Aspall Cyder - Cider and Vinegar

How to handle the marrow onslaught


Date
13th September 2016


​Here’s the scenario; you’re going away for a long weekend and do a quick reconnaissance and strip pick of the veg garden to make sure nothing will go off in your absence. You also check the courgettes, as you have done every day for the last few days. They’re still not really the right size, and given they have been moving at what seems like glacial pace on the size front, you leave them, confident that upon your return they will be perfect for any number of delightful courgette based dishes.

It’s at precisely this moment that the “Jack and the Beanstalk” gene wakes up – probably switched on by the sound of a luggage filled car leaving the drive, and you return after, I swear, no more than 3 days to find your veg patch overrun with giant marrows. Think you can hear something laughing amongst the vegetation? You probably can.

Still, every cloud has its silver lining, and these two recipes are certainly that. The date and marrow Lizzie came up with last year (yes, we didn’t quite learn our lesson from the previous courgette harvest), and is now an all-time favourite chutney.  The pickled marrow is like a mild piccalilli – or ‘piccalilli for starters’ as I like to think of it. Both are so good in fact, that we may actually start growing marrows on purpose next time around. That’ll teach ‘em…. 

  • Pickled Marrow

    WHAT YOU NEED

    1 marrow – approx. 1.5kg, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into ¼ inch cubes
    1 good sized onion finely chopped
    500ml Aspall Cyder Vinegar
    175g sugar
    1-2 tablespoons sea salt
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 teaspoon English mustard powder
    ½ teaspoon turmeric
    4 cloves  

    METHOD

    1. Mix the marrow, onion and salt together well, and place in a colander; set this above a bowl with a plate and heavy weight (I used a full olive oil can c2.5kgs) on top. 
    2. Leave this to drain for at least 12 hours, but no longer than 24. 
    3. Pour the vinegar in to a saucepan and add the sugar, ginger, mustard powder, turmeric and cloves. Bring to the boil and immediately add the salted marrow and onion. 
    4. Reduce the heat to a low and gentle simmer and leave for ½ an hour. Test the tenderness of the marrow with a sharp knife, and if the knife pushes in to the marrow easily, remove from the heat. 
    5. Use a slotted spoon to lift the marrow chunks out of the hot vinegar brine and pack in to sterilised jars – this amount will fill approximately 2 x 350g jars. Once the jars are full, pour the brine over the top of the marrow chunks and seal. 
    6. Leave for about a week before opening. Magic with a cold meat pie.