Thursday, 12 May 2011

fruits of my labours

green tomato chutney

Autumn 2011 potato harvest

Earlier in the week, while I was out harvesting my potatoes {which is still only partly done because now that it has rained and rained, the soil is so waterlogged that I can't dig through it), I had a pot of Green Tomato Chutney simmering on the stove*. Once it is safely in it's jar, it's supposed to age for about a week for the flavours to develop ~ but I didn't quite make it. On a bleak afternoon how could I resist making a few cheese & chutney crackers to savour?...

The result is a sweet and rich chutney, where the only improvement that I could suggest for next time, would be to cut the tomato and onion into small chunks (like the branston pickles that I so love) instead of the thin slices. But other than that, nothing, it is so yummy as it is.

Green Tomato Chutney
adapted from here
makes 2 x 270 ml jars
should keep for up to 6 months if bottled appropriately

750 grams green tomatoes
250 grams red onions
2 teaspoons table salt
500ml malt vinegar
250 grams brown sugar
125 grams sultanas, roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (or 6 grinds)

• Finely slice green tomatoes, discarding any rotten or discoloured bits. Remove onion skins and finely slice the onion flesh. Place the tomato and onion in a bowl and mix together with the salt. Cover with cling wrap and leave in the fridge overnight so that the salt can draw the liquid from the tomato.
• The next day :: place the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then bring to the boil.
• Add the sultanas to the simmering vinegar, then bring back to the boil.
• Take your tomatoes from the fridge, remove the cling-wrap and drain off any liquid. Do not rinse as this will introduce more water. Add the tomato mixture to the saucepan, add pepper and combine well.
• Bring the mixture to a gentle boil for 1½ to 2 hours, stirring regularly. The goal is to reduce the liquid to a thick mixture and allow for enough time to soften the tomato and onion.
Prepare your jars while you are waiting for the chutney to reduce.
• Once your chutney is thick enough {ie: once you can pass your spoon along the bottom of the saucepan, and you can see the bottom for a little while afterwards} then you are ready to transfer the chutney into your jars.
• Holding your jars with oven mits, carefully fill with the chutney then tap the jar on the bench to remove any air bubbles. Seal appropriately.

* being made in collaboration with my sister, who made sure to stir the pot every so often, while it reduced down to a lovely, sticky chutney.