Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chutney Sunday

Ok, I confess, I am a newcomer to chutneys. My parents, while widely traveled in the world, have always been fairly conservative when it comes to food. While I have tried many world cuisines, there have been gaps in my food education. I had never had chutney until last year.
I had my first introduction at the food preservation workshop that J15 and I attended in the fall of 2008. After that, we made and canned our first batch of apple and green tomato chutney. In fact, it was the first thing that J15 helped can. We fell in love!
This year, I'm trying a new recipe. With the abundance of pears I needed to process, I was pleased to find a recipe for pear chutney in my Simply in Season cookbook. It has a much more complex, sweet/savory flavor than the one we made last year but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.
It went from this:
Diced pears, dried fruit and spices.
To this:
Thick and flavorful!
I was pleased with how it turned out. We've got some for us and several small jars for gifting this holiday season.
The finished product.
I've got 5 half pint jars and 5 quarter pint jars for gifting.
Here is the recipe:
12 cups pears- peeled, cored and diced (you can also use apples or a combination)
1 1/2 cup onion- chopped
1 jalapeno pepper- seeds removed and minced (I used one from our indoor plant!)
4 cloves garlic- minced
1 cup currants
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 inches of fresh ginger root- peeled and minced
4 cups brown sugar (less if the fruit is sweet)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp each: ground cloves, yellow mustard seed, salt
1 1/2 tsp each: chili powder, ground cumin, whole cumin seed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer until mixture thickens (about 50-60 minutes) Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Ladle into sterilized jars, allowing 1/2 inch headspace, seal and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
It was a great and tasty way to use up my pears. I have only 5 left and those will be used tomorrow evening when I'm making a savory pear and gorgonzola tart for dinner. I'm turning into quite the kitchen queen here lately!!!
Have a thankful week!


  1. Oh, this sounds delicious. I love all chutney, be it sweet, tart, hot, sour, or any combo thereof :-) It is just so versatile. I like the ingredients in your recipe, especially the combo of the ginger and jalapeno.
    I still have some pears waiting to be used, so this is likely going to be a project for one night this week.

  2. My mom introduced my sister and I to Chutney when we were kids. Some I didn't like at all while others were really good. Your pear Chutney sounds really good! I think a lot of people don't eat it or use it because they don't know what to do with it....and yes, you are quite the Kitchen Queen lately!! I hope your family is enjoying all your royal dinners and desserts!!...debbie

  3. Your pear chutney looks yummy. Your post jogged my memory - we have a couple jars of pear chutney tucked away somewhere that friends gave us. Their recipe was very simlar to yours - so tasty with the heat from the hot peppers and savory while sweet. Great with meat or on crakcers with cream cheese.

  4. I am comletely new to chutney--how do you use it? Is it a condiment, a sauce for the carb or protein portion of the meal?
    Clue-less :)

  5. Kris- Chutney is more like a condiment than anything else. We like it on sandwiches. It goes really well with turkey or ham or even just cheese. Or on a bagel with cream cheese. We don't do a lot of Indian food but I understand it is also commonly served with curry dishes. It is thick and sweet like a jam but has lots of spicy undertones and a little heat to it. YUM.

  6. Oh, and just an "accidental" way I have found to use it is to mix it with either sauted sweet or white potatoes & onions. Really good! I made a huge batch a few years ago and wanted to use some of it up. We also love Indian food and mostly use it as a condiment.

  7. Thanks for the recipe. I was looking at a canning recipe book last week & thought about making chutney.

  8. I have gaps in my culinary education and thanks to the question posed by hickchick that you answered, I am going to have to make some chutney for myself. Sounds excellent!


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