This is another one of the chutneys and preserves that I’ve made over the past couple of weeks. It’s been a bit like running a production line at times, but it’s the same every year at around this time; September is always a hive of activity whilst the autumnal fruits are widely available and cheap.
There’s something very elemental, almost primeval, about having a store of food for the winter months. Yes, I know I don’t have to do this these days; times have changed, we don’t starve any more if we don’t put food away for the winter and I could just go and buy jars of whatever I want from Waitrose, but I can’t buy the sense of satisfaction that goes with it. I love opening the pantry door to find it groaning under the weight of jars.
We’re already enjoying both jams I made in the summer. Mincemeat, plum compote, red onion marmalade and spiced apple butter are all ready to eat, but the spiced apricot and apple chutney, tomato and cranberry relish and this curried fruit chutney will all benefit from some maturing time. Clementine marmalade won’t be made until November when the fruit is reasonably priced in the run-up to Christmas. Phew, I think that’s about it for this year!
This chutney is ridiculously easy and, judging from the taste I had, it’ll make a very good addition to a hot curry on a cold night; I suspect it'll also go down well with a slice or two of cold nut roast or maybe cheese on toast.
250g onions, chopped
750g (prepared weight) fruit - I used apples, plums, rhubarb and apricots
25g fresh root ginger
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tsp curry powder
300g white sugar
300ml cider vinegar
Put the garlic, ginger, cayenne, salt, cumin, coriander and curry powder into a blender with a couple of tablespoons of the measured vinegar and blitz until slushy.
Prepare the fruit, chop into large dice and place in a large wide pan with the onions. Add the garlic and ginger mixture, the sugar and the vinegar. Bring to the boil, stir well and simmer uncovered over a low heat for about 1½ hours until thick.
Pot into sterilised jars whilst still hot and leave to mature for 6 – 8 weeks before eating.
Makes 6 190g jars.
Makes 6 190g jars.