Friday, August 26, 2011

Peach Chutney

As a longtime lover of mango chutney I was very excited to see a recipe for it in my new favourite canning book. But I just can't bring myself to buy produce thats traveled so ridiculously far to get to me when there is so much wonderful fruit grown right here in my province. So what else is a girl to do but find a local substitute: peach chutney!

Aside from the obvious Indian food applications, this chutney is great on fish cakes, these amazing quinoa patties, alongside cheese and bread, spooned into these biscuits and so much more. I'd love to hear your favourite uses for chutneys too!

Adapted from "Canning For a New Generation" by Liana Krissoff

Makes about 4 pint jars

6 pounds peaches*
1 large onion
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
4 teaspoons crushed fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons pure kosher salt
2 small hot chiles, minced
1 cup distilled white vinegar

If using ripe peaches (see note below) drop a few peaches at a time into boiling water for 30 seconds then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Remove from ice bath and peel (skins should slip right off). Remove pit and coarsely chop. Chop onion and set aside.
Sterilize jars in boiling water (in canning pot) for 10 minutes. Leave in hot canning pot until ready to use  (I usually put the canning pot over high heat when I begin prepping my ingredients and leave it over medium heat while the preserve is cooking so that it'll be quick to boil when I'm ready to process the jars). Place lids in a bowl nearby.
In a large preserving pot heat whole spices (excluding cinnamon) over medium-high heat for a minute or two until toasted and aromatic. Add 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, sugar, salt, chiles, onion and peaches. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly then lower heat to a brisk simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, skimming the foam off the surface.
Add the vinegar, return to a brisk simmer and cook for another 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the peaches are falling apart and the liquid has thickened up a bit (it won't be completely thick) then you're done. Meanwhile make sure you're canning pot water is coming back up to a boil if it wasn't already.
Ladle boiling water from the canning pot onto the lids in the bowl. Using a jar lifter remove jars from canning pot (making sure to pour water in the jars back into the pot) and set on a towel nearby. Ladle the hot chutney into the jars leaving 1/4" headspace. Use a chopstick to remove air bubbles in the jar. Wipe rims of jars clean with a damp paper towel. Drain water off lids and place on jars. Screw on metal bands just finger tight. Place jars back into boiling water in the canning pot making sure that water covers jars by 1". Process in boiling water for 10 minutes, then remove and place on towel. Let sit undisturbed for 12 hours. If after 1 hour any lids haven't popped down refrigerate immediately. Label and store remaining sealed jars.

*The original recipes calls for unripe mangoes. I made one batch with ripe peaches (which are easier to peel) and another batch with unripe unpeeled peaches and green tomatoes. Obviously the ripe peach batch was sweeter, but not actually by all that much. And as for the batch with unpeeled peaches, I didn't really even notice the skins were still there.Pin It

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