Everyone in our family loves to eat home-made chutney and relish….peach chutney, fresh fig chutney, pear chutney, quince chutney, apple and date chutney, tomato relish, beetroot relish, feijoa chutney, plum chutney and tamarillo chutney. When a chutney making session is in progress ahhh the different smells, you can almost see them! The tendrils of aroma curling up and around in the air. The spices, the fruit, the vinegar it’s intoxicating! I had a session yesterday. I made a spicy pear chutney and a feijoa chutney. The feijoa is a green egg-shaped fruit that originally came from South America but we kiwis (yes that’s what we call ourselves here in NZ) have taken it as our own. It’s a childhood tradition come end of summer to be able to sit under the feijoa tree in the backyard and eat the fallen fruit until you can eat no more.This spicy pear chutney I made yesterday is one of my personal favourites, and to make it you need.
1kg firm but ripe pears, cored and chopped small.
250g crystalised ginger chopped small.
125g citrus peel. You can substitute some for fresh chunky lemon or orange peel if you wish.
500g onions peeled and chopped small.
5 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped small.
500g brown sugar.
1 tablespoon curry powder.
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper.
2 tablespoons salt.
5 cups of malt vinegar.
Place everything into a preserving pan or a wide saucepan, and gently bring to the boil. Simmer for about 1 and 1/2 hours. As with all chutneys you need to give the mixture a stir every now and then as they can, all too easily, stick to the bottom of the pan. When the chutney is a rich brown and thickened it’s ready to put into hot clean jars. Chutneys last for at least a year if they are capped properly, and the flavours will improve with age. Chutneys are enjoyed with cheese, meat, rice, vegetables, on sandwiches or crackers, and in burgers.