Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to make gooseberry and mustard seed pickle

We have several gooseberry bushes here at La Pasera. They are still young and only one produces fruit in sufficient quantity to be useful but with time we hope to increase the harvest dramatically. The bushes were planted for one reason and one reason only... Gooseberry and Mustard seed pickle (well and the odd crumble if we ever get enough). If you have not tried it, you must, it is to die for.

We cannot take credit for the original recipe (we think it was a Jocasta Innes recipe) and needless to say we have adapted it to suit our taste. So here goes:

225g of rinsed and bruised black and brown mustard seed.
12-15g of cayenne peppers (blitzed with seeds)
1.5 litres of malt vinegar
1.5kg red or green gooseberries
750g of dark brown sugar
100g salt
675g seedless raisins (chopped in a blender)
225g currents (chopped in a blender)
10 cloves of garlic (peeled and crushed)

Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer and stir regularly to avoid burning. 40 minutes may be enough but sometimes the gooseberries release more juice which needs to be reduced. The pickle is ready when it is rich and thickened (it thickens more on cooling). Leave overnight covered with cloth until cool and moisture released. Bottle in sterilised jars, seal and label.

This recipe makes about 8 jars of pickle.

It is ready to eat almost straight away but as with all pickles, it matures well and is better kept for a couple of months for the flavours to develop. It has some heat and despite the high salt levels, it does not taste too salty. It keeps for up to a year if you're lucky and don't eat it all before then. We love it with burgers, cheese, pasties or quiche but it also goes well with meats.

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