Making Pickles

Pickles are made from vegetables or fruit, preserved in vinegar.

To make a spiced vinegar For 1 litre (1 ½ pints) malt, cider or wine vinegar, add a cinnamon stick, and level tablespoons (15 ml) of whole cloves, black peppercorns, allspice berries and blade mace. If you like the flavour, add a dried chilli or peeled garlic clove. Drop the spices into the vinegar, cover and leave for about two months; or bring the vinegar to the boil, add the spices and leave for two hours. To make a sweet, spiced vinegar for fruit, add 900 g (2 lb) sugar to the vinegar, dissolve, and add mace, ginger, cloves, a cinnamon stick, allspice and a slice of lemon peel.

When you pickle vegetables, pack in cooking salt overnight; then rinse and dry. Cover with vinegar.

Poach fruit in the sweetened vinegar before packing in jars and sealing.

CHUTNEYS

These are a mixture of fruit (such as apples and tomatoes), sugar and spiced vinegar; cooked to the consistency of jam. They are at their best after three months.

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