I’m not recommending this as the most amazing pickle you will ever taste. However: it’s pretty good with cheese and cold meat, the family like it, it’s quick and easy, and it has successfully wormed its way into our Christmas traditions.
It works for me because I am overly-devoted to Branston. So, when I try to seek out a posh pickle that rings the changes for Christmas, I’m unable to find anything as good as (everyday) Branston.
The recipe (which is easily halved) makes 1.5 litres (2.5 pints) and keeps for up to 6 months in the fridge.
2 large lemons
2 large onions
275 ml (10 fl oz) water
250g ready to eat dried apricots
250g ready to eat pitted prunes
275 ml (10 fl oz) sherry vinegar
500g light muscovado sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Cut top and bottom from each lemon. Score lemon skins in quarters, lengthways. Cover lemons with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes. Drain, then remove lemon peel. Cut lemons into thin slices, and cut slices into 4 – removing pips and retaining juice as you go.
Peel and slice onions finely, and cut slices into 4. Simmer onions in water for 5 minutes.
Chop each apricot and prune into 4. Add to onions along with sherry vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, and lemons.
Cover pan and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Allow to cool, transfer to container(s), and keep in the fridge.