Autumn Fruits Paste

I’ve had a few requests for the recipe for the Autumn fruits paste.

You can vary this recipe according to what you have on hand, but this is what I did.

If you don’t have any honey mead that’s ok. No cider? Just use water instead.

The paste is delicious on a cheese platter, especially with a lovely sharp blue.

Autumn Fruits Paste

1kg cooking apples (such as Granny Smiths), stalks removed1kg clingstone peaches (weight after removing stones)
1kg pears, stalks removed
300g fresh or frozen blackberries
Juice 2 lemons

600ml apple cider

200ml honey mead

Chop the apples, peaches and pears ad place in a jam pan or large pot.

Add the lemon juice, cider and honey mead (or substitute their combined quantity with water). Add the blackberries.

Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the fruit is very soft.

Pass the mixture through a sieve or food mill.

For each cup of the resulting pulp add 1 cup sugar.

NOTE: it’s a good idea to separate into two jam pans/pots at this stage.

Return to the stovetop and bring back to the boil, stirring.

Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until large bubbles are forming in the mixture (up to an hour or more).

To check if it’s reached its paste-like consistency, remove from heat and place about 2 teasponfuls of the mixture on a saucer (that has previously been chilled in the freezer).

Place the saucer back in the freezer and check after 5 minutes when the mixture has cooled. If you can drag your finger through it and it leaves a trail, the paste is ready. Otherwise cook a little longer.

Remove from heat and spoon into small containers (60 ml to 125ml).

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