Tomato And Pear Relish
Makes four 500 ml jars of relish.
Notes: you will need a large boiling pan; the pan of a
pressure cooker works well. You will need to sterilize
your jars first; look up how to do this (Milton is the
- 1 kg (approximately 10 large) tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded
and coarsely chopped
- 5 pears, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (I sliced each
pear length-ways into four after peeling, which makes them
easy to core)
- 4 medium onions, finely chopped
- 6 celery stalks, very finely chopped
- 3 red chillies, very finely chopped (but not deseeded,
let's give this some kick)
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 250 ml water
- 1 litre red wine vinegar
- 200 gm light soft brown sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- Put the tomatoes, pears, onions, celery, chillies, yellow
mustard seeds, paprika and water into a large pan and boil for
20 minutes, or until the pear goes soft.
- Add the vinegar, sugar and salt and simmer for a few hours
or until the volume has approximately halved, skimming off any
scum that develops.
- Spoon the mixture into four sterilized jam jars; I made a
temporary funnel from a piece of greaseproof paper to help
with this (see first picture above).
- Put the lids on the jars but with very light hand pressure,
so that they are not sealed; you want air to be able to
- Wrap each jar around the base and three sides in a single
sheet of tabloid newspaper folded in half (see second picture
- Empty and clean the large pan and place the jars in it so
that the not-wrapped sides are outermost; you are going to all
this effort to stop them bashing against each other or the
bottom of the pan.
- Fill the pan with cold water to just below the lids of the
- Slowly bring the water to the boil; you want to make sure
the glass in the jars has sufficient time to conduct the heat
evenly, or stresses in the glass will build up and cause
- Boil for 20 minutes.
- Use a tongs to lift out each jar by its lid and then oven
gloves to grab the body of the jar; you might need help from
an assistant to do this.
- Wearing the oven gloves, or maybe using a tea-towel between
your hands and the jar, tighten the lids on all the jars.
- Put the jars back in the hot water; the paper will be mush
by now but try to arrange it so that the jars have some paper
- Using hot water from the tap (to avoid a temperature
difference again), top up the water in the pan so that it is
above the lids of the jars.
- Boil for a further 10 minutes.
- Leave the whole thing to cool down and remove the jars.
- Clean the soggy newspaper from the jars and label them with
the name of the contents and the year; they should keep for
- Wash the newsprint off everything else.
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