A proper chutney

Posted by Anita on 11.19.10 12:41 PM

The Cosmic Cowgirl picked pomes — that’s apples, pears, and quinces to you and me — as the theme of this month’s CanJam. As I dreamed of making mebrillo, pear butter, and dozens of other suitable recipes, I sat at the window overlooking our garden, still groaning with tomatoes. They’re ripening slowly now, and it’s time to plant our winter crops; a green tomato preserve was what I really needed to tackle before I gave any thought to recreational canning.

As interesting as it seemed, we never made much of a dent in the green tomato jam I made around this time last year. It’s finally dawning on me that our capacity for sweet preserves is fairly limited, so I knew this year’s project would have to be savory. I hit the books, and came up with a few ideas for pickles and such, but nothing that really made me want to pull out the canner. Then, while browsing on a completely unrelated topic, I serendipitously encountered a recipe for a green tomato and apple chutney. Voilá — two birds, one stone.

I love a nice, tidy solution, but experience has taught me that my effort’s wasted if I preserve something nobody wants to eat. That won’t be a problem this year: Barely an hour after the lids went ‘ping!’, we’d already polished off one small jar of this piquant preserve, slathered on good brown bread with hunks of aged cheddar to make a thoroughly autumnal ploughman’s lunch. A few days later, we cracked another jar and gobbled up a good share of it alongside an Indian curry. And just last night, Cameron sighed as he wondered aloud how well it would go alongside the Thanksgiving turkey, in place of the cranberry sauce that neither of us really craves.

I find myself in the odd position of hoping that the weather turns cold soon, so that the last of this year’s tomatoes won’t ripen and I’ll have another batch of green fruit to transform into chutney. If not, at least I know what I’ll be doing with the tail end of next year’s crop.

English-style Spicy Green Tomato & Apple Chutney
- adapted from BBC Food

1/2 oz fresh ginger (about a 2-inch piece)
8 to 10 fresh hot chiles, halved but not seeded
4 pounds green tomatoes, chopped
1 pound apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 oz golden raisins, chopped, or dried currants (or half of each)
1 pound shallots, chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 pound raw sugar or light brown sugar
1 pint malt vinegar

Prepare canner, lids, and nine 8-oz jars according to the usual method; keep jars hot until needed.

Bruise the ginger and tie it into a muslin jelly bag with the chiles.

Place jelly bag and the remaining ingredients in a Dutch oven or other large, wide pan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, and simmer until the desired consistency is reached, about an hour depending on simmering speed, stirring occasionally at first but more often as you come closer to the end.

Remove the jelly bag. Using a stainless-steel canning funnel, ladle the chutney into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles using a plastic knife or chopstick, and readjust headspace as needed. Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth and center the hot lids on jars. Screw band to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely submerged. Bring to a boil and process covered for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid; wait 5 minutes, then remove jars. Cool thoroughly, check for seals, and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

CanJam, locavore, preserving & infusing, recipes
9 Comments »

 

9 Comments

Comment by Cathy/ShowFoodChef

Oh,the green tomatoes mixed with sweet raisins and hot chilis sound so perfect. I’d love to try this and I’m truly jealous of your gardening talents.

Posted on 11.19.10 at 12:49PM

Comment by Dmarie

savory jams instead of sweet–now, why didn’t I think of that! We only tend to use the sweet jams for breads, but I could use chutneys for so much more. thanks!

Posted on 11.21.10 at 8:06AM

Comment by Arlene

I make a lot of recipes with green tomato, and will add this one to the list for sure. if you like muffins or loaves, then I have a great way to use up your green tomato jam or any other extra jams you want to make out of fresh local fruits: One half pint of jam used as your fruit/sugar for any basic muffin or cake recipe can be used. you just add your butter, then the jam, mix together, then add eggs and then continue on the recipe. depending on the type of grains used, you might need to fiddle a bit there but otherwise, it makes wonderful treats. I typically put up at least a dozen or two of each local fruit into jams, and use it throughout the winter/spring as it does not take freezer space.

Posted on 12.06.10 at 7:48AM

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Posted on 01.22.11 at 1:19PM

Comment by Ann

Hi – I am going to make this, but I can’t do the malt vinegar (gluten). What do you think would make the nicest sub? Cider vinegar? I was wondering about a mix of cider and sherry, perhaps. I have some nice and fully acidic sherry vinegar…but it seems like it might have too pushy a flavor. Any thoughts?

Thank you for sharing this!

Posted on 10.30.11 at 11:42AM

Comment by Ann

If you couldn’t use malt vinegar, what vinegar would you use? Gluten is an issue for me, so malt is out. I was wondering about half apple cider vinegar and half sherry vinegar. What do you think of that? I also have a ton of good white wine vinegar…

Posted on 11.05.11 at 12:16PM

Comment by Anita

Hi Ann,

As you may not have noticed, I haven’t updated the blog in a year.

I would say you want something slightly sweet and yeasty — maybe half apple cider vinegar and half sherry? If you have lots of sherry, just go for that. I wouldnt use red or white vinegar, but any other blonde or brown vinegar should do. Be sure to use commercial (not homemade) vinegars in preserves, as they are tested for consistent acidity.

Posted on 11.05.11 at 2:47PM

Comment by Brighid

This recipe is a godsend! I picked a stupendous amount of chilis today before we have a killing frost and they’ll go perfectly with the green tomatoes (100+) and the remains of a bushel of apples.

Posted on 10.07.12 at 7:27PM

Comment by lorraine cook

I was about to make green tomato chutney when it suddenly occurred to me….American/British pints are different 16 fluid ounces verses 20 fluid ounces!! As you mentioned Thanksgiving turkey I think I will use the American 16 oz pint for the malt vinegar, I am still not certain but I will just carry on the recipe sounds good.

Posted on 11.19.13 at 5:43AM

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