Sunday, October 09, 2011

The worst chutney recipe ever

Following on from the post about the glut... I thought I'd report back on what we have done with some of the produce since. The chilli peppers were cleaned, half and quartered then frozen in layers then bagged. These will be used in variety of ways over the next 12 months. The red peppers have been cleaned and bottled. The weak vinegar solution then heated in a bain marie should keep them in good condition for some time to come however it is the first time we have tried this so we will wait and see.

We have made some glorious soups that have been enjoyed by us and our guests over the past few days. Plenty more has been frozen. The most popular was carrot and coriander with orange soup followed closely by cream of marrow. If any one wants the recipes let us know and we'll put them on the blog.

We have not had to buy fruit or vegetables for a few months now. Locally, the fig trees are full of fruit and Luis has been collecting and processing them for the freezer in readiness to make jam when we get the time. Apples are being harvested and although our own supply has been poor this year, the gift of apples from Luis' sister has been welcome.

We have eaten lots of red, ripe and juicy tomatoes however we need to use many more in addition to a container full of ripened pears. I came across a chutney recipe in a leaflet produced some years ago by a famous vinegar brand and it ticked all the boxes in relation to the goodies we had in store.

I usually cook from instinct and practice rather than follow a recipe, usually I would adapt it if it didn't seem right but last night's chutney effort slipped by. As I added the final amount of vinegar I just knew it was too much liquid. As the recipe was to be simmered for 90 mins, I decided to wait and see. No amount of vapour release could be enough to reduce and thicken. A last minute effort to skim off at least three cups of syrupy liquid helped no end.

Now the chutney is cooled and jarred, it will mature for at least three months and although still a little more loose than I would have liked, we now have 10 jars of very tasty Pear Chutney  in store. The worst chutney recipe ever?, probably. I must remember to act on instinct and amend the amounts for next time.


  1. I've got a good pear chutney recipe you can have.
    The proportions can be affected by the ripeness of the pears, I find it best if they are not quite ripe. Another tip I've used before is to only add half the vinegar to start with, this reduces the cooking time even if you end up using all the stated vinegar in a recipe.

  2. Pear Chutney
    3 pounds of pears (I use them when firm, but not hard)
    2 cups Cider Vinegar
    1.25 cups packed, soft brown sugar
    1 large onion
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ground cloves
    1 tsp ground cayenne.

    Peel, core, dice (half inch) pears
    add sugar to vinegar in the pan, bring to the boil, meanwhile finely chop the onion.
    Add all the other ingredients, stir, bring to the boil and cook for 2 to 2.5 hours when oit will have reduced by between a third and a half.
    Bottle as usual.

  3. Many thanks GZ - I will publish it and link to your ceramics blog if that's OK?

  4. That will be fine, thankyou!

  5. I've done another double batch, using a head of Florence Fennel in the weight of fruit-it tasted good, and I'm looking forward to trying it when it matures


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