This week is damp and chill, especially after the last month of sun. Time to huddle in the kitchen with some overblown opera and make chutneys.
I made a lovely one earlier in the year and lost the notes, boo. Peach chutney for me should be like the Sharwoods one used to be, thick and dark and ultra-sweet. But with a bit of a kick. Which means a standard chutney, made with dark sugar and a heavier vinegar, and cooked that little bit longer. So in today’s pot there are:
- 8 medium size peaches, slightly past their eating best, cut in half and stones removed
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 huge teaspoons garlic puree
- 2 huge teaspoons ginger puree
- 1 fresh red chilli, sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 oz dark muscovado sugar
- 200 mls cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
Cooked down to a thick consistency, peaches cut up a bit with a spoon, with a few spoonfuls of liquid left to stop it drying out in the pot. Yeech, that’s hot. Put up in a sealed jar and leave for a few weeks to really settle in. Chutneys like this are good in cheddar cheese sandwiches, with cold ham salad, or as part of an Indian pickle tray.
Rhubarb / Apple Chutney
I have 2 sticks of rhubarb left to play with, and a couple of baking apples left over from a dinner last week. I’m aiming for a light wet chutney, where the bulk of the fruit has turned to a puree with some tiny onion pieces for texture.
- 2 sticks rhubarb, cut in half lengthways then into 1″ pieces
- 2 Bramley cooking apples, cored and cut into pieces a similar size to the rhubarb, not peeled
- 1 small white onion, very finely chopped
- 1 tsp each pureed garlic / ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 oz white sugar
- 200 mls white wine vinegar, split into 150/50 ml portions
Put the bigger amount of vinegar in the pot, add rhubarb, sugar, onion, garlic, ginger, salt. Stir about a bit. and bring to simmer. Add apple pieces, sprinkle with the remaining vinegar (so raw apple doesn’t brown). Put the lid on the pot and leave it for about half an hour. Stir it up briskly, raise the heat, and cook it until it is a thick sauce, and all the big pieces of fruit have turned to mush. It’s like a super-tart apple sauce with threads of greeny-pink rhubarb running through it.
Again, I’m going to pot up in a sealed jar, but I’m tempted to keep it in the fridge in case it doesn’t have enough preservative in it. It’ll be brill cold with roast pork, blue cheese, even a good old fried breakfast with black pudding and thick bacon.