Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another one for the shelf

The top shelf of my pantry holds a huge collection of chutneys, relishes and jams that I have made during the course of this challenge, and not yet used. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I make them faster than I can actually use them - not being a habitual jam or chutney eater. That doesn't put me off making more: I can always manage to squeeze another jar up there! So tonight I set to and made some kiwifruit chutney (p230).

Like pretty much every chutney recipe, this one starts with onions. I have to say the standard of onions available at this time of year is pretty rubbish - the ones I got were soft and one was rotten when I cut into it. They were plenty strong enough though, and I had to put up with stinging eyes and watery nose as I prepared the rest of the ingredients.

In with the onions went some chopped apple, crushed garlic, raisins, brown sugar, malt vinegar, and ground ginger, cloves and allspice. Once again, I found I had only whole allspice on hand. Initially I contemplated throwing them in whole, but then, how would I ever pick them out again? In the end, I ground them up in the pestle and mortar.

So where does the whole kiwifruit thing come in? Hold your horses: I'm getting to that! First, I had to gently boil the chutney mixture for half an hour. At the end of that time, it'd cooked down into a thick gooey mixture: time to add the kiwifruit.

After putting in the kiwifruit, I simmered the chutney for another 20 minutes or so. The recipe described a "thick and jam-like" consistency, which quite accurately described what I had before I put the kiwifruit in, but afterwards, the chutney seemed to get more watery the longer I boiled it. In the end, I decided it'd cooked long enough, and got out the jars I'd been sterilising.

As it happens, I only needed one jar - quite a big one that once held gherkins. The recipe doesn't make all that much, which is good - only one more jar to squeeze onto that top shelf! As to flavour, it's hard to tell with a chutney: they need a few weeks at least for the flavour to mature. At this stage, it's very sweet and fruity - not vinegary as some of my previous ones have been. I think it's going to be quite good, especially as an ingredient in curried sausages!

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