugar and spices and stir well. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring now and again. Simmer uncovered for about two hours, stirring regularly, until thick and almost all the liquid has gone. Pour into jars and seal. When cool, cover and label your jars. Store in a dark dry place.

Leave for 2 months to mature before eating.

Rhubarb and Orange Sponge

You can use butter if you wish but it is quite ok to use margarine (use good quality block margarine)

1lb rhubarb

2oz brown sugar (or white)

Grated rind and juice of 1 orange

3tbsp honey (if not available use more sugar)


2oz each margarine

2oz castor sugar

1 large egg

3oz flour (self-raising)

Top and tail rhubarb and wipe. Cut into about 1” lengths and put into greased, widish oven proof dish. Sprinkle the sugar, the honey

and the orange juice over it. Cream together the margarine and the castor sugar. When light and fluffy and in the egg and the grated orange rind and beat. Then mix in the flour. Spoon this mixture carefully in little bits all over the rhubarb (it is very difficult to spread it out as the rhubarb underneath keeps shifting). The spoon mixture should be soft but not sloppy so if you egg has not been too large, it may be necessary to add a little milk. Bake in the centre of a moderately hot oven 350°F/ 170°C. It will take about 40 minutes to turn a lovely golden colour. It is advisable to test the centre to check it is cooked right through. Serve with pouring cream.

Marshmallow and Plum Whip

This is a lovely way of using plums and the marshmallows will get children interested.

Makes 4-5 glasses.

1lb Victoria plums

2oz castor sugar

2oz marshmallows

1Tsp lemon juice

Small tin evaporated milk


Whipped cream and browned almonds

Stew plums in 2tbsp water, add sugar. Sieve fruit and place in a pan with marshmallows and lemon juice. Allow the marshmallows to dissolve slowly. Remove from the heat and cool. Whip evaporated milk until stiff then fold in the fruit puree mixture and pile into glasses. Top with fresh whipped cream and slivered almonds and serve with boudoir biscuits.