Part 2 of Christmas Gifts from Stirring Stuff: Two Elegant Preserves.

Vanilla Spiced Apricots with bay and pickling spice

Vanilla Spiced Apricots

This  week, adding to your repertoire of Edible Gifts for Christmas, we have two  easy to make and exceptionally beautiful Christmas preserves, Cranberry and Orange Relish and  Vanilla Spiced Apricots. The  vibrant colours of the Cranberry and Orange Relish with a hint of rosemary will definitely put you in the Christmas cooking mood. While the Spiced Apricots, warmly fragrant with vanilla and bay and pepped  with a touch of chilli will have you longing for the day when you can open the jar and serve them up,they happen to go exceptionally well with the chicken liver parfait posting in a few weeks.

A jar of one or both make a wonderful gift in their own right,  or gift as part of the amazing gift hamper that Stirring Stuff is putting together for you over the next few weeks. Equally,  these delicious preserves will make an elegant addition to your own Christmas and New Year festive tables.

Its worth making both of these now, as the vinegar needs time to mellow.

 

Cranberry and Onion Relish with Orange and Rosemary

Cranberry and Orange Relish with rosemary and red onions

Cranberry and Orange Relish

 

Makes 3 x 0.35litre or 4x 125ml jars

Ingredients:

25g butter

450g red onions (about 3 medium), peeled and finely diced

3 clove garlic, peeled and finely diced

150g granulated sugar

150 ml red wine vinegar

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary leaves

600g fresh cranberries

Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Jars as above, wax preserving discs and labels.

 Method:

Clean the jars well and put into an oven on 100c/gas 1/2 to heat through and sterilize.

Melt the butter over a gently heat in 5-liter pan. Stir in the onions, garlic and half of the sugar. Keep the heat low and cook for about 15 minutes stirring frequently until the onions are soft and any liquid is evaporated.

Add the red wine vinegar, zest and juice of the orange and the chopped rosemary leaves. Heat until the second batch of sugar is dissolved and then add the cranberries.

Bring the liquid to the simmering point cook gently for 20-25 minutes uncovered or until the berries have burst and the relish is thick and jam like.

Spoon the relish into the warm jars and seal. As with most pickles this relish is best kept for three weeks before serving to allow the vinegar to mellow and mature.

This relish will keep in the fridge for a few months.

Serving ideas:

As a vibrant addition to  Christmas cheese platter .

It will partner beautifully with  cold meats (ham, turkey goose so a great way of serving those remains).

Add to your a brie or ham and turkey sandwiches.

 

Vanilla Spiced Apricots

Vanilla Spiced Apricots with vanilla, Bay and Pickling spice

Vanilla Spiced Apricots steeped a vanilla and bay sweet vinegar with a hint of chilli.

and they happen to go exceptionally well with the chicken liver parfait posting in a few weeks.

 

Makes 3x 0.35 litre or 4x 125ml jars

 Ingredients:

350g granulated sugar

500ml wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Pickling spice or coriander seeds

2 vanilla pods split lengthways

6 bay leaves

500g pack dried apricots

Jars as above, wax preserving discs and labels.

 Method:

Clean the jars well and put into an oven on 100c/gas 1/2 to heat through and sterilize.

Put the sugar and the vinegar into a wide based pan along with the pickling spice, split vanilla pods and fresh bay leaves. Over a low heat allow the sugar to dissolve and then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the apricots and with a lid on the pan simmer everything gently for about 20 minutes until the apricots are tender and the liquid is syrupy.

Place in hot sterilized pots, cover, cool and keep for three weeks before using.

Serving Ideas:

Any of the ideas suggested for the Cranberry and Orange Relish above.

Foie gras  – in any guise you like and Stirring Stuff’s Chicken Liver Parfait

Partners  exceptionally well with blue cheese and Manchego.

Edible Gifts for Christmas from Stirring Stuff:

Christmas gift ideas from Stirring Stuff: Fabulous Fudge

 

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