I feel properly ready for Christmas now that I’ve finally got round making chutney. Christmas isn’t going to be able to sneak up on me now, because instead I’ll be staring it down armed with jars of spiced stuff and bundles of elegantly wrapped presents. Not that the bundles of elegantly wrapped presents relate at all to chutney, but you know the kind of thing I’m going for. I’d like to be the sort of woman who can wrap gifts in plain brown paper and fancy string, and not have it look like I’ve just resorted to wrapping in greaseproof, you know? Forever aiming high over here…
This recipe always makes a kind of awkward amount (two full jars and one two-thirds full jar this year), so we broke into the third kind of silly jar and ate cheese, chutney, and crackers for our lunch on Sunday. Jason’s review of the chutney? ‘Best you’ve ever made, B!’ He kind of had to love it though, since I spent the best part of an hour peeling the skins off the cherry tomatoes going into the chutney for that tomato-hating man of mine! Not that we point score or anything, but if we did, that would’ve earnt me about a thousand of them.
Recipe adapted from the Good Housekeeping Christmas cookbook, & v.v. similar to last year’s batch.
600g fresh cranberries
600g cherry tomatoes
150g dried cranberries
1 red onion
1 tsp each ground black pepper, allspice and ginger
400g light muscovado sugar
200ml cider vinegar
1. Finely chop the onion, and if you’d like, peel the skins off the cherry tomatoes. I do this by cutting a small ‘X’ into the bottom of each one, covering them all in boiling water for about a minute, then draining and peeling. It does make a big difference to the texture of the chutney, but it certainly won’t be spoilt if you don’t fancy peeling a hundred cherry tomatoes!
2. Put the fresh and dried cranberries, tomatoes, onions, and 200ml water in a large heavy-based saucepan, and simmer gently over a low-medium heat until the cranberries are beginning to burst and release their juices.
3. Add in the spices, vinegar, and sugar, then allow to simmer gently for about 30-40 minutes. When done the chutney should be thick, and when you draw a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan, you should be able to see the pan’s base for a moment before the chutney pools back in.
4. Whilst still piping hot, pot into sterilised jars (I sterilise in the dishwasher) and then set aside to cool. Eat within three-ish months, although in the past we’ve waited about six months before opening sterilise and sealed jars and found the chutney within to be completely perfect.
* To serve alongside the cheese & chutney, I made Tania’s oatcakes and both Jason and I absolutely *loved* them! They’re so simple (and tasty! and cheap!) to make at home, I can’t see myself ever bothering to buy pre-packaged ones again! *
p.s. If you’d like, you can head to my ‘For a Christmas hamper‘ Pinterest board for more ideas & inspiration! :)