A carrier bag of pears arrived in my kitchen recently, donated by my lovely friend Rosie who is lucky enough to have a treeful in her back garden.
She warned me they were a bit on the hard side, so a batch of chutney was the order of the day. I’m really stockpiling a huge back catalogue of preserves at the moment – perfect for Christmas gifts and thank you presents, not to mention being scoffed by our good selves in the winter months.
I set about finding a recipe and came across a great one on the Good Food Channel’s website. I’m doing a spot of recipe editing for them at the moment so am keen to have a sniff about their offerings!
I adjusted it a bit as I didn’t have any apples, but just made it up with more lovely pears. I’ve not tasted it yet, as it needs to sit for a few months to age a bit, but the heady spicy smell as it simmered on the hob was intoxicating and did a lot to clear my head cold.
Chutney is so much more straightforward than jam – chuck it all in a pan and simmer for a few hours, that’s essentially it. No stresses over setting point.
Autumnal pear chutney – adapted from Good Food Channel
makes approx 6 jars
9 pears, peeled, cored and cubed
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
400g brown sugar
75g dried apricots, chopped
500ml cider vinegar
250ml dry white wine
1 tbsp grain mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried oregano
1. Put all your ingredients in a large pan and stir. Put over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved then simmer for a good couple of hours until it has thickened and is a nice dark golden colour.
2. Pour carefully into jars that have been washed in hot soapy water, rinsed and dried in a warm oven. Seal, label and store for at least 3 months before opening and enjoyed with cheese or pork products!