I really fancied the idea of making some HP sauce with the tomatoes and apples from the garden (the apples are the first from our family apple tree, planted last year, they were growing on the ‘golden delicious’ branch).
I googled just about every recipe there is and found a huge variation in ingredients and methods, but this is what I went for:
1.5-2kg fresh tomatoes (I didn’t measure them – duh! sorry)
These were roasted until completely soft then pushed through a sieve. You could substitute with tinned puree (x 2) or just tinned tomatoes (x 2). In the case of both, especially the puree, I’d also add a bit of water.
4 small apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3 small onions, peeled and chopped
60 g pitted dates
60 g prunes
I blitzed the above in my ‘chopper’ then added them to the tomato puree and simmered on a low heat until completely soft again. At this point, most people then just blend the mixture, but I blended it then passed through a sieve again, as I really liked the idea of a smooth sauce.
(Next time, I’ll just simmer all the above, along with the tomatoes as one stage, as I do when making tomato sauce and then pass it all through a sieve instead of doing it in two stages).
250 ml orange juice
250 ml apple juice
200 ml cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind
3 tablespoons black treacle
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon celery salt
All the above were added to the new puree, along with the spices below, which I tied into a muslin cloth.
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 clove of garlic (bruised)
1 bay leaf
2 blades of mace
1 small stick of cinnamon
It was all simmered again, and reduced until it reached the consistency I liked. I then bottled it up into sterilised jars and bottles, that were warming in the oven (15 mins in an oven at about 150 degrees), I used some great posh apple juice bottles that have quite wide tops so are perfect for this thick sauce.
I ended up with three jars, which is not a lot for all the work involved and even though I tasted it many times (I stood there at the fridge, looking like a crazy lady, swapping between HP, TipTree and my own, trying to compare them all), once it had cooled and I tried it again I’m not sure the flavours are strong enough. I think I’d go for more vinegar and add some brown sugar (or more treacle) and perhaps even more spices next time.
Will there be a next time? Probably, I quite like the idea of making HP, but I don’t think I’d use my own tomatoes; their beautiful flavour, which makes such an amazing puree for pizza toppings, if not eaten fresh, is kind of wasted on this. Still, with the late warm weather that has suddenly arrived, there is quite a good chance we’ll have even more red tomatoes to come 🙂