Fruity banana chutney

Posted on June 14, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Ah, chutney. A loanword from the Hindi chatni, it means “spicy preparations to accompany a main dish”. It is also an awesome accompaniment to grilled foods, roasts, and cheeses. As an added bonus, chutney is a great way for parents to sneak extra fruit and veggies onto the plates of fussy eaters!

This recipe combines bananas and dates, two of the favourite foods of our own non-fussy eater, producing a wonderfully tangy, sweet and fruity condiment. Preparing chutney combines two skills you probably already have – making jam and making pickles.

Yield: between 5 and 8 jelly jars (8oz), depending on how thick you like it:
1.5 cups cider vinegar
1 cup chopped, cored, peeled apple
1.5 cups mashed bananas (approximately 3 medium sized bananas)
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup chopped putted prunes
1 cup chopped onion
0.5 cup chopped dried apricot
0.5 cup mixed candied peel (I omitted this when I made this recipe as I didn’t have any!)
3 cloves chopped garlic
1.5 cups lightly packed dark brown sugar
0.5 cup water
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

In a large stainless steel saucepan combine vinegar and apple. Add bananas, dates, prunes, onions, apricots, candied peel (if using) and garlic. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add brown sugar, water, coriander, cayenne, allspice, turmeric, and ginger, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil gently, stirring frequently, until it reaches your desired consistency – I like a thicker, more spreadable chutney but you may prefer a more liquid one.

While this is going on, have your jars in the hot water bath canner to sterilise. Clean and prepare the lids and rings.

Ladle the hot chutney into the hot, sterilised jars, leaving 0.5 inch headroom. Remove bubbles and adjust headroom by adding or removing hot chutney. Wipe rim, centre the lid on the rim, and screw down the ring until finger-tight (just tighten the screw ring until the jar starts spinning, don’t screw them down tight).

Process in your hot water bath canner for 10 minutes at a boil. After 10 minutes remove the canner from the heat, remove the lid from the canner, and let them sit for 5 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a cookie rack or a towel and leave for 24 hours to cool. Label, store, and eat 🙂

chutney with cheese and crackers

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Posted on May 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Ah, piccalilli. Condiment, relish, essential ingredient to ploughman’s lunches, and really hard to find at a semi reasonable price in the USA. So, as usual, I make it myself!

Before I go any further, I want to say a word about cleaning your produce. If you are anything like me, you want to use organic produce but find them a bit cost prohibitive. You can avoid the worst of the pesticides by thoroughly scrubbing your produce in a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. This will lift off the dirt, wax, and pretty much all the pesticides – they are water proof, not acid proof!

For this recipe I used about 2.3kg / 5lbs of mixed veg, being cauliflower, zucchini/courgette, carrots, mixed bell peppers, and onions. Split the cauliflower into individual florets and slice the rest of the veg evenly – I used a slicer attachment on my KitchenAid, you can also use a food processor or the mark 1.0 human hand. Put the veg into a large bowl, liberally sprinkling each layer with salt. You will need 1 cup of salt for this stage, then cover the veg in 10 cups of water and let it relax overnight in the fridge. Next day rinse the veg thoroughly to remove as much of the salt as possible.

pretty mixed veggies waiting to be relished
Pretty, isn’t it?

Next day, get all your mis en place in place.

You will need:
1.25 cup white sugar
2-ish garlic cloves – I used a heaped teaspoon of prepared garlic
2-ish teaspoon mustard powder
1-ish teaspoon ground ginger (I tend to use more because I love ginger)
4.5 cups white vinegar
1/3 cup AP/plain flour
1 tablespoon turmeric

Add the remaining half cup of vinegar, the flour, and the turmeric together and keep to one side.

Put the sugar, garlic, mustard, ginger, and 4 cups of the vinegar into a saucepan and heat gently till the sugar has all dissolved. At this point you will have a pan full of goo:

panful of goo

Pour the goo over the vegetable mixture and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until the veg just softens, then add the reserved mess of vinegar, flour, and turmeric. Bring back to a boil and simmer until the piccalilli is nice and thick.

Once this has all come together, you can process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Yield is about 7 pint jars of lovely piccalilli.


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