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.
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.
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.
- 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
|Place all ingredients into heavy bottom stockpot or dutch oven.|
|Simmer and stir often to prevent scorching.|
|Simmer until chutney thickens and all ingredients are incorporated.|
|Remove from heat, and place in jars with lids.|
|Seal jars in hot water bath and store in cool dark place.|