Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Green Tomato Chutney

To make myself feel better about yesterday's EPIC FAIL, I am posting a canning success.

I never made chutney before - I seldom even eat it. But I got the canning bug, and found this recipe around the time that a neighbor thinned a lot of green tomatoes from her plants in July. Smelled great cooking, and we recently tried it. Wow! I love it. I put a little on bits of warmed leftover pork roast. It was zesty and fabulous. I am hoping it will be good on a party buffet with a cheese board or over molded cream cheese with crackers. Of course, chutney also goes with curries.

I used the neighbor's green tomatoes, and #2 apples with hail damage that were cheap at the market. Does use a lot of spices and raisins, so it isn't really cheap. Might be a good holiday gift for food-venturous friends. Great way top us up green tomatoes that are left at the frost.

Green Tomato Chutney
Makes about 5 pints
3 pounds completely green tomatoes
2 pounds firm, tart apples
2 cups raisin, either dark or golden
1 1/2 cups diced onions
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pickling or other fine non-iodized salt
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar, plus a little more if needed
3 to 4 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seed
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh hot red pepper, OR 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, OR 1/4 teaspoon ground hot red Cayenne pepper
1. Rinse and drain the tomatoes. Cut out the stem scars and any blemishes and cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch chunks. You should have about 8 cups. Place the tomatoes in a preserving pan or heavy pot.

2. Peel, core and cut the apples into 1/2-inch chunks; add them to the tomatoes. Add the raisins, onion, garlic, brown and granulated sugar, salt and vinegar. Mix the ingredients well and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and boil the mixture slowly, uncovered, stirring it often, for 30 minutes.

3. Add the ginger, mustard seed, coriander, cinnamon and hot pepper. Return to a boil, adjust the heat and continue to cook the chutney uncovered at a slow boil, stirring it often, until it holds a mounded shape when lifted in a spoon. Taste it carefully, remembering that the balance of flavors will improve as the chutney mellows in the jar; add, if needed, more vinegar, sugar, and/or salt.

4. Ladle the boiling-hot chutney into hot, clean pint or half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Seal the jars with new two-piece canning lids according to manufacturer's directions and process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bat. Cool, label and store the jars. Let the chutney mellow for a few weeks before serving.

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