With six 2 lb (2.72kg) bags of frozen, whole tomatoes taking up space in my freezer, I decided I needed to start doing something with them. So Monday saw me hunting in the local supermarket for cider vinegar, muscovado sugar and raisin and a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon was spent having coffee and an natter with a friend, followed by a visit to her apple orchard to gather enough cooking apples to feed a small army.
I had designated yesterday (Wednesday) as chutney day and had washed out all my jars on Tuesday night, ready for sterilising once the chutney was ready. I’ve used two different size of jars for this chutney: the larger of the two were a birthday gift from my apple growing friend last year and hold approx 200ml each; and the smaller ones, which I found in a local shop, are destined to be teamed up with small jars of chilli jam and become Christmas gifts and hold about 64ml each.
I’ve used the BBC Good Food recipe which can be found here and the only change I made was to substitute White Wine Vinegar in place of Cider Vinegar because I couldn’t get any locally.
The actual making of the chutney, though easy enough, proved a little challenging for me because Mud is currently on a weeks annual leave and he really doesn’t like the smell of the vinegar when I’m making pickles and chutney. So I had no option really, than to cook the chutney up on the bbq which wasn’t going to be that pleasant an experience, as it was raining rather heavily at the time and even the gazebo offered little in the way of protection. Thankfully our bbq has a covered section which meant that once I had got the mixture to boiling and the sugar had dissolved, I was able to move the pan under the covered section so that it could continue to boil away for the 45-50 minutes, as per the instructions.
In actual fact I left the mixture bubbling away for about an hour, until it had thickened and the fruit was soft but there was still more than the 1.5 litres/ 2.25 pints that the recipe claimed it would make. I suspect my chutney wont be as firm as the recipe – I just hope it tastes nice but only time will tell, as it will now need to be left to mature for three months.