Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spicy Tomato Chutney


I don't 'can' or 'pickle' as a rule, however I make an exception for this delicious Tomato Chutney, which is both savoury and sweet. Late summer or early autumn is the perfect time for making this recipe, when plum tomatoes are plentiful. It goes really well with pork tenderloin, grilled chicken and cheese sandwiches. Homemade chutneys make great holiday gifts, so I sometimes double the recipe if I plan on putting it under the Christmas tree for special friends and family members.



Spicy Tomato Chutney

Ingredients:

10 medium ripe plum tomatoes (1kg), peeled and chopped
2 large red McIntosh apples, peeled and chopped in small dice
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped in small dice
1-1/2 cups brown cider vinegar
1 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 cups sultanas
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp ground allspice

Equipment:

8 x 8 sterlized 250ml Bernardin canning jars, screw caps and 'snap lids'
non-metallic funnel
tongs

Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and stir over medium heat, until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile sterilize the mason jars according to Bernardin 'step-by-step home canning' instructions — but in short, place the jars in a pot of boiling water, keeping jars hot until ready to use. Set screw tops aside and place 'snap lids' in a pot of hot, but not boiling water. While the chutney is very hot, remove the jars from the boiling water using tongs, tilting out the excess water. Using a non-metallic funnel, ladle the chutney into the sterilized mason jars, quickly top the jar with a hot 'snap lid' and fasten with the screw cap — firm but not tight. Repeat for remaining jars. After a few minutes, the 'snap lids' will in fact make a distinctive snapping noise which lets you know the seal succeeded! The screw cap can then be tightened, but let the jars cool before storing for future use.

Note: If the 'snap lid' does not make the snapping noise, sterilize the jars again and refill with heated chutney. Timing is everything — the first time I made this Tomato Chutney, none of my lids snapped!  I had to re-sterilize all the mason jars, reheat the chutney and try again. It worked the second try and it's worked every year since. Judging by the empty jars I get back after Christmas each year, this recipe is a winner.

Makes 8 250ml jars