Chutney is one of my favorite fruit preserves to make and use. From Wikipedia:
“Chutney (Hindi/ Nepali – “चटनी” also transliterated chatney or chatni, Sindhi: چٽڻي) is a side dish in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent that can vary from a tomato relish to a ground peanut garnish or a yoghurt, cucumber and mint dip.
An offshoot that took root in Anglo-Indian cuisine is usually a tart fruit such as sharp apples, rhubarb or damson pickle made milder by an equal weight of sugar (usually demerara or brown sugar to replace jaggery in some Indian sweet chutneys) Vinegar was added to the recipe for English-style chutney that traditionally aims to give a long shelf life so that fall fruit can be preserved for use throughout the year (as are jams, jellies and pickles) or else to be sold as a commercial product. Indian pickles use mustard oil as a pickling agent, but Anglo-Indian style chutney uses malt or cider vinegar which produces a milder product that in western cuisine is usually eaten with a Cheddar-type cheese or with cold meats and fowl, typically in cold pub lunches.”
There is a beautiful plum tree near the Tuesday Growers and Crafters Market in Ashland. One summer I collected some fruit from it, and created this recipe. I made it up based on a mix of a few other recipes, and the plums I used were very juicy so this ended up pretty runny. They had a beautiful golden color though, and the chutney turned out delicious. One of my favorite used for it was as a base for a dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls!
Plum Chutney, by Elizabeth Tobey
3 cups vinegar- 2 apple cider, 1 red wine, cause that’s what we had…
3 ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
1 tbsp crushed dried cayenne pepper
a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper
1 cup dried cranberries
4 cloves garlic minced
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, simmer, stirring frequently for about an hour. Ladle into clean jars and boil in water bath for ten minutes.
Makes approximately 16 half pints.
*Photo credit http://www.azeliaskitchen.net/ where there are other delicious sounding recipes!