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Mini West Indian Christmas Cakes


This can be poured into Kilner jars or pretty white china moulds but not jam jars as it is turned out before serving.

Makes about 850g

850ml cider
4 strips finely pared lemon rind
4 cloves
1 small stick of cinnamon
1.4kg cooking apples or thereabouts
vegetable oil
granulated sugar


Place the cider, lemon peel, cloves and cinnamon in a non-corrosive saucepan and boil vigorously until the cider has reduced by one third. Roughly cop the apples, pips, skin and all, mix well and simmer for about 1 ½ hours or until the apples are reduced to a pap.

Wash your jars or moulds and leave to dry in a very low oven. Lightly oil them with vegetable oil and set aside. Push the mushy apples with their juice through a fine sieve. Measure out the puree and allow 340g sugar to each 600ml apple puree.

Place the sugar and apple pulp in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and continue to cook, stirring all the time, until the mixture is so thick that the spoon leaves a clean line when drawn across the bottom of the pan. This process will take about 25 minutes and as the puree thickens it will turn a beautiful dark amber. It will also spit ferociously, so keep your arms well covered.

Carefully spoon the hot apple cheese into your pots. Press a small waxed disc, waxed side down, on to the cheese, then seal, label and date.

Note: Apple cheese is sometimes confused with apple butter. The only difference between the two is that fruit cheese are cooked to a firmer consistency than butters, otherwise they are identical.

To sterilize jam jars, etc:

Either place in the dish washer and leave to steam dry or wash in plenty of soapy water before rinsing in very hot water. Place in a cool oven to dry. Fill while warm with hot jam, curd, marmalade or pickles, otherwise allow to cool and fill with cold ingredients such as mincemeat or oil and herbs.

This recipe was kindly provided by Sybil Kapoor
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