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We’re in(to) a real pickle!

When it comes to lovely pickle-based condiments, there isn’t much variety or sophistication available on our local supermarket shelves. For this reason the wonderful and weird varieties sold at farmers’ markets, have become so popular amidst the foodie crowds. Like any truly discerning food-lover, we crave home-made, flavour-packed pickles and jams for our toast.

The thing that makes any kind of pickle or preserve truly special, is how creative the flavour combination is. This is where that much sought-after buzzword steps in: Artisinal! Artisinal food products are crafted to appeal to the selective consumer who is looking for something a little more complex than any old gherkin or bottle of tomato sauce.

Instead of going out and fruitlessly searching for the perfect partner for your morning toast, burger or cheeseboard, let us show you how to easily create a delicious, artisanal option in your very own kitchen!

1. Apple and caramelised onion jam


110g butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 kg onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
140g brown sugar
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp sea salt flakes
½ tsp ground pepper
500g Granny Smith apples, sliced
3 cups red wine
350 ml red wine vinegar

1. Melt butter and oil in a pot over high heat. Stir in onions and garlic.
2. Add sugar, thyme, chilli, salt and pepper. Stir well, then reduce the heat to medium.
3. Cook, uncovered, for 40–45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions are ready when all the juices have evaporated and they’re soft and sticky.
4. Increase the heat to high. Add the apples, wine and vinegar and simmer, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds.
5. Leave to cool, then pour into sterilised jars and seal.

2. Pickled brinjals


4 medium brinjals
1L white wine vinegar
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 red chillies, sliced lengthways
2 sprigs rosemary

1. Cut the tops off the brinjals and slice into 8 pieces, lengthways.
2. Combine 1L water, vinegar and salt in a pot. Bring to the boil.
3. Cook the brinjals in the boiling vinegar mixture for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
4. Combine oils, garlic, chillies and rosemary in a bowl. Add brinjals and mix well.
5. Leave to cool, then pour into sterilised jars and seal.

3. Spicy beetroot and orange chutney


1 kg beetroot
4 cloves garlic, peeled, 2 split, 2 crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
250g brown sugar
1½ cups red wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 3 oranges
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and place a large sheet of foil in a roasting tin.
2. Place the beetroots and split garlic on the foil, drizzle with oil and season. Wrap up tightly and roast for 40–45 minutes, until cooked through. Once cooked, peel the skin off the beetroots and slice into quarters.
3. Place sugar, vinegar, orange zest and juice, onion, spices and crushed garlic in a pot over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then increase the heat and bring to the boil.
4. Add the roast beetroot and bring to the boil again. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25–30 minutes, until thick.
5. Leave to cool, then pour into sterilised jars and seal.

4. Baby marrow and ginger jam


1 kg baby marrows, peeled and cut into 1 cm pieces
Zest, juice and seeds of 2 lemons, seeds tied in a muslin bag
900g sugar
5 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp pectin powder

1. Place baby marrow and 2 tbsp lemon juice in a pot. Cook over medium heat until baby marrow is turning translucent and soft and the juice has boiled off.
2. Add the rest of the juice, zest, seeds, sugar, ginger and pectin. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
3. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until baby marrow is fully softened. Test the jam by cooling a spoonful in the freezer for a few minutes. If it wrinkles when touched, it is ready.
4. Leave to cool, then pour into sterilised jars and seal.

5. Plum chutney


½ cup red wine vinegar
115g brown sugar
1.5 cm ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 star anise pod
1 clove
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp sea salt flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 kg plums, quartered and pitted

1. Combine the vinegar, sugar, spices, salt and pepper in a pot over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil.
2. Add the plums, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.
3. Leave to cool, then pour into sterilised jars and seal.

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