Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chunky Plum and Tomato Chutney

It was a gorgeous day. It was crisp and sunny and early errands provided the perfect excuse to get out for a while. An hour became two and before I knew it the day was done. We picked up visas, had flu shots and filled the prescriptions the CDC insists we need for our adventure. With all of that done, our trip countdown officially began. We are at 12 days and counting. The next destination on the agenda should have been home, where chores aplenty were waiting. I must admit my resolve crumbled. The day was just too lovely to spend inside. We took to our favorite backroads and byways and spent the rest of the day in the country picking, plucking and picnicing. I came home with what will probably be my final stash of locally grown plums, tomatoes and sweet peppers. I also had some gorgeous, fresh from the farm, pork and lamb in my tote. The plums and tomatoes are starting to look dogeared, so I decided to use them in a chutney where their less than perfect appearance could be disguised. The chutney would be perfect with grilled chops and help make an ordinary meal special. Time constraints meant the chutney would have to be served warm, so that helped narrow down my choices. This simple version of the condiment looks best when it is made with firm, just ripe fruit. If you have good knife skills, the chutney is table ready in about 30 minutes. Leftovers can be refrigerated for several weeks or frozen for up to a year. Here's the recipe.

Chunky Plum and Tomato Chutney...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, inspired by Nancy Baggett


1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1-1/2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped ginger root

1 (3-inch) piece stick cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice berries, crushed or 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed or a scant 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 to 3 pinches dried hot red pepper flakes, crushed, to taste

2 cloves, finely crushed or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons water

2-1/2 cups pitted and chopped (3/4 inch) unpeeled red or yellow plums

1-1/4 cups slightly underripe peeled tomatoes, chopped into 3/4-inch pieces


1) Have 2 or 3 (8-ounce) jars ready.

2) In a medium-size nonreactive pan over medium-high heat, combine onion, ginger root, cinnamon stick, allspice, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, cloves, sugar, vinegar and water. Adjust heat so that the mixture boils briskly and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Add plums and reduce heat to simmer gently for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 3 to 5 minutes longer, or until plum and tomato pieces are cooked through but still hold some shape. Liquid should seem almost syrupy. Remove from the heat.

3) To test for doneness, put about a tablespoon of the chutney in a small, nonreactive bowl and place in freezer about 3 minutes. If syrup is slightly thickened, chutney is done. If it is still runny, boil 2 minutes longer. (The chutney may still seem somewhat fluid but will thicken further when chilled.)

4) Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon stick. Ladle chutney into jars, allowing about 3/4-inch headroom for expansion during freezing. Wipe any drips from jar rims and threads; screw on lids securely. Let stand until barely warm. If lids seem loose after cooling and contracting, check and tighten further, but not so much that seal is broken. May refrigerate for 1 month or freeze up to 1 year. Yield: 3-1/2 cups.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Mango Chutney - Chasing Delicious

Tomato Onion Garlic Chutney - Niya's World

Fiery Plum Conserve - KO Rasoi

Pear Ginger Chutney - Wives With Knives

Peach Chutney - Sugar Crafter

Cilantro Ginger Chutney with Coconut - One Life to Eat

Five Spices Plum Chutney - Vegalicious

Peach Chutney - Suburban Spoon

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