top of page

Chilly Jam, crab apple pie filling as a part of “the secrets of truly living”…

The autumn is not just visiting here. It is a permanent thing that slows everything down. Our poplars are turning yellow and already have lost half of their leaves. They cover the driveway and fly around like happy butterflies when the wind comes to play with them.

I feel like we should be planting - a very strange thing to do (to my mind) when everything is getting ready for winter.

So today there was a visit to the garden centre where I picked up two the most beautiful little trees of a crab apple.

Now it is going to be an ode to the humble crab apple as I find crab apples to be the most charming, cosy, inviting to the story land trees ever. (And a great source of delightful food for animals and humans).

All those adventures of mice and their friends - little sparrows...I believe they all happen not just in the brambly hedges but near the cottage crab apple trees at the white picketed fence too.

So my dream came true and colourful little fruits will possibly add to the whimsical ambience of our future autumn garden.

I was given a big basket of crab apples two days ago and kept making the pie filling and pies themselves.

It feels so heartwarming - to mix the slowly boiling amber mixture with the big spoon and to prepare the short crust pastry - which decided to turn out just beautifully.. like never before...knowing that the day is rounding up and it is getting dark soon...

It is so enjoyable to be aware that I can create something yummy for my family dinner out of the real things that are growing in the real world and were picked up by the real people.

Aesthetically pleasing are my words of the week. This is what I am looking for in the cooking, arranging and cleaning at the moment.


So this is my recipe for the

My Honeyland Cottage Crab Apples Tiny Pies

Short crust pastry:

1 1/4 cups of flour

1/4 tea spoon of salt

1 tea spoon of sugar

80 g of butter

1/4 cups of cold water

Just mix dry things and work with your fingers softened butter to get that bread crumb state. Then add water and knead the dough. It was such a beautiful dough to work with! May be it was the new flour.. may be the autumn homy weather..

After that it went to the fridge for a bit of a nap,

Meanwhile I made an apple pie filling

500 g of crab apples

500 g white sugar

1/2 cup malt vinegar

pinch of salt

Add it all together in a pan with relatively thick walls and bring to the boil stirring occasionally.

let is boil in lower settings until it turns rather thick beautifully coloured substance. add the mixed spice - about a teaspoon.. or more if you wish, boil couple of more minutes and then turn off and let cool down.

It was still hot when I was making pies button too bad.

And then I made small pies, 5-6 sm in diameter... by rolling the dough (yes i got it out from the fridge and woke it up :) to 0.5 cm, cutting the circles with a jar and working the sides with the folk.

The little pies went to the oven to about 20-30 mins (180 C) but depends on the oven.

And then it was consumed by my husband and daughter who paired the pies with vanilla ice-cream.

I won't say much but will definitely be making them again.


I realise it is not long cold winter in New Zealand, but even here it can be pretty daunting with endless rains, strong winds, throwing the handfuls of water into the windows and frosty nights.

That is why we should be prepared by trying the new pie recipe (new for me anyway) and storing everything we can make out of what grew in the veggie garden.

One of these things this year is an abundance of spicy chilly peppers of all possible kinds. Starting with tiny birds yes bright red chillies, followed by jalapeño green rounded ones, followed by the pretty ornate orange habaneros, and, of cause good old chillies which were so perfect for chilly jam. Such a powerful stuff!! but very yummy I should admit.

Here is the recipe I used:

My Honeyland Cottage Chilly Jam

2 cups of Red chillies (cut along, seeds out)

6 cloves of garlic

2 pickled onions

Put is all in food processor on "pulse" settings and turn into "mince".

1 1/2 cups of white sugar

1/2 cups malt vinegar

bring to the boil stirring occasionally and let boil for 5 minutes as you want a syrup.

Then add the "mince" from the food processor with 1 tea spoon of salt, 5 whole all spice and 5 whole cloves...

bring to the boil and keep cooking on the medium settings until it looks like a jam.

You can drop a bit on a clean saucer and if it cools and does not run anywhere when you tilt a saucer - it is ready.

If you put it into hot sterilised jars while it is hot itself (temperature wise as it it HOT - you can keep it for months.

By the way if you need seeds of these chillies I have a plethora of those.

So went into sharing my household activities today. Hope you will find it useful.

And those crab apples!!! Honestly!!! :)

Isn't it the real "truly living" - preparing for the future with the great satisfaction with "now"?

Cottage living for me is all about gratitude to what is available at the moment...

Have a cosy time regardless of the hemisphere and season



Featured Posts
Check back soon
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page