Veg Patch Chutney
You can bundle just about any fruit or veg into this marvellous preserve. It only makes 3-4 jars so you don’t need massive preserving pans or a place for hundreds of jars. And as it’s a small batch, it cooks a bit faster, too.
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- • 400g seasonal fruit or veg, finely diced (1 cm cubes)
- • 300g apples, finely diced (1 cm cubes)
- • 300g onions, finely chopped
- • 200ml cider vinegar
- • 175g light soft brown sugar
- • 150g dried fruit, chopped
- • 2 tsp spices (an equal mix of 2-3 different ones)
- • Pinch of salt
- • 1 tsp chilli and/or fresh ginger, finely chopped
Create your own concoction, or try one of these
- Pumpkin, pear and date with fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon & black peppercorns
- Tomato, courgette and sultana with cumin, coriander & black mustard seeds
- Quince, beetroot and prune with black peppercorns, cloves & cinnamon
- Make a spice bag by tying the spices into a square of muslin (or cut up an old, clean tea towel). Put in the middle of the pan. If you don’t have whole spices, add ground spices to the fruit and veg. If using ground spices, add them right at the end of cooking. Swirl them in, little by little, tasting as you go until the flavour is so delicious you can’t stop eating – that’s always the indicator that you’ve got it right.
- So, once you’ve decided what fruit/veg you’ve going to use, and what spice route you’re going to take, place all ingredients into a large, heavy pan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar’s dissolved, slowly bring to the boil. Lower heat. Simmer for 45 mins to 1 hour, stirring regularly. If it starts to dry out add a trickle of water.
- It’s ready when it’s thick, of porridge-like consistency and nicely melded together (yet with discernible pieces of fruit/veg in tact). If you drag a wooden spoon through the pan and it parts enough to reveal the base of the pan, it’s done.
- Place in sterilised jars with plastic-coated screw-top lids (or kilner jars) while still warm.
- How to sterilise your jars
- It’s absolutely fine to reuse old jam jars. For chutney, the lids need to have a white waxy gloss on the inside – this keeps the vinegar from tainting them.
- Wash your jars and lids in boiling hot water. Dry thoroughly.
- When the chutney’s nearly done, place the jars and lids in a cold oven. Turn to 100C/Gas ¼. Let them warm for 10 mins.
Crystal Palace Food Market http://crystalpalacefoodmarket.co.uk/