Galton Blackiston’s Cockle Chowder with Samphire and Apple Jelly Recipe

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The Chef BookIf you buy cockles in their shells they need to be thoroughly cleaned in plenty of cold running water and then preferably left overnight in the fridge in a bowl of cold lightly salted water with some plain flour sprinkled over the top. Ingesting the flour will encourage them to spit out sand and dirt. Wash the cockles again the following morning in more cold running water.

  • Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) cockles in shells
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 175 ml (6 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 275 ml (½ pt) whipping cream
  • 25 (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • 2 red chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 lobe of fresh ginger, peeled and grated, a good tsp
  • 4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 450 g (1 lb) fresh samphire, carefully picked over and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Whinhill Apple Jelly
  • 4 large or 8 small gelatine leaves
  • 250 ml Whinhill apple juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ lemon juice
How to Make It
    Whinhill Apple Jelly
  1. Place the gelatine leaves into a tray of water to soften.
  2. Heat 100 ml of the apple juice in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the sugar and allow to dissolve.
  3. Remove the softened gelatine from the water, squeezing out any excess water with your hands as you do so and stir into the warm apple juice to dissolve thoroughly.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the remaining apple juice and stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Allow to cool a little and then place in a suitable container in the fridge to set.
  6. Chowder
  7. Drain the cockles in a colander and leave under running cold water for a few minutes to get rid of the flour.
  8. Heat a large pan over a medium heat, add the oil then the shallots and garlic and sweat until just starting to colour.
  9. Turn up the heat and when the pan is really hot shoot the cockles in and give the pan a good shake.
  10. Add the white wine, put a lid on the saucepan and cook on a high heat until the cockles open.
  11. Take off the heat, allow to cool a little, then take the cockles from the shells (which you discard) place into a bowl and set aside. It is important that you discard any cockles that have not opened, do not risk any! Strain the cooking liquor through a muslin cloth into a bowl and reserve.
  12. Prior to serving heat up the reserved liquor and simmer to reduce slightly, now add the cream and reduce again. Keep tasting.
  13. Five minutes before serving add the cockles and turn the heat down.
  14. Samphire
  15. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the sugar and drop in the samphire.
  16. Boil for 2 minutes, then taste a sprig to see if it is cooked (the fleshy end should slip off the stem easily).
  17. Refresh under cold running water, drain thoroughly and set aside till ready to use.
  18. To reheat the samphire melt the butter in a saucepan add a good splash of water together with the samphire and reheat the samphire in the butter and water emulsion.

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