Friday, April 27, 2012

Relishing Autumn!

I love Autumn, clear sunny days,crisp cool mornings and nights,and i love indulging in the urge to feather my nest and fill my pantry for the cold days ahead. So this week i've been doing some Autumn cleaning and organising, and planning my cool weather cooking, and yesterday i made some Tomato Relish, it was my first time and im very happy with the results, it's such an easy receipe and after years of  procrastination i pulled out my cookbooks and made some.

Tomato Relish

1.5kg ( 3lb ) ripe tomatoes
1kg (2lb ) onions               
                600mls ( 1pint) malt or white vinager
  3cups of sugar                    
1tblspn salt                       
3tblspn mustard powder    
3tblspn curry powder        
1/2 tspn chilli flakes           
                                                             2 heaped tblspn cornflour,(corn starch) and enough water to                make a paste                    

Score a cross on each tomato and place in a large basin, then pour boiling water over to cover and leave while chopping the onions (sliced or diced), then peel off skin from tomatos (it should have wrinkled and will be easy to remove.  Roughly chop tomatos and add to large/wide soup pot with onions,vinigar,salt,sugar,spices,stir through well to combine,then set on stove top and bring to boil on medium high (stirring often), then boli for 5 min then reduce heat down to medium low and simmer uncovered (stirring often) for an hour, carefully remove a spoonful cool slighly and check flavour and ajust spices to your taste.then continue to simmer for another 40min on low, liquid should be reduced by a third. Now take 7x 300ml ( 1/2 pint mason or preserve jars)and put through hot rinse cycle in dishwasher or if like me and you dont have a dish washer, just wash thoroughly in hot soapy water and rinse well twice and place jars on a tray an place in oven and heat on 120C or low ,place lids in fresh boling water until ready.

bubbling away and smelling soo!!! good!!
Cooking and reducing nicely
Now its time to thicken the relish with the cornflour paste,make sure its not to thick or to runny and add to the pot and stir constantly while it thickens and simmer a further 5-10 min ( stirring often), remove from heat and let sit for 10 min. now take hot jars from oven or dishwasher an carefully fill with relish leaving a 2.5 or 1 inch headspace. Now take lids from bowl of hot water and shake off excess water until quiet dry and place on jars ,making sure you have a tight seal. leave for about 15min.
Filling jars
Hot water bath

Then place jars on a round cake rack that fits snuggly in the bottom of a soup pot, carefully place jars on rack and fill with hot tap water until you have cover jars at least 2 inches (5cm),slowly bring to boil and cover and boil for 10 minutes ,( i could only process 4 jars at a time) but i feel its worth th time and effort, knowing your end product is sealed asnd sterile and will last in your food storeage for up to 18months safely.  Turn off heat and leave for 5min ,carefull lift out with jar lifter, and place on a towel and leave to cool,you know you have a good when you hear the click and the lid is inverted. when cool label and store in a cool dark place, let mature for a week , but why wait.                                                                                                                                                          

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