Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas Chutney

I don't know about you, but sometimes there is nothing nicer than waking up early on a cold, wet winter's morning and spending the morning making chutney. It's the combination of relaxed cooking and warm, spicy, comforting smells. So, this morning I made the Christmas Chutney, using a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe.

Fig and Cranberry Chutney, makes 2-4 jars

500g onions, chopped
Scrap of oil
1kg diced apples, any will do but try to include some Bramleys
500ml cider vinegar
400g demerara sugar
200g dried figs, diced
125g dried cranberries
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Generous glass of port
5cm piece root ginger, roughly chopped
6 cloves
12 cardamom pods
1 tsp coriander seeds
100g walnuts, roughly chopped

Start by sweating the onion in a scrap of oil then add the apple. Pour over the vinegar and sugar and and once it's had a good stir and the sugar has dissolved then fun can start.

Add the fruits to the pot then after that the orange zest and juice, followed by the port.

Next it's time to put together your spices. Tie the ginger, cloves, cardamom pods and coriander seeds in a clean square of muslin and secure with string. Immerse the pouch deep in the simmering chutney and let it bubble away for an hour or so, making sure to stir it regularly so it doesn't catch on the bottom.

Add the walnuts and cook for a final 30 minutes. If you can part your chutney and see a little bit of pan on the bottom you are done.

Decant the warm chutney into sterlised jars, seal with vinegar-proof lids and allow to cool.

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