Charming chutney dishes

Fruit or vegetable chutneys can brighten up the simplest meal like bread and cheese or a spoon added to a casserole or curry. Making chutney has to be one of the easiest things to do the chopping of all the vegetables and fruits been the hardest after that it is just long slow cooking and pot-up.

Fruit or vegetable chutneys can brighten up the simplest meal like bread and cheese or a spoon added to a casserole or curry. Making chutney has to be one of the easiest things to do the chopping of all the vegetables and fruits been the hardest after that it is just long slow cooking and pot-up.

Buying fruit and vegetables for chutney may not be cheep but at this time of the year there is such an abundance of apples, vegetable marrows, and plums. You can just about put any combination together to make chutney, like everything there are a few points to remember allow it to boil and bubble you will need to keep an eye on it the whole time do not let it stick to the pan, undercooked chutney can lead to mouldiness on the top layer.

Whatever jars you put them into and in most cases it will be a combination of odd sizes you must remember to wash and dry them well and sterilize them in a hot oven for about 10 minutes. The dried apricots for the apricot chutney put them in a large bowl and cover them in boiling water and leave them over night then use everything in the bowl liquid and all. The chutney is a great way of using up any marrows that are left over from the summer growth.

Then as always the tomato chutney is very popular and you can change around the spice to suit your own taste, ie if you don’t have pickling spices use some black pepper, coriander seeds and cinnamon. Remember a jar of homemade chutney makes a beautiful Christmas gift. (On Christmas I am at the moment putting together some new combinations of fruit for Christmas baking recipes coming soon. Anyone has a special old Christmas cake recipe and if you are willing to share it with you can do so on jimtynanskitchen@gmail.com)

Dried Apricot Chutney

450g chopped dried apricots (Place in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water)

700g onions, finely chopped

450g Granulated sugar

2 juicy oranges

½ tsp allspice or mix spice

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp dry mustard

2 pints cider vinegar

1 tsp salt

Grate the oranges finely and squeeze out the juice. Then add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer for at least 1 hour or until soft, golden brown and thick. Stir from time to time. Bottle as usual. ( the apricots generally come whole, so chop them up into a dice and cover with boiling water

Marrow Chutney

1 large vegetable marrow

125g coarse salt

2 pints white vinegar

450g sugar

450g onions

700g cooking apples

2tbsp turmeric powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Small muslin bag of pickling spices

Peel the marrow, remove the seeds and centre pith and cut into pieces. Put on a large meat dish and cover fairly thickly with salt. Put a cloth over and leave over night. Prepare the other ingredients the next day. Then drain the marrow into a colander and rinse off the salt and mix all ingredients in a saucepan, except the turmeric. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 1-1½ hours or until thickened. Stir in the turmeric powder and cook for a further 5 minutes. Bottle and cover as usual. If it seems a very ripe and juicy marrow, use only 1½ pints vinegar.

Tomato Chutney

3lb tomatoes

450g onions, chopped

1 celery, chopped

½ pint white vinegar

1tsp salt

1tsp cayenne pepper

2-3 medium cooking apples

3tbsp sultanas

225g brown or white sugar

Pinch each of ginger, mace, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Chop the tomatoes, peeled or not; peel, core and prepare other vegetables, chopping finely and put into a sauce pan with the vinegar. Add the spices, salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer fairly hard for about 2 hours. After 1 ½ hours add the sugar and dissolve well. Boil until it has reduced, then put in warmed jars and cover. Green tomatoes can also be used, but add a pound of sugar if using all green tomatoes.