I hate chutney. I am not a chutney person. I have never met a chutney that I have really enjoyed.
So it came as a surprise to me that I found a spare six hours in my hectic schedule to make chutney yesterday. A simple means to deal with the tomatoes threatening to turn bad, I had planned on giving most of it away, leaving only a token jar for the men of the house to enjoy. I spent several hours scanning recipes hoping to alight across something that appealed; and in so doing, I struck upon the root of my problem with chutney. I have never met a piece of chutney worthy dried fruit that I actually like. Sultanas, apricots and raisins...mollasses-y chewy yuck. And all of the recipes I found were brimming with dried fruit.
With understanding comes healing. I made this recipe up as I went along, using the unripe and half ripe Purple Calabash tomatoes. Aren't they ugliful?
Ugly Tom's Chutney
1.5kg mixed green and under ripe tomatoes, chopped
0.5kg young tart apples, chopped
350g onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, slivered
150g demerara sugar
200g white granulated sugar
200ml balsamic vinegar
150ml white wine vinegar
250ml malt vinegar
1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Motherload of ground black pepper (I spent several minutes of grinding)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp sea salt
Simply bring all the ingredients to the boil in a large pan...
Simmer down over a low heat for several hours, stirring frequently as it thickens, until reduced enough to leave a trace when the spoon is drawn through...
Remove the bay leaves, bottle, christen and label.
As for post bottling processing...I did it the traditional British way with quaint disregard for botulism, USDA guidelines, or scalded fingers. Next year I may get organized and take the prescribed safer route instead (not least because it gives me an excuse to buy pretty Kilner jars).
I like this chutney. This recipe makes just under two litres, most of which I will be keeping for