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Author Notes: To my mind, green tomatoes just beg to be used in a chutney. They’re naturally tart –becoming a bit sweeter when cooked – and take well to so many different spice combinations. This stuff isn't pretty, but it's so, so tasty. (For a more monochromatic version, use yellow mustard seeds, but don't pop them, and substitute yellow raisins for the Zantes and the red currants. I happen to favor the jewel tones and the crisp flavor of the red currants, which is why I use them in this.) To make this shelf stable, I follow rather strictly the ratio of fruit/onion, sweetener and acid -- vinegar plus lemon in this case -- called for in my favorite recipe for green tomato chutney, in my well-worn 1977 edition of “Stocking Up,” published by the Editors of Organic Gardening (Rodale Press). The spices used here, and the cooking method, which has you “pop” the mustard seeds, and sauté the onion and garlic, are my adaptations. Playing around with spices in a chutney is half the fun, so experiment with whatever suits you. I don’t like chilies, but if you do, add whatever kind and however many you like, at the same time that you add the tomatoes and apples. And whatever you do . . . . enjoy!! —AntoniaJames
Makes about 2 pints
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
- ¾ cup Zante raisins (sometimes labeled “currants”), or yellow raisins
- ½ cup dried red currants (or, use flame or dark raisins, if you prefer)
- 1 lemon, thoroughly scrubbed, then seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 ¼ cups cored and coarsely chopped green tomatoes (3 somewhat large)
- 2 ¼ cups peeled and coarsely chopped tart apples (4 medium)
- 1 teaspoon aniseed, lightly crushed (See note below.)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup honey (or ¾ cup brown sugar)
- ½ cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (You can also use black or green peppercorns, if you prefer.)
- In a heavy, non-reactive saucepan heat the oil until it shimmers, then add the mustard seeds. When they start popping, put the lid on immediately, count to three and turn off the heat.
- Add the onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring frequently and taking care not to burn it.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients.
- Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Ladle into sterilized jars.
- If sealing to make the jars shelf stable, follow the canning jar manufacturer’s instructions, then process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let sit for five minutes, then remove carefully to a surface covered with a clean towel. Allow to sit for at least 24 hours before moving. See my notes below for more tips on canning. If not vacuum sealing, the chutney will keep in a covered jar for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
- If not vacuum sealing, the chutney will keep in a covered jar for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
- N.B. If you don't care for aniseed, toasted cumin seeds also work well . . . . very different, but tasty!!
- CANNING TIP #1: Regardless of what other instructions you see in recipes posted in various places on the internet, make sure that you put your canning lids in simmering water (no hotter than 180 degrees) and that you keep them hot just until you use them. It's not enough simply to make sure they're clean. You put them in the hot water to soften the gasket (the rubber rim), which is essential to creating a good seal.
- CANNING TIP #2: A procedure I discovered (and have wondered how on earth it's taken so long, after all these years of canning, to figure out) is to use a large, towel-lined rectangular baking pan for moving jars to and from the hot water bath, to and from my workspace, and from the stove to the shelf where I cool the jars. Just make sure it's a pan you don't need to use for other things during the twenty-four hours that the jars are cooling. It's a really safe way to move hot jars, and is so efficient, too!!
- CANNING TIP #3: Here’s a tip about making condiments for gift giving. All condiments taste better after a few weeks or in some instances, after a month. Every batch will vary, regardless of how many times you’ve used the recipe, because the fruit will be different from year to year. I usually do my initial vacuum seal of condiments in pints or quarts, and then, in the weeks before the December holidays, taste test the condiments again. If they are worthy of gift giving, I then reheat to boiling and re-seal and process the condiments in 4 or 8 ounce jars. You can also test and correct seasoning at this point. ;o)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Condiment
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