Quince Chutney: Condiment with a Kick

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quince chutney on bread
Quince chutney, goat cheese and bread, oh my!
quince chutney on bread
Quince chutney, goat cheese and bread, oh my!

Chutneys are one of those things I discovered late in life. A friend (with more culinary savvy than I) plunked a jar of Major Grey’s Chutney on the table to go with some cheese and rustic bread. The combo of cheddar, crust and chutney made me sit up and take notice. Chutney and I have been on a first name basis ever since.

quince chutney
This serving of quince chutney is destined to crown a grilled salmon fillet.

So just what is chutney? Derived from the East Indian word “chatni,” chutney is a wonderfully spicy condiment with a kick (and at times downright hot), incorporating fruits and/or vegetables with vinegar, sugar and spices. The mixture is then cooked slowly to meld the flavors and create desired consistency, which can range from a soft paste to a chunky sauce. ¬†Chutney is my preferred condiment (only matched by my love of mayonnaise). I’ll plop a dollop on roasted chicken, or smear a spoonful atop a cream cheese and lox ladened bagel, or add a couple spoonfuls to spice up rice.

fresh whole quince
Quince continue to ripen at room temperature, filling the room with a heady perfume.

Recently a friend shared his ample crop of quince with me, no doubt compelled to intervene after hearing me whine about my wimpy crop. Quince chutney was the first thing I made, followed by quince marmalade. Here’s my quince chutney recipe adapted from The British Larder, a UK restaurant generous enough to share their inspired recipes featuring fresh and local produce and meats. This is now one of my favorites.

quince on a tray
Quince, a beautiful fruit ripe with culinary possibilities.

Quince Chutney

Meal type Condiment
Quince are a fall treat, but can be hard to find. The recipe also works well substituting quince with apples and/or pears.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3lb quince (Start with 3 pounds, then remove core and seeds, no need to peel)
  • 3 Cloves crushed garlic, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large onion, finely minced
  • 1 Knob (thumb size) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1/4 Cup candied ginger, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon pepper

Directions

Step 1
Place all ingredients into heavy bottom stockpot or dutch oven.
Step 2
Simmer and stir often to prevent scorching.
Step 3
Simmer until chutney thickens and all ingredients are incorporated.
Step 4
Remove from heat, and place in jars with lids.
Step 5
Seal jars in hot water bath and store in cool dark place.
Canning Quince Chutney
Quince Chutney: Star in a Jar.

16 COMMENTS

  1. This is mouthwatering! it reminds me of the manfo pickle I learned to make when I was working on that Iraqi cookbook; the Iraqi love chutneys, no boubt a legacy from the British Love the idea to make some with quince, we havea bunch of quince and I can’t be making quince pie all day long.

  2. Have you ever had quince paste? In Spain and Portugal they put a slice of manchego cheese and a slice of quince paste on bread or a cracker. It is wonderful! I looked at a recipe online and it did not seem all that difficult to make. Maybe you should put this on your list of things to try;-)

  3. My favorite Chutney is made with the figs the cardinals are gracious enough to leave me. A combination of figs, apples, rasins, onions, ginger, and all the wonderful spices. Delicious with pork roast!!

    • Bonney, that sounds wonderful. I have some Bramleys apples begging to be used. Guess I’ll just have used dried figs for now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Tom, your chutney looks wonderful. I have not been able to find a mail order source for quince trees. Do you know one? I once made jelly from a large crop of flowering quince fruit. It was quite good. You might want to try that with your remaining quince.

    • Hi Madeline, it’s more about how it looks. If the mixture is thick and chunky and incorporated, it’s good to go. I would say that is usually for me around 15 – 20 minutes of cooking on low heat for a gentle simmer, but stirring regularly.

    • Laura, that does add for a fresh tasting, lively chutney. Sometimes I like to cook it down, like Major Grey’s, for an entirely different kind of chutney, one I like to spread on sandwiches.

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