Whilst I lay claim to be the baker in the family my Mother does wear the crown as the Chutney Queen. As befits her status as President of her local WI there isn't a fruit or vegetable that she can't preserve. Many a time she has come home to find a bag of rhubarb, apples, pears or plums on her doorstep waiting to be turned into some sort of preserve. My Mum has also taught me everything she knows about getting reduced food and getting the best out of it. Therefore some punnets of nectarines priced at 30p couldn't be left on the shelf.
Of course with nectarines they can be like a cricket ball one day and soft and wrinkly the next. This does not mean they can't be put to good use as my Mum has showed with this chutney recipe. When she had it cooking the whole house had a delicious sweet and sour smell drifting through it. This is by no means a hot chilli flavour. My favourite way of serving it is by using it as a relish on hamburger.
After all that it's over to Mum for her recipe...
Equipment: A large saucepan or preserving pan. (My Mother has some fabulous Swedish saucepans which are over 45 years old. They don't stick or burn and clean really easily. Back to Mum now), clean jars and wax discs to fit.
500g Demerara sugar
120ml Cider vinegar
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Mixed spice
Around 8 Nectarines, de-stoned and chopped
2 Lemons, peel and pips removed and chopped
2 Onions, chopped
1 Red and yellow bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
35g Crystallised ginger, chopped
1. In a large saucepan put the sugar, vinegar, salt, cayenne pepper and mixed spice. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Bring to the boil again and then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced and thickened. You can do this in 30 minutes but I prefer to put it on a very low heat for a couple of hours.
3. While the chutney is cooking sterilise your jars. Wash them well in hot soapy water, rinse and dry with a clean tea towel. Put them in the oven, lying down, at 120°C for about 20 minutes.
4. Remove the jars from the oven when the chutney is ready. Put the hot chutney into the hot jar. I use a jar funnel to stop it dripping down the sides. Push the chutney down to ensure there are no air bubbles. Screw the lid on immediately. This will ensure there is a 'pop' when the jar is opened for the first time.