Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pear and Cranberry Chutney

I recently bought some pears which just refused to ripen, for some reason.  They sat there, steadfastly solid and then started to turn a bit gooey here and there.  They were obviously never going to be eaten, so I turned them into this really lovely chutney.  Cranberries are easily obtained in tins, so you shouldn't have a problem, if you cant get them fresh.

This is very good on cheeses and veggies.  It has a fairly subtle sweet/sour taste.

The yield is not huge.  You will get about 3 or 4 jars, depending on size.  You can eat immediately, but it gets better with a bit of standing.

Pear and Cranberry Chutney

1 kg firm pears cored and chopped (Don't bother to skin them.)
2 large onions chopped
1 can cranberry sauce
1 1/2 cups moist brown sugar
1/2 t each of ground ginger, allspice, cloves,white pepper
1 t dried crushed chilies (or as much as you like, including chopped raw if you prefer
1 t salt
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar

Place the whole lot in a non-reactive sauce pan and bring to the boil covered, for about 10 minutes.  Then uncover and cook on a low heat for about an hour, or until you see the chutney thickening.  Stir it every once in a while to stop it sticking to the bottom.
Ladle into sterilized glass jars ( I do this by putting them in the microwave, empty, for three minutes - remember to remove the lids!). Seal tightly when cooled.  Store in a dark cupboard for up to four months.

Based on a recipe in Jan Berry and Rodney Weidland, The Art of Preserving, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley Calif, 1997.  (This is an amazing book.  I have used the recipes in it over and over again. Each one is a guaranteed success.)

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