Monday, September 23, 2013

Homemade Sweet & Savoury Tomato Chutney

I don't 'can' or 'pickle' as a rule, however I do make an exception for this delicious Tomato Chutney, that is both sweet, savoury and full of deep rich flavour. Late summer or early autumn is the perfect time to tackle this recipe, when plum tomatoes are plentiful and our apple tree is bursting with fruit. I usually make this chutney a few days after making 'Mamma Styles' Tomato Sauce, when there are always a few leftover tomatoes. It goes beautifully with pork tenderloin, grilled chicken or tourtière and is absolutely delicious on simple cheese sandwiches. Homemade chutney also make fabulous holiday gifts, so I often double or triple the recipe if I plan on putting jars under the Christmas tree for special friends and honoured family members!

Our apple tree is bursting with fruit — perfect timing for making my favourite Tomato Chutney

Chopped apples, tomatoes, onions, sultanas, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar are mixed with allspice, curry powder, chili powder, dry mustard and minced garlic

The mixture is covered and allowed to simmer for at least one hour

The chutney is then ladled into sterilized mason jars and stored for the upcoming year

Homemade Tomato Chutney
Makes 24 250ml jars

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

24 250ml Bernardin canning jars, screw caps and 'snap lids'
non-metallic funnel & tongs

Combine all of the chutney ingredients in a large pot and stir over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile sterilize the 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 small pot of hot, but not boiling water. While the chutney is very hot, remove the jars from the boiling water using the tongs, and tilt 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 has succeeded! The screw cap can then be tightened, but let the jars cool before storing for future use.

If the 'snap lid' doesn't make a 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 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 each year from family and friends, this recipe is a winner.

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