Friday, 6 December 2013

Kiddo's Christmas Chutney

Spicy, fruity chutney is such a wonderful thing to have to hand for Christmas leftovers, and something I've always wanted to make. So I thought Kiddo and I could make up some jars as gifts for relatives and godparents, and hopefully one to spare for us too!

Chutney needs a few weeks to develop and mature, so make it now and it will be ready for Boxing Day.

This recipe has more tomatoes than many to give it a richness that carries the sweet fruit content. Using fresh ginger, rather than ground, adds something woody to the heat of the cayenne pepper. The spices can be varied to taste, and many recipes use clove or curry powder. Here I use allspice and brandy in keeping with the flavours of Christmas.

Makes around 12 x 250ml jam jars

2kg tomatoes, chopped
500g onions, finely chopped
500g eating apples, peeled and chopped
1.25kg sugar
1 tspn cayenne pepper
2 tspns grated ginger
2 tspns allspice
4 crushed and chopped garlic cloves
2 tbspns tomato puree
300g sultanas
800 ml apple cider vinegar
zest and juice of an orange
250ml brandy

Prepare the ingredients: how finely you chop the apples is a question of personal taste as to how chunky you want the chutney to be.

Heat a little butter in a large saucepan and then gently sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes on a gentle heat.

Next, add the pepper, ginger, allspice, garlic and stir. Then, the tomatoe puree, zest and juice of orange, and stir again. Chuck in the tomatoes and apples, pour over the sugar and stir it all together.

Turns out Kiddo is very good at stirring!

Pour the vinegar over, turn up the heat and when it starts bubbling, add the brandy. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat back down to allow it to simmer for 45-60 minutes.

\Towards the end of the cooking time, sterilise the jam jars  - if you no longer have your baby steriliser, then simply immerse the jars in boiling water and then put in the oven for 10 minutes at 180º to dry. Place jars on a baking rack or heatproof surface.

Once the chutney is tender and while the jars are still hot, ladle the chutney from the saucepan into the jars. Allow to cool and then seal the jars with wax paper if you can find it, and put the lids on tight.

Stick on labels adorned by your favourite artist, and store in a cool dark place.

I made up a couple of tester pots, to check on how the flavours are developing. 4-6 weeks is the recommended maturing time. Once opened, keep in the fridge, although I don't think these jars of wonder are going to last very long... I am dreaming already of slathering over brie, or perking up gammon leftovers... What do you eat with chutney?

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