A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a jar of McQuade’s Celtic Fig and Ginger chutney from Blake Makes. If you’ve not been over to visit there yet, you should visit at least once. It isn’t a gluten free blog, but it is definitely a foodie one.

Fig and Ginger ChutneyThe task was to suggest how you might use this chutney in a recipe. I was rather surprised to see in the comments that some people were unfamiliar with chutney, but there were many excellent and mouthwatering suggestions. This was mine:


I think goats cheese too.

I’m thinking pastry shell (gluten free, naturally), layer of fig and ginger chutney across bottom, goats cheese either sliced or shredded and sprinkled, depending on whether it is a hard or soft cheese, and then cooked in the oven to crisp the pastry and melt the cheese.

Or (perhaps and, if I’m being particularly greedy), fig and ginger icecream, served with (gluten free!) ginger biscuits or flapjack. Depending on the size of the chunks in the chutney, might need to blend the chutney a bit first …

And Lo: a jar of chutney arrived on my doorstep at the end of April.

For various reasons, it took me a while to complete my mission, and actually to cook something with this chutney, but I’ve done it. I used Lifestyle ready-made gluten free pastry rather than making some from scratch, because it was there in the freezer, and needed eating, and also – if I’m honest – because I’m run off my feet with work, and didn’t have time to make my own pastry. But I think a few shortcuts are OK occasionally.

Then I spread the chutney liberally across the bottom of my pastry shell. Not too liberally – I wanted to reserve some to taste separately! – and sprinkled goat’s cheese across the top before cooking it.

It was absolutely delicious. The chutney was also delicious with cheese and crackers. So good, that there’s none left to try the icecream out, but I do think this would work, because of the sweet and sour virtue of good chutney. My husband – a connoisseur of good chutneys – was heard to say (through a mouthful) that it was class. He may have said that it was even better than my own damson chutney, or my cranberry and shallot chutney, but I’m pretending I didn’t hear that.

It is truly a great chutney. Perhaps not, as their publicity says, reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands (figs just don’t grow that far north), but really good. Guys, why aren’t you selling it here? No, really – why not?

(I notice, incidentally, that the recipe at the top of the McQuade’s site is also a goat’s cheese and pastry one, so clearly great taste-buds work alike.)