This week’s second post is somewhat abbreviated as I am officially ‘vacationing’ in the Buckeye state. Having arrived after an uneventful 12-hour car ride and suitably plied with good red wine and fed a lovely meal outside on the patio by the in-laws (thanks Mike & Kay!), my good intentions of loading this post last evening were shot. So forgive my tardiness but please rush out and buy some fresh peaches to make this awesome chutney. Down South, this year’s peach harvest is on the decline but apparently up here along the Great Lakes, peach season has just begun. I am pleasantly surprised by this tidbit of information, because I didn’t know peaches grew this far north. Our South Carolina peach crop was especially ‘peachy’ good this year and I was inspired to make this chutney so we can enjoy their flavor, albeit punched up a bit, all year long.
This recipe is straightforward and although I added cherries, you could make it with only peaches as the main fruit (just substitute extra peaches for the cherries). I use golden raisins and lots of whole cloves. Use the best spices you can – nothing old – fresh spices makes a big difference in the taste. If you’ve never tried making it, give it a go. It’s a forgiving recipe and you’ll surely find lots of delicious uses for this condiment.
Chutney is delicious on roasted and grilled pork and chicken, served with cream cheese and crackers as a snack or appetizer (handy to have when company rolls in) and a myriad of other fun foodie amusements. I’ll be posting some of these in the coming weeks. And homemade preserves always make a welcome housewarming or hostess gift.
Peach Chutney – with a cherry on top!
- 10 cups peaches, washed and diced – no need to peel
- 2 cups fresh cherries, washed, stems remove, pitted and cut in half
- 2 ½ cups packed light or dark brown sugar or a combination
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 ½ cups white or cider vinegar
- 1 fresh red sweet pepper, washed and diced
- 1 hot pepper, washed, cut in half and seeds removed
- 1 heaping tbl. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. tumeric
- 2 tsp. mustard seeds
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1-2 tsp. whole cloves*
Mix spices (last 7 items listed above) plus the salt in a small bowl, set aside. In large heavy nonaluminum pot, combine sugar and vinegar over medium heat. Stir and bring up to a boil. Add peaches, cherries, onions, raisins, red pepper, ginger and spices; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, for 45 minutes or until thickened. Add in the hot pepper and stir. Cook another 5 minutes stirring every minute or so.
Remove from the heat. Discard the hot pepper. Pour into hot canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe rims with a clean cloth and seal with prepared lids and bands. If any of your jars do not seal within 15 minutes of being canned, process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. When a seal is made you will hear a ‘pop’ and if you push down lightly on the top of the lid with your finger it will not bounce back. If it does, it is NOT sealed. Makes 12 half pints.
* I love cloves so I use 2 teaspoons but if you are not so inclined use less.