As anyone who gardens will know a lot of work goes in to growing your own food but the rewards are worth it. Eating something you have grown yourself isn’t just a way of saving money on increasingly expensive fresh produce but it feels good to know that you cultivated your own fruit and veg. The down side is that some produce is at its best during a very short time window and you can end up giving a lot of it away.
That’s what we found with our first crop of apples last year. While we’ll still be giving a lot of them away, this year some of it will be in the form of chutney.
If you have the same problem or just fancy making some chutney here’s how we did it:
- 5lb Apples (small home grown) or 4lb if large – there’s less wastage in large apples when you skin and core them.
- 16oz Onions
- 8oz Sultanas or raisins
- 1oz table salt
- 1oz Paprika
- 1oz Ground Coriander
- 1oz Mixed Spice
- 1 ½ pints of malt vinegar, brown is good for colour
- 1 1/2lb of sugar
And don’t forget …
- Jars, this recipe produces 3 to 3.2kg of finished chutney requiring 15 or 16 110ml (7oz/200g) like these jam jars
- Waxed paper disks to top off the chutney before the lids are put on.
- Peel, core and dice the apple then place them in a pan. I prefer to use cast iron as the heat distributes well.
- Steadily bring to a simmering heat, melting/dissolving the sugar.
- Simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours with the pan lid off to reduce the chutney, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.
- Wash your jars and lids in hot water and rinse. Leave upturned on your drainer until required.
- Turn on your oven and set to 160 degrees centigrade. When hot place your jars on a baking tray and heat for 10 minutes to sterilise them.
- Your chutney is ready when a spoon can be dragged over the bottom of the pan and the rill fills in slowly.
- Remove the jars from the oven, leaving them on the baking tray. Carefully ladle your chutney in to each jar and fill to within 1/2cm of the top of the jar. I would recommend you use a Jam Funnel
to do this as it avoids getting any chutney on the neck or thread of the jar which can cause spoilage.
- Once filled place a waxed paper disc over each and screw down the lid whilst still hot. You will find a tea towel useful for holding the jars. You must attach the lids as soon as you can because when the jar and chutney cool the pressure inside will reduce giving a really tight seal.
- When the jars have cooled store them in a cool dark place to mature for between 2-3 months before eating.