It is that time of year, and we need to empty the greenhouse and sort out the fruit trees in the allotment. AND this means my favourite chutney. This year I am much later than normal because of the nice weather, but we were left with a few kilos of green tomatoes so chutney here we come!
I found this recipe about four or five years ago when my brother first got his allotment. My mother in law had just bought me a self pollinating apple tree which was giving shed loads of late fruit at the time. So a quick google, a piece of paper five years of practise,a LOT of tweaks and I now have a recipe I love.
Some really nerdy facts about tomatoes:
Tomatoes only ripen between 10-29 degrees
When they are ripening, they produce Ethylene. This chemical makes the tomatoes..(and pretty much anything near it), ripen…..Bananas produce loads of this, this is you should never store bananas in the fridge.
Consistent winds can carry the ethylene gas away from the fruit and slow the ripening process. Sad I know this, but it all helps in the storage and usage of fruit.
This recipe is unusual for me as it takes more than 24 hours to make. But bear with it, this recipe is the dog’s wotsits and the bee’s knees.
INGREDIENTS THIS WILL MAKE 6 GOOD SIZE JARS
2.5 KG Green Tomatoes.
500 g Onions
1 Tablespoon of salt
500 g Raisins
500 g Apple (eaters straight from the tree)
500 g LIGHT brown sugar
1.4 LT Pickling vinegar (I have had great success with same quantity of cider vinegar and 1 tbsp of cumin but it will be more spicy)
Slice the tomatoes finely and chop the onions really fine.
I WILL REPEAT THIS IN EVERY BLOG. SMALL MEANS FLAVOURS NOT TEXTURES.
Cover the tomatoes and onions in the salt, and then lay a layer of tomatoes, then onions, then tomatoes.
Leave over night – 12 hours- more will not hurt. The salt will bring out the excess water and bitterness.
Rough chop the raisins, don’t be pretty with this. BIG knife, hack at raisins, not difficult, just make them a little smaller.
peel and core the apple, you can cut these in different ways- squares give a nice apple taste all through. Slices give a bigger apple zing to the taste. Sorry to be lame on this, but both work, try both but it does depends on what you want.
Put a good pan on to heat, add sugar and vinegar. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and just when it starts to boil add the vinegar and raisins, return to boil and then simmer for 10 minutes (SIMMER means to have a few bubbles popping at a time)
Whilst this happening strain the tomatoes-DO NOT RINSE- you want the salt in the chutney! then add to the pan.
Return to the boil for 1 hour or until thick and pulpy. When you put the chutney on a cold plate it should slightly bleed liquid, but the body should stay whole.
WHAT TO HAVE WITH IT?
Out of all the chutneys I make, this is the only one that goes best with cheese and although its O.K. with meats, but, it is sooooo much better with cheese. My Favourite is to combine it with Manchego. The rich chalk salty hit with the sweet chutney is awesome.
On a previous blog I looked at Sterilization of the equipment, so please follow the link if you need it.