(Serves four to six as a starter)
250g Tunworth cheese in a box
A few sprigs of thyme Hot crusty bread or toasted bread crisps, to serve
For the fig and apple chutney:
5 juniper berries 1tsp coriander seeds 2 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise 400ml cider vinegar 200g Bramley apples, peeled and grated 130g white onions, finely diced
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6. Meanwhile, to make the chutney, put the juniper, coriander, cloves, cinnamon and star anise in a piece of muslin and tie it with string to form a bag.
2. Put the bag in a large, heavy-based saucepan with all the remaining ingredients, except the Calvados and diced apple. Slowly reduce over a low heat to a thick, jam-like consistency, stirring regularly so it doesn’t catch.
3. Add the Calvados and reduce for one to two minutes to the same consistency. EVERY year I don my ‘Scientific Experiment’ hat ahead of International Sherry Week and mix and match a glass or two with some tasty morsels.
I browsed 101 Great Ways to Enjoy Sherry (details later) for sherry and food pairings.
(RRP £10, 75cl, widely available) is my first match and a fino is perfect with salty foods. I flashed padron peppers in a pan with olive oil until they blistered, then sprinkled with sea salt. Oh my, so incredibly moreish. I’d chilled the fino and its cool almond, savoury nature was a perfect glass with the warm, salt-smothered peppers.