Horfield and District Allotments Association

Pickles,chutney& ketchup




I hope the attached recipes will give everyone ideas and recipes for using our produce for making pickles, relishes, ketchups and chutneys.

If you have recipes you think are good and would like to share, please send them to me on my email,                               horfieldallotments@gmail.com



Home made Tomato Ketchup


2Kg ripe tomatoes ( 4½ lbs) 2 – 3 fresh bay leaves - crushed

568ml white vinegar( 1 pt)     piece of cinnamon bark

190g white granulated sugar ( 6oz) 2 – 3 cloves garlic - crushed

1 Tblsp. salt             2 – 3 red chillies ( dried or fresh)

¼ - ½ tsp ground allspice ¼ - ½ tsp ground cloves

Large pinch coarsely ground black pepper







1. Wash and roughly cut the tomatoes and put in a preserving pan or large saucepan with the salt, bay leaves, cinnamon bark, crushed garlic cloves and vinegar (be fairly sparing with the salt at this stage – add more in the final stages as necessary).

2. Add the chopped chillies. Take care with these, especially if the ketchup is for children ( I have used dried  Joe’s Long, grown indoors - which are medium heat)

3. Bring to the boil then simmer gently until the tomatoes are thoroughly softened.

4. In the meantime, sterilise the bottles or jars – keep hot in low oven.

5. Remove the cinnamon bark and bay leaves then, sieve the tomato mixture through a coarse sieve – preferable nylon. Return the juice and pulp to a clean saucepan.

6. Add sugar then ground allspice, ground cloves and black pepper gradually, tasting frequently to ensure the flavour is not too strong. Remember, when the ketchup is cold, the flavour will be somewhat milder. You may also want to add more salt if needed.

7. Simmer the mixture until it starts to thicken. Don’t make it too thick at this stage as it thickens as it cools.

8. Put the heated sterilised bottles/jars on a wooden surface and fill them with the ketchup while it is still very hot. Seal the jars immediately. This ketchup should keep safely for several months.


recipe by M McCartney©

Birchall and preservingMay2011 024a

Piccalilli – the Queen of pickles


If you like pickles this is definitely the most popular one – and how excellent for using the glut of different vegetables in summer/autumn.  You will need a good selection but, use what you have on the allotment, try to avoid going to the shops for what you feel might be missing.( tender young runner beans and French beans, young marrow or courgettes, green tomatoes ( though I haven’t tried these in piccalilli), small cucumber, cauliflower, small onions or shallots( if the shallots are too large you will need to cut then in ½s or ¼s).


This recipe might seem like a lot of effort, but it is so worth the trouble


You will need a brine ( salt and water)solution – allow 50g(2oz) for each 600ml(1 pint) water. Ensure the salt is completely dissolved. You will need sufficient brine to cover the vegetables in a basin.

Increase or decrease the following ingredients in proportion according to what you have available:

900g ( 2 lb) mixed vegetables                          Brine – enough to cover the vegetables

Spiced vinegar: - for this quantity allow approx 600ml or 1 pt spiced vinegar

Use preferably white vinegar. Ordinary brown vinegar, although fine for flavour and cheaper, will affect the colour of your pickle. Simmer the vinegar with a selection of spices of your choice ( eg. mixed pepper corns, pimento, whole coriander, dried red chillies, a few bay leaves, mustard seeds, etc). Simmer -  ( gently) the spices in the vinegar for 15 minutes or so, then strain.

Sauce: -

25g/ 1 oz plain flour 1 tblsp.  Mustard powder

½ tblsp turmeric 2 tsp. Ground ginger

Vinegar to mix 600ml / 1 pint spiced vinegar ( as above)

1. Prepare the vegetables ( cut into small pieces, about 1-1.5cm, ½inch size), weigh them – so you know how much sauce to prepare and put into the prepared brine solution – leave for 24 hours.

2. Prepare the sauce – mix the flour, mustard powder, turmeric and mixing vinegar in a large basin, to make a soft paste. Gradually add the strained spiced vinegar, stirring frequently to ensure there are no lumps.

3. Return the sauce mix to a large saucepan or preserving pan and simmer over a low heat until it coats the back of a wooden spoon ( reasonably  thickly). Stir frequently to ensure there are no lumps.

4. Drain the vegetables well, but don’t rinse in cold water.

5. Add the vegetable to the mustard sauce and gradually bring to the boil

6. Boil for about 1 -2 minutes ( avoid cooking the vegetables)

7. Pour/spoon into hot, sterilised jars and seal.

8. Leave for a few weeks before eating to allow it to mature


recipe by M McCartney©

Sweet and Hot Cucumber Relish

Like so many other vegetables in late summer, we wonder what to do with the glut. It doesn’t take too many cucumber plants to have too many cucumbers. Try this recipe as a way of using and preserving them.


1 kg cucumbers ( 2 lb) – don’t let them get too big or they will be full of seeds

1 kg onions ( 2 lb)

1 cooking apple

600ml white vinegar (1 pint)

3–4 red chillies(I have used Joe’s Long, use a medium hot chilli, but take care if for children)

500gm sugar ( 1 lb) – I used white sugar, but soft brown sugar will ‘warm’ the colour of the relish

2 tsp salt 1 tsp allspice

½ tsp ground cloves 1 tsp turmeric

¼ tsp mustard powder ¼ tsp ground mixed peppers( black, green, red)


1. Top and tail the cucumbers and remove the skin – cut into small cubes - ¼ cm- ish. If necessary, remove the seeds – if the seeds are still soft, you can leave them in.

2. Peel the onions and chop finely – similar size to the cucumber.

3. Peel and core the cooking apple and cut into fine slices.

4. Cut the red chillies into small pieces – if you don’t want the relish to be too hot, leave the seeds out, or leave some of the seeds out. For a hotter relish add more chillies.

5. Put the chopped cucumbers, onions, apples and chillies into a large pan or preserving pan with the vinegar and gently simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through – approx. 30 mins.

6. Prepare the jars/ bottles – wash well and sterilise – put in a warm oven - 100ºC for 15mins.

7. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

8. Add the spices and salt to taste, add more salt if necessary.

9. Simmer gently until the relish thickens – remember, when cool it will be thicker. Stir occasionally.

10. Pour into the hot sterilised jars and seal immediately. Label.


recipe by M McCartney©

As I had a glut, last year, of both tomatoes and peppers, I looked for new ways of preserving them. My children - now grown up and sharing their precious recipes with me - said this was one of their favourites. I found the recipe on:-

www.the ecologist.org/.../ five ways to preserve tomatoes.html




This sweet, jammy, mild-flavoured chutney is an ideal accompaniment to Brie, goat's cheese, or other soft cheeses. Stir a teaspoon or two of chilli flakes into the mixture at the end of cooking if you want to give it added spice.







1 red pepper

1 orange pepper

1 yellow pepper

1.35kg (3lb) ripe tomatoes, plunged into boiling water for one minute and then peeled

2 onions, roughly chopped

450g (1lb) granulated sugar

600ml (1 pint) white wine vinegar


 1.   Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Put the peppers in a roasting tin and cook for about 25-30 minutes until they begin to char slightly. Remove from the oven, put in a plastic bag, and leave to cool (this will make the skins easier to remove).

 2.   Pull away the stalks, remove the skin, deseed, and roughly chop. Put the skinned tomatoes, roasted peppers, and onions in a food processor and pulse brie until chopped but not mushy. Alternatively, chop by hand.

  3.  Tip the mixture into a preserving pan or a large heavy-based, stainless steel saucepan with the sugar and vinegar. Cook on low heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1-11⁄2 hours, stirring occasionally, until it starts to thicken and turn jammy. You may need to increase the heat a little towards the end of cooking. Stir continuously near the end so the chutney doesn't catch on the base of the pan.

4.    Ladle into warm sterilised jars with non-metallic or vinegar-proof lids, making sure there are no air gaps. Cover each pot with a waxed paper disc, seal, and label. Store in a cool, dark place. Allow the flavours to mature for one month, and refrigerate after opening.

Pepper, Apple and Cucumber Chutney



1 kg (2lb) cucumber or gherkins(harvest when young before the seeds have developed)

1kg (2lb) cooking apples

1 kg (2lb) onions

½ kg (1lb) mixed green and red peppers

2-3 medium heat red chillies (I use Joe’s Long)

½ kg (1lb) sugar

½ litre (1 pt) vinegar – white vinegar gives a better appearance but, malt vinegar is cheaper and will taste the same

1 -2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground cloves

½ - ¾ tsp turmeric

1 tsp wholegrain mustard (or ½ tsp mustard powder)

½ tsp chilli powder (increase or leave out depending on how hot you like your chutney)


1. If you are using ridge variety cucumbers peel first, otherwise cut in half and remove any seeds which might have developed. If you remove a lot of the original weight of cucumber, you will need to add another to make up the weight. Chop the cucumber.

2. Peel, core and chop the apples.

3. Peel and chop the onions finely.

4. Remove the stalk and seed of the peppers and chop finely.

5. Remove the stalks of the chillies (remove the seeds if you don’t like your chutney to be too hot) and slice thinly. The heat in chillies will vary according to variety and may vary depending on the weather while ripening – you must add chilli to suit your taste.

6. Place the prepared fruit and vegetables in a large preserving pan with the vinegar. Bring to the boil then simmer gently until the vegetables are soft and the apple has reduced to pulp.

7. Add the sugar, salt and spices and stir well over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved.

8. Bring back to the boil then, reduce the temperature to allow the chutney to simmer until it thickens. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.

9. Pot up into hot sterilised jars. Seal and label.


recipe by M McCartney©

This is a recipe for Apple Chutney that is easy to make and much enjoyed by my family with bread and cheese.


1lb onions - finely chopped

3lb cooking apples (after peeling and coring) - chopped

8oz sultanas

1lb 8oz demerera sugar

1pt vinegar

1oz salt

1oz ginger (fresh or dried)

 2oz yellow mustard seeds

 1/2teasp cayenne pepper


1. Put all ingredients into a large pan and stir until well mixed.

2. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for approx. 1 - 1hr 30 mins, until onion is soft and it has the consistency of pickle.  It may need stirring more     frequently towards the end of the cooking time to avoid the pickle catching on the bottom of the pan.

3. Allow to cool slightly and then pot up into clean,oven-warmed jars.

4. Cover with screw top, preferably plastic.  If this is not available, cut a circle of plastic cereal packaging and place over jar top before screwing on the tin lid.  This avoids the vinegar in the pickle from corroding the lid.


Stores well


recipe by Andrea Skeen©











Plum Chutney

Plums lend themselves very readily to chutney and there are many, many recipes featuring them as a main ingredient.

I like my chutneys to be fruity and quite hot so this is my favourite recipe (that said, as with all of my chutney recipes, each time I make this it tastes slightly different from the previous batch)

1kg (2lb)plums – washed, halved and stoned

2 large cooking apples – peeled, cored and cut into chunks

3 large onions – peeled and chopped

3 large cloves of garlic

Two or three red chillies – thinly sliced (if fresh chillies are not ripe yet, dried ones will do – I use Joe’s Long as the flavour and heat is usually fairly reliable). Leave the seeds in if you like your chutney hot and add more if you wish.

350gm  (12oz) sugar

570ml (1 pint) malt vinegar

25gm (1oz) salt

Spices – 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds (can be crushed), 3 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp ground black pepper,

                a small cube of fresh ginger finely chopped( 1 tsp of ground ginger will do).

• Place all the prepared ingredients in a preserving pan. Stir over a low heat until all of the sugar has dissolved.

• Bring to the boil and simmer until the ingredients are soft  and the chutney is thick and pulpy.

• Pot up into hot sterilised jars, cover and label.

• Chutneys are best left for a few weeks before eating to allow the different flavours to blend well.

recipe by M McCartney©

Recipes for:


* Apple Chutney

* Home-Made Tomato Ketchup

* Pepper, Apple and Cucumber Chutney

* Piccalilli

* Plum Chutney

* Sweet and Hot Cucumber Relish

* Sweetcorn Relish

* Tomato and Roasted Pepper Chutney

* Janet Rowe's Green Tomato Chutney


Sweetcorn Relish

6 corncobs – remove the kernels                 1 sweet red pepper – finely chopped

1 large onion – finely chopped                      3 large garlic cloves – finely chopped

1 – 2 fresh hot chilli peppers(keep the seeds in if you like it very hot)

500ml (1pint)white vinegar

250g (9oz) white sugar                                     1 –2 tsp salt ( to taste)

1 dsp. yellow mustard seed                             1 tsp mustard powder

½ tsp ground black pepper                              ½ tsp turmeric

1 Tblsp cornflour – blended with a little water or a little extra vinegar


• Put the sugar and vinegar into a large pan over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

• Add the onion, sweetcorn kernels, red pepper, chopped chilli and garlic and simmer gently until the vegetables are ‘transparent’ and cooked 10 minutes or so.

• Add the mustard seed and powder, turmeric, pepper and salt and cook for 10 -15mins.

• Add the blended cornflour and stir in well.

• Bring to the boil and boil for 4 – 5 minutes until the mixture stares to thicken.

• Pot up in hot, sterilised jars. Cover and label.

recipe by M McCartney©

photo K's plot

Pickling onions and shallots


I have used this general method for pickling shallots, gherkins/small cucumbers, cauliflower florets, silver-skinned onions or a mixture of these to give mixed pickle. Don’t use vegetables which are stale or have blemishes.

When peeling onions and shallots it is really advisable to wear rubber gloves (onion skins are an excellent dye for wool, etc and will also dye your hands – the stain lasts for days!) Do use stainless steel knives for peeling and cutting as carbon steel knives will leave black marks on the vegetables.

When I have prepared the vegetables I usually soak them in brine (salt and water) – 4 pints – 4oz salt (2 litres – 100gm approx). You will need enough brine to completely cover the vegetables. Leave them to soak for 24 hours in a non-metal container. Drain and rinse well or your pickles may be too salty.

Prepare pickling vinegar:-

It is usually suggested that white vinegar is used for pickling as it gives a much fresher colour. However, as I do a lot of pickling and malt vinegar is so much cheaper that is what I usually use – it makes no difference to the flavour. Buying already prepared pickling vinegar is expensive and does not allow you to introduce the herbs and spices you might prefer. However, it is already prepared and easy to use.

I will usually prepare a litre (2 pints) at a time and use as needed. To the vinegar I will add whole peppercorns, whole allspice, whole green and red peppercorns - when I can get them, a small piece of cinnamon bark, a few red chillies (you can use dried ones if fresh ones are not ready), fennel seed, yellow mustard seed. You can, of course use as much spice as will suit your taste and I like my pickles to be quite spicy and hot but, a tablespoonful of spices is a reasonable amount for this quantity of vinegar.

Do experiment with the spices and add Indian, West Indian or Oriental if that is your preference.

Bring the vinegar and spices to the boil and simmer gently for 5 – 10 minutes to develop the flavours. You can add a couple of teaspoons of sugar if you like your pickles to be less sharp.

Allow the vinegar to cool.

When the vegetable have been well drained, pack them into suitable jars for preserving – lidded jampots, Kilner jars or similar. Pour the cold spiced vinegar over the vegetables until well covered. Seal and label.

Allow your pickles to mature for a few weeks (4 – 5 or so), before eating. Enjoy!

recipe by M McCartney©

Janet Rowe’s GREEN TOMATO CHUTNEY  [Christine’s prize winning chutney at our summer show]


2 lb. green tomatoes, cut small

1 lb. onions, chopped

1 lb. apples, peeled, cored & chopped if not of a 'falling' variety

1 lb. raisins or sultanas

½ lb. granulated sugar

1 lb. soft brown sugar

2 oz salt

2 oz mustard seed

Salt spoon cayenne pepper

1 oz ground ginger

½ oz termeric

2 pints vinegar


Very gently boil all ingredients together 2 hours, or until thick.

Pot and cover in plastic from freezer type bags and then with foil held in place with a rubber band (because vinegar will spoil metal tops.).

Yield about 6 lb.