Monday, 3 December 2012

Plum and apple chutney

Two pertinent facts that you might not have known about me: I dislike Christmas shopping as most people know it, and I have a large stack of empty, clean salsa jars looking for a purpose. Homemade chutney struck me as a good solution. You can buy jars in places like Lakeland if you need to, but since you get them free with certain foodstuffs anyway it always strikes me as a bit of a waste.

To make three standard salsa jars of chutney you need:
Six plums
Three apples
One onion
A few handfuls of sultanas
Two or three tablespoons full of dark brown sugar
Enough cider vinegar to just cover the whole lot
A few splashes of balsamic vinegar (optional)

Put the ingredients in a saucepan, heat slowly until the sugar dissolves, bring to boil then simmer for half an hour or so.

If the chutney needs to keep for a while, you might find it useful to reseal the jars. This is easier than it sounds. Just fill the jars with hot (still bubbling if you have the nerve) chutney, screw the lid on tight (with the jar wrapped in a tea towel to protect your hands) and dunk it into a bowl of cold water. The freshness disk should pop back in after a few minutes. This technique also works for pasta sauce. Any that don't pop back in are the ones to keep for yourself and use first.

NB for those who use both non-stick saucepans and a dishwasher - HANDWASH THE PAN. I managed to trash a milk pan once after making jalapenos in it - something in the non-stick/boiling vinegar/dishwasher tablet trilogy causes a destructive reaction that basically rusts the inside of saucepans.

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