Chutney in the Park


A group of us had some fun this morning up at the pavilion making chutney from the Abundance recipe. We made around six jars of Apple Chutney using the apples we harvested a few weeks ago and six jars of Apple & Pear Chutney ….. it has to be said they both tasted lovely. We were all commenting about how much food that grows around us is still left to waste,and the joys (apart from when there are wasps nests) of going out to pick blackberries, bilberries and yes even apples and pears.

In case you want to experiment at home, here’s the recipe.

Abundance Chutney Recipe

This recipe makes about 1.8kg (4lbs) of Apple Chutney, which should fill 6 medium jars.

Ingredients

900g (2lb) local cooking apples (after coring and peeling)

225g (8oz) onions (again after peeling and chopping)

560ml to 840ml (1 pint – 1.5 pints) vinegar (start with a pint, you may need less)

350g (12oz) brown sugar (again, see how sweet the apples are, use less if necessary)

56g (2oz) mixed pickling spice (in a spice bag/tied up tea towel, bashed a bit) OR 1-2 tsp powdered spice (straight into the mixture)

225g (8oz) raisins or sultanas

14g (1/2oz) salt

2 tsp ground ginger

Method

1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Put into a pan with the vinegar (a pint to start with). Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft.

2. Meanwhile, peel, core and finely chop the apples.

3. Add the apples to the onions and vinegar, bring back to the boil, and simmer, mixing well, so that the fruit starts to soften.

4. Add all the other ingredients and the spices. Bring to the boil and simmer, stirring frequently to avoid the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan.

5. Keep going until the chutney is thick and brown. Lovely!

6. Pour into hot, clean, sterilised jars immediately, and seal.

7. Label with contents once fully cooled.

Sterilising Jars

To sterilise your jars, wash them in hot, soapy water, rinse with hot water, then dry with a clean tea towel. Place on a baking tray, and put in a low oven (100C/gas mark 1) for 10 minutes. The jars will be hot: be careful, and don’t put them on a cold surface. Alternatively, run the jars through the hot cycle on a dishwasher.

Add the chutney to the jars while they’re still hot. As the chutney cools down, it will contract, pulling down the tamper button in the lids. Et voila. Perfect jars of sustainable chutney, that will only get better with age.

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