Unusual fruit chutneys are growing in popularity with our developing taste for condiments that contain less sweet and more spice than many jams, marmalades, catsup and relishes.
Chutney is basically pickled fruit or vegetables and spices cooked to a jam-like consistency and it is an age old Indian condiment. The word itself is said to be from the Hindu chatni.
Mango chutney is perhaps the best known of these pickles although the possibilities for different chutney flavors seem limitless. Because the fruits or vegetables must marinate for 48 hours, however, firm or fibrous fruits work best.
Lengthy Cooking Time
Making chutney is easy although the cooking time is lengthy. The small amounts of ginger and onion are quickly chopped together in the processor by dropping the chunk of ginger through the food chute with the machine running to achieve a fine mince, then adding the onion and pulsing. There is no need to remove the ginger from the machine since both ingredients have the same destination, a mixing bowl. This is a good shortcut to keep in mind for other recipes.
Tart green apples and firm winter pears make a delightful chutney that goes beautifully with roasted or sauteed pork, veal, chicken, duck or game and in effect replaces a sauce for these meats and poultry even though it is served alongside and at room temperature.
Don't overlook the possibility of using chutney to dress up leftovers and it even makes a great sandwich spread. This discovery occurred late one night when, out of mustard and too tired to cook, we made positively memorable sandwiches of leftover cold roast pork with this chutney on leftover homemade bread.
1 (1-inch) piece ginger root, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, peeled, cubed
1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, halved
1 pound pears, peeled, cubed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
Insert metal blade in dry processor container. With machine running, drop ginger through food chute and process until minced. Add onion and chop with 4 to 6 (1/2-second) pulses.
With thick 6 (mm) slicer, slice apples with moderate push. Combine ginger, onion, apples, pears, sugar, raisins, vinegar, cinnamon, mustard and pepper in bowl. Cover and set aside at room temperature 48 hours.
Transfer contents of bowl to large non-reactive skillet. Add nuts. Simmer over low heat until thickened to chunky jam-like consistency, about 1 1/2 hours.
While hot, transfer to hot wet sterilized canning jars. Fix caps according to manufacturer's directions. Process 10 minutes in boiling water to cover by 2 inches. Check cap seal before storing. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.