On cold winter days, there isn’t anything better than beautiful smells wafting through the house. A productive way to achieve this is to cook a big batch of something delicious. So I bought a kilo of pears and decided to attempt to make a chutney. There are endless amounts of fruits or vegetables you can choose to put into your chutney. So head to your farmers markets and select whatever is plentiful and in season or whichever fruit/vegetable you prefer.
Here is a little ingredients guide to follow:
Apples: a key fruit for chutneys as it flavour blends well with other ingredients
Capsicums: add these for sweetness and colour
Onions: essential for all chutneys. Try red or white onions and shallots for a milder flavour
Pears: combine with fresh ginger or spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and allspice
Plums: add for rich chutneys with lots of body
Rhubarb: use tender, less fibrous stems
Pear and apple chutney
(Preparation time: 12 minutes, cooking time: 2 hours)
5 small pears, cored and cut into 2 cm pieces
4 cooking apples, cored peeled and diced
3 onions, sliced
300g light brown sugar
1tsp sea salt
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
600ml white wine or cider vinegar
In a large, heavy based saucepan, add all the ingredients and bring to a boil slowly, stirring to dissolve. Simmer gently for 1.5 – 2 hours, until a wooden spoon drawn across the base of the pan leaves a trail. The chutney should be a thick paste consistency and quite glossy at this stage.
Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
To make sure this chutney keeps for up to a year, add to warm, sterilised jars, leaving no air gaps.
For best tasting chutney, cover with waxed paper, seal and store in a cool, dark place. Leave to mature and mellow for least 1-2 months before using. However if you are impatient like me, eat straight away!