On a damp and dreary Saturday when there is no possibility of doing anything constructive up the plot and along with having a glut of courgettes, my attention turns to chutney. Being gluten free these days, it is nearly impossible to be able to find ready prepared pickles that are made with something other than malt vinegar.
One of the recipes that I came across on the net was Glutney Chutney written by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Having made Chutney before, I knew how to alter this recipe to suit my own tastes, Cloves… Yuck.. Cumin,, yum. That’s the beauty of Chutney recipes, most of them, are not written in stone and you can add and subtract as you wish.
Mandy’s Spicy Courgette Chutney.
1500 g Courgettes, diced into small pieces
750 g Onions, peeled and diced
1350 g Tomatoes, both green and red., diced into small pieces (you may skin as well if you wish)
1000 g Cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced.
1500 ml White wine vinegar
750 g Light brown muscovado sugar
750 g Sultanas
4 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 heaped tsp Dried chilli flakes
3 heaped tsp ground Cumin
2 heaped tsp Coriander seeds, which you then crush.
1 1/2 tsp black pepper, which you then crush.
1/2 a freshly grated nutmeg.
1 1/2 tsp Salt.
Put all the ingredients into a preserving pan, bring to the boil then simmer very gently, uncovered, for several hours stirring from time to time. You will need to stir more frequently towards the end of cooking time as this is when it is most likely to stick. It is ready when the mixture is thick and when a wooden spoon is dragged through it should form a channel which doesn’t immediately fill with liquid.
Pot into warm sterilised jars, making sure if they are recycled jars that the inside of the lids are plastic coated, otherwise the vinegar will react with the metal. Label when cold and best left for two weeks to mature.
And whilst we are waiting, here is a quick masterclass on how to peel ginger.
Back to the Chutney, over halfway, (I hope!) If you look really carefully, you will see that we have just slightly caught the bottom of it, thats the little black bit, on the left hand side. Which is rather annoying but these things happen, it still tastes good, which is the main thing.
Another hour later, you can just see that when I draw a wooden spoon through the mixture it does not immediately fill with liquid. I’m afraid to take it any further as although it might be nicer to have it a little thicker, I decide to play safe and pot it on at this point.
Six and a half hours later, you have this. We have tasted it and it still has a little crunch from the ginger, a kick of chilli that wakes you up with a Wow but not enough to blow your head off and the warmth of Cumin. In other words, its good, very good.