October 7, 2008

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I say Spicy Tomato Chutney!

Well, I’ve still got the canning bug.  Over the past two weeks, I’ve made pickles, pickle relish, grape jam, plum jam, and this yummy spicy tomato chutney.  Aside from the pickles, the chutney has got to be my favorite.  I am a sucker for a good one.  With just the right balance of heat and sweetness, this tastes great on a rye crisp with brie or cream cheese, used in lieu of mayonnaise on a sandwich, over steak, pork, or chicken.  It really is an all purpose condiment!

If you’d like to make some for yourself, here is the recipe.  My neighbor Katie gave me one that was meant to be kept top secret, but I misplaced it, and adapted another from Preserves, by Catherine Atkinson and Maggie Mayhew, remembering what I could from the flavor of Katie’s.  I think it is just right.

Spicy Tomato Chutney

3 1/2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and cored

1 pound raisins, chopped in the food processor

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup malt vinegar

2 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup salt

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely diced

1 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced

Place all ingredients in a heavy, non-reactive pan, over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, uncovered, and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring about every 15 minutes or so, to keep from burning, until it is very thick and about half of its original volume.

Put into warm, sterilized jars, seal, and finish in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.  It should keep for about a year.

Welcome to my stove top.  Mary, Michael, are you out there?  I’ve got the horse shoe you gave us there in the corner.  For anyone who’s interested, Chat Bizarre means weird cat in French.  Anyway, getting back to it, here’s the chutney at the beginning.  The tomatoes are still bright red and in rather large pieces.

It’s been about an hour here.  You can see that the tomatoes are no longer in chunks and that it’s cooked down quite a bit.  I’ll let it go a another hour and a half before putting it in jars.

Jar time.  Ladle it in, leaving about a half inch of head space.  This blue funnel is a life saver.  We use it all the time, and not just for canning.  Also, if you don’t want to use a canner – you could give them as gifts right away and skip that step.  It makes anywhere from 6-8 pint size jars.  Enjoy!