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Old 07-27-2014, 10:35 AM   #1
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Got a glut of beets/beetroot?

The new season's beetroot will be in the shops in the next week or two here and because the weather has been kind the crop should be wonderfully sweet. I love beetroot but even if you don't I think you might like this. I got it from my mother who got it from her mother.

This is a mild chutney which is especially good for children and people who prefer their chutneys sweet and without chillis. Mum always said that because there isn't a lot of vinegar in it it wasn't supposed to be a keeper but we've never had any trouble with it going off. Unopened jars have still been fine after a year (if we han't eaten it all by then!). Once a jar is opened I keep it in the 'fridge and it's lasted as long as I've needed it.

It's good with cheese, particularly cheddar, cold meats, especially ham or pork and I like it on its own spread between two slices of bread and butter. I put it in small, clip top Kilner jars (bottling/canning jars) with rubber rings because I have them but old, sound, jam jars with new screw tops are fine (make sure the lids are vinegar proof). Sterilise and dry your jars immediately before potting up the chutney. I dry mine in the oven while I'm making the chutney and keep them there until I'm ready to pot it up. They should be very hot when the hot chutney goes into them - a slight sizzle is good!

Recipe - "Mad Cook's Mother's Beetroot Chutney"

Ingredients

3lbs raw beetroot with unbroken skins left on (leave an inch or so of the leaf stalks and any roots as the beetroot will "bleed" less in the initial boiling and won't loose colour - these will be removed and discarded before the beets are grated)

2lb cooking apples (We usually use Bramleys but I don't think you have them in the US so any sour eating apples will do)

1lb onions (any colour - whatever you have on hand)

3/4lb of white sugar (brown sugar is too dominant in this chutney)

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 English pint (ie 10 ounces) malt vinegar *

Juice of one lemon.

Method

1. Boil the beets whole in their skins for 1.5 hours (or use pressure cooker) until tender. Cool, peel and grate on the coarse side of a box grater (it's too fine done in the FP and the chutney has no body)

2. Peel and finely chop the onions and apples (best to grate the apples if you aren't using English-type cooking apples which "fall" when cooked)

3. Put all ingredients in a large, wide, uncovered pan/pot such as a maslin** pan. Bring to the boil and cook 1/2 an hour stirring regularly. The vinegar should have evaporated and the chutney thickened enough so that a spoon drawn through the chutney leaves a trail.

4. Pot immediately into hot, dry, sterilised jars and fasten the lids on straight away. Allow to become completely cold before storing in a cool, dry place. Best if allowed to mature for a minimum of 4 weeks but it rarely gets a chance in my house!

* It's a bit of a waste to use wine vinegar. I have used cider vinegar but we really prefer malt vinegar. Just be sure that you use vinegar with a minimum acidity level of 5% and preferably 6%. Over here we can buy proper 6% "Pickling Vinegar".

** This is a maslin pan - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kitchen-Craf.../dp/B0000C0TFF
(I don't know what you call them.) A dutch oven would do if you have one big enough but I wouldn't use an unlined cast iron one because of the vinegar.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:03 PM   #2
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Sounds wonderful! I love beets, and usually end up canning a few quarts of beet pickles every year. This sounds like a good alternative.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:18 PM   #3
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Got a glut of beets/beetroot?

Very nice recipe, MC! I too love pickled beets, your chutney sounds lovely!
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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That does sound good.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
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You could also make the "original" red velvet cake using pureed beets instead of food coloring.
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Old 07-27-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
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You could also make the "original" red velvet cake using pureed beets instead of food coloring.
Yes, I have done. It really annoys me when I see recipes for the "definitive" or the "original" red velvet cake and cupcakes with red food colouring and no beets.

Talking about vegetable cakes, I don't like carrot cake but a now defunct cafe in the village used to serve courgette/zucchini, lime and pistachio cake with cream cheese frosting. Now that was gorgeous.
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:21 PM   #7
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I love beets and I never knew about original red velvet cake with BEETS! YUM!

Beet chutney sounds terrific too! Thank you for the recipe!
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Old 07-28-2014, 06:48 AM   #8
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I love beets and I never knew about original red velvet cake with BEETS! YUM!

Beet chutney sounds terrific too! Thank you for the recipe!
This appears to be the easiest recipe with the fewest steps and least amount of ingredients. Some recipes went of for pages and pages. Most telling of how great the chef was.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:53 AM   #9
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I will have to try the red velvet cake with beets instead of food coloring. My grandson can't have red dye.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:56 AM   #10
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I happen to have all of the ingredients, except I will wait until the end of the season when the apples come in to make this. In the meantime, I'm juicing beets with carrots, celery, cucumber, and lettuce. I love beet juice! But then, I love beets--raw, pickled, roasted, in Borscht, beet and herring potato salad...haven't met a beet recipe I didn't like, yet (oops...didn't like the beet wine experiment...but the beet vinegar has promise...).
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:58 AM   #11
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I will have to try the red velvet cake with beets instead of food coloring. My grandson can't have red dye.
I forgot to post the link to the red velvet cake. Sorry!

Recipe for Red Velvet Cake – All Natural Red Velvet Cake – No Dye

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Old 07-28-2014, 10:39 AM   #12
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That MC is right down my alley! Thank you. I don't like acerbic chutney so this will be great.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:43 AM   #13
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You can make a wonderful chocolate cake with beetroot as well Addie. Think 'carrot cake' method. It's great for kids as well as grown ups. I can post the recipe if you like or you can google it easily as well
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I love beets and I never knew about original red velvet cake with BEETS! YUM!

Beet chutney sounds terrific too! Thank you for the recipe!
Kathleen, red velvet cake using beets for the color came as necessity. In the '30s, Depression Era, food colorings as we know them weren't available so cooks had to make do and, being resourceful, they discovered that beets would give the result desired.

It wasn't too far a stretch to go from dyeing eggs with onion skins, and cabbage leaves to considering including ingredients to color their creations. Continues to reinforce: Necessity is the mother of invention.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:28 AM   #15
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Kathleen, red velvet cake using beets for the color came as necessity. In the '30s, Depression Era, food colorings as we know them weren't available so cooks had to make do and, being resourceful, they discovered that beets would give the result desired.

It wasn't too far a stretch to go from dyeing eggs with onion skins, and cabbage leaves to considering including ingredients to color their creations. Continues to reinforce: Necessity is the mother of invention.
Or, you can just make chocolate velvet cake (my go-to cake). I always combine the soda and vinegar over the bowl because it foams. I made this for the 50th b'day party and the women all asked for the recipe.

Chocolate Velvet Cake Recipe - Cooking | Add a Pinch

I use a different frosting, which I think I posted the link for around V'day--frosting recipe without powdered sugar.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:04 PM   #16
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I happen to have all of the ingredients, except I will wait until the end of the season when the apples come in to make this. In the meantime, I'm juicing beets with carrots, celery, cucumber, and lettuce. I love beet juice! But then, I love beets--raw, pickled, roasted, in Borscht, beet and herring potato salad...haven't met a beet recipe I didn't like, yet (oops...didn't like the beet wine experiment...but the beet vinegar has promise...).
Love beetroot with herrings. In fact I had some of both as part of my dinner tonight.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:16 PM   #17
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Kathleen, red velvet cake using beets for the color came as necessity. In the '30s, Depression Era, food colorings as we know them weren't available so cooks had to make do and, being resourceful, they discovered that beets would give the result desired.

It wasn't too far a stretch to go from dyeing eggs with onion skins, and cabbage leaves to considering including ingredients to color their creations. Continues to reinforce: Necessity is the mother of invention.
I've dyed eggs with natural dyes, but never knew about the Red Velvet Cake. It was a family favorite for years. Thanks for sharing that!
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:21 PM   #18
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Kathleen, red velvet cake using beets for the color came as necessity. In the '30s, Depression Era, food colorings as we know them weren't available so cooks had to make do and, being resourceful, they discovered that beets would give the result desired.

It wasn't too far a stretch to go from dyeing eggs with onion skins, and cabbage leaves to considering including ingredients to color their creations. Continues to reinforce: Necessity is the mother of invention.
In Britain (and I suppose the US, as well) sugar was a very expensive until well into the 19th century so other ways of sweetening food were used. Carrots, parsnips, beetroot and similar sweet vegetables were frequently used in cake making. The practice began to die out in Britain after the tax on sugar was removed in the 1870s although it still hangs on in the practice of using grated carrots in traditional Christmas pudding recipes and in recipes for sweet dishes during WWII sugar rationing (I have a very weird recipe from 1944 for a mock apricot tart using carrots!). Veg in cakes was re-introduced (as something of a novelty) from North America relatively recently.

American carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is very popular here.
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