Edible gifts, Preserves

Piccalilli 

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This is pretty easy and great to make when Cauliflower is in season. I’ve adapted this recipe from a great friend who contributed it to a memorial book made for a relative who had died. What a great idea I would love a book of recipes from family and friends to be my memorial.

So what do you need?

  • 2 large cauliflowers (about 1.5 kg of florets)
  • 6 large onions
  • 400g green beans
  • 2 tbsp. crushed sea salt
  • 10 large red chillis (or 2 red peppers)
  • 1.2 litres vinegar about 6 cups (I use a jasmine rice one as it’s easily available here)
  • 3 cups sugar (550-600g)
  • 1 cup (about 120g) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 4-6 tbsp. mustard powder (depending on it’s strength)
  • 2 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric

So what do you do?

Start the night before by rinsing the cauliflowers and then chopping the florets into bite-sized (or smaller) chunks, put these in a large bowl and add the onions and beans also chopped into small pieces. Sprinkle with the sea salt and mix together and leave overnight. The salt will draw out excess water from the vegetables.

The next day drain off any liquid and put the vegetables in a large thick bottomed saucepan and add 1 litre of vinegar. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 mins until the cauliflower starts to soften a little, you want it to remain some crunch. Meanwhile chop the chillis or peppers into small pieces and add them to the pan. Then mix all the other (dry) ingredients together in a bowl and add the remaining vinegar (about a cup) and mix into a paste. The mustard I get in Thailand doesn’t seem that hot so I use 6 table spoons I’m sure Colman’s mustard is a lot hotter. Add this to the cauliflower mixture and bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Allow to cool for a while in the pan. Then spoon into sterilized jars. This will make 6 – 8 largish jars of pickle. Like other pickles and chutneys it’s best if you leave it for a couple of weeks for the flavours to mature before eating piccalilli. It keeps well and makes a great gift.

 

 

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