Spicy Pear and Ginger Chutney

 

Spicy Pear, Mango and Ginger Chutney
Spicy Pear and Ginger Chutney

Again, this recipe is the product of having a lot of pears.  I have also made the exact same recipe and accentuated the mangoes when they are in season by substituting half the pears for mangoes.  It is spicy and as well as being sweet and less acidic than most chutneys. Because it is a fairly light and spicy chutney it is ideally suited to being served with pork or barbecued chicken.  It is excellent as part of a cheese platter and almost unfathomably good in a lovely big salad roll.  If you prefer less heat from the ginger, halve the quantity.

2.5kg pears, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
1 mango, skinned,seeded and sliced
500 grams onions, peeled and chopped finely
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and roughly chopped
Half a head of celery, de-stringed and chopped into half moons
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 cups of dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
250 grams raisins soaked in 1 cup sherry
1 teaspoon pepper
1 litre of vinegar (apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or malt vinegar)
4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely sliced
1 teaspoon each of cumin, caraway seeds, ground allspice, ground fennel seeds, whole fennel seeds
Juice and zest of 2 lemons or 4 limes
½ teaspoon dried garlic – this gives a slightly smokey flavour
Pinch of cayenne pepper, chilli flakes or whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
2 star anise
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons of cornflour dissolved in vinegar

 

 Spicy Pear, Mango and Ginger Chutney

Prepare your preserving jars by washing them thoroughly and allowing them to dry upside down on the rack in a 70-90°C oven while you make your preserve.  The jars will be hot, but not scalding when removed from the oven.

Place all the spices in a large heave based pan and warm through.  Add the onions and sauté briefly, then add celery and pears.  Coat the pears well with the spices before adding the mango, raisins (with sherry) tomatoes and the sugar.

Let the sugar dissolve in the pan juices, then add the citrus juice and zest as well as the salt.

Bring the heat up, then add the vinegar and simmer for around 3-4 hours or until the vegetables have broken down.

Add the cornflour mixture and stir through thoroughly.  Bring up to the boil, taste, if too sweet add a little extra lemon juice.

Ladle into jars and store in a cool dark place for at least a week.

This chutney definitely improves with time, and I recommend leaving it in the pantry to mature for a few weeks before consuming.