Tomato Chutney

 

Yummy Yummy Tomato Chutney
I have a great love of pickling and preserving, and despite having never experienced war-time rations think I could cook my way around them without a problem.  I love the idea of planning in the kitchen, not just what's for dinner  but also the longer term, larder-marvels of the days before refrigeration.  Chutney is the corner-stone of preserved fruit and veg, it is versatile, frugal, flavoursome and the yield is abundant.  I have included a few different chutney recipes here, this is my personal favourite!

I am allergic to chilli so there is no chilli in this mix - please do add some chilli flakes if you want to really spike up the heat!

 Tomato Chutney

2 kg ripe tomatoes
1kg Granny Smith apples, peeled and finely diced
4 onions, finely diced
2 sticks of celery, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
500ml malt vinegar
200ml red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
4 cups of dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons of treacle
1 ½ cups raisins, currants or sultanas soaked in brandy
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon ground or fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of fresh, finely chopped rosemary plus extra sprigs
1 tablespoon each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds and caraway seeds
2 teaspoons each of ground cardamom, ground cumin and sweet paprika (or hot if preferred)
½ teaspoon each of cloves, fresh grated nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and pepper
Juice and zest of 2 lemons and 1 lime
2 bay leaves
3 star anise
3 tablespoons of cornflour

 

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. 

To prepare the other veg - use a mini-mixer or food processor to chop everything up for you - it is much easier!  Otherwise just cut finely. 
 

To prepare tomatoes, score the base of the whole tomato and plunge into hot water for about 30 seconds. Drain water and peel away skins.  Quarter the tomatoes and set them aside.
 

To a large heavy saucepan add all spices and heat over a moderately high heat until the mustard seeds start to pop.  Add the salt, pepper, lemon zest and onions and warm through.  Do not allow onions to brown. 
Add apples and deglaze the pan with lemon juice.  Allow the apples to start to soften, then add vinegar, herbs, spices, treacle and dried fruit (including soaking liquid).   

 
Add sugar and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for at least  1 ½ hours, or until mixture starts to thicken.  When all ingredients are well incorporated and reduced, check for seasoning and thickness.  To thicken, in a small bowl combine cornflour with enough vinegar to make a thick paste.  Add tablespoonfuls at a time, until chutney is at the desired consistency - it should be thick enough to linger on a wooden spoon when you stir it through.  Remove from the heat and add a final squeeze of lemon to lift the flavour just before you add the mix to the jars.

Place a rosemary sprig in each jar and ladle in chutney. Seal the jars well and turn each jar up to scald the lid.  Store in a cool dark place.

Flavour develops over time and this is best eaten after a couple of weeks in the pantry, if you can wait!  Should make at least 6 medium jars.