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    Apple, Raspberry and Thyme Cheese

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    Apple, Raspberry and Thyme Cheese

    There are no dairy products involved here; this is a lovely, thick, sliceable preserve, rather along the lines of Spanish membrillo (quince paste). I love it with goat's cheese or blue cheese and it's great with smoked meats, too. I like the preserve without the raspberry seeds but you can leave them in if you prefer, simply adding the raspberries to the pan without sieving them first.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 40 minutes
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes, plus cooling
    • Total time: 1 ½ hours, plus cooling 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Makes: about 1kg


    • 1kg crisp eating apples, such as Braeburn
    • 350g raspberries
    • 600ml water
    • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
    • About 600g caster sugar


    1. Core the apples but do not peel. Chop into chunks and put in a heavy-based saucepan. Push the raspberries through a sieve into the same pan. Add the water and thyme and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until the fruit is very mushy, then tip into a sieve. Don't push the mixture through; just let the liquid drain out of it until you're left with a thick purée. Discard the juice and put the purée in a food processor. Give it a few whizzes to break down the apple skins.
    2. Weigh the purée (you should have about 600g) then transfer to a clean pan. Add an equal weight of sugar and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved. Now boil, stirring often, until the mixture is so thick that the spoon leaves a clean line when drawn across the bottom of the pan. This will take 40-50 minutes. As the purée thickens it will spit and pop violently.
    3. Transfer to sterilised containers; loaf tins are better than jars, because they make it easier to turn out the cheese. Leave to set, then store, covered, in the fridge, to stop it becoming sticky.

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