While away on our much needed summer holiday early this year we discovered an amazing little secondhand bookshop in Whitianga, where I stumbled upon an updated copy of Mrs Beeton’s Preserves.
I was excited to get this home and try something out and it just happened to be the time for a bumper season of sweetcorn from our very own backyard vege patch.
Going straight to the pickles and relish section of the book I found the perfect recipe for Sweetcorn Relish. One of my favourite things to eat is cheese and relish so I was really looking forward to sampling it.
This is a two day process so keep this in mind when setting aside some time to make this at home.
Bear with me while I list the ingredients for you as there are a few, but all are readily available summer veges which, if you make them at the right time of year, won’t cost you much for the amount that the recipe makes.
2 Green peppers, seeded and diced (I used red)
2 Large Carrots diced
2 Large Onions diced
6 Celery Sticks diced
2 Garlic cloves crushed
1tsp Mustard powder
1 Pint white vinegar
900g Sweetcorn kernels (I cut these straight off the cobs)
All of the veges go into a large bowl (minus the corn) in layers, with salt sprinkled over each layer. Sprinkle some more salt over the top and cover the bowl to stand overnight.
Before you start making the relish the next day make sure you bring your clean jars to boil on the stovetop in a large pot of water and dry them out in a moderate oven to sterilise. You don’t want to put hot relish into cold jars, or the other way around as this will cause them to crack.
The next day you will need to start with draining and rinsing the veges twice before putting them into a large saucepan with most of the white vinegar (keep aside a tablespoon to mix with the spices). White vinegar is not expensive and it is great to have extra in the cupboard for cleaning purposes too. A pretty handy ingredient to have on hand that’s for sure.
The mustard, turmeric and cornflour are mixed in a cup with the extra bit of vinegar you put aside. Don’t add this to the pan just now as it doesn’t go in until later.
Everything is heated in 5 minute sections so it’s pretty simple to remember. Firstly bring the veges to the boil and simmer for your first 5 minutes. Add the 900g (!) of sweetcorn and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in your sugar and cook for….you guessed it..another 5 minutes.
Lastly add the spice paste you made earlier and 1tsp Salt and stir well, this comes to the boil and simmers for your last 5 minute blast.
Take your jars out of the oven and pour the relish evenly into them and seal (with a clean towel over the lid, so you don’t burn your hands). Once they cool a bit make sure you label them with the date, these babies will keep for 6-9 months so that’s plenty of time to demolish the lot 😄. I got 7 decent sized jars out of this mixture so if you are feeling generous, there are even some to gift to friends and family.
It’s a fairly straight forward recipe to try which doesn’t require any fiddly setting temperatures as does Jam, so I would recommend this one for beginners who want to get into making their own preserves.
I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did and come back again for my delicious vintage cooking!