This chutney is fruity, sweet and spicy. It comes together in a single pot. The cooking time can vary greatly, depending on the ripeness of the fruit.
Make Ahead: The chutney can be eaten right away or mellowed for several weeks before it is served. It can be refrigerated for up to 2 months; or, processed in sterilized jars (see NOTE), it's good for up to 1 year.
Yield: Makes 7 half-pint jars
- 4 apricots, pitted and and cut into slices (about 1 cup)
- 2 peaches, pitted and cut into slices (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped but not peeled (more natural pectin)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 habanero pepper, minced (include seeds for a hotter chutney)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the apricots, peaches, apples, onion, raisins, sugar, vinegar, ginger, mustard seed, habanero pepper (plus seeds, if using) and salt in a medium, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 40 to 90 minutes, stirring occasionally for the first half-hour and more frequently once the mixture has darkened in color (the timing depends on the ripeness of the fruit). When the fruits have softened considerably, use a potato masher to achieve the desired chutney consistency.
To test for doneness, pull the spoon across the bottom of the pot; you should be able to see the bottom of the pot for a moment or two, and the consistency of the chutney should be quite thick. As soon as this happens, remove from the heat. Overcooked chutney can become a solid brick; undercooked chutney is too runny. Measure the temperature with an instant-read thermometer; it should be above 185 degrees.
Use a wide-mouthed funnel and/or ladle to carefully transfer the hot chutney into sterilized glass jars, leaving about 1/4 inch of head space at the top; use a chopstick or nonmetallic skewer to remove any air bubbles (see NOTE). Top with new, clean lids, close tightly and let cool to room temperature. The lid of a properly sealed jar should be slightly concave; if the lid springs up when you press your finger in the center, the lid is unsealed. If the lids have not sealed, process for 15 minutes in a hot-water bath (jars submerged with least 1 or 2 inches of water overhead), let cool and test again.
NOTE: To sterilize the empty jars, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so that the water is barely bubbling. Have ready seven 8-ounce canning jars with 2-piece lids. Immerse the pint jars in the canning kettle. Place the rings and lids in a separate small saucepan and cover them with hot water. Leave the jars and lids immersed while you cook the chutney.
From Oliver Turner at the Virginia Chutney Co. in Washington, Va.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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