|Plum chutney ingredients|
Plums are abundant in August and September in most years. They can be preserved in jam (recipe for plum jam here). Plums also make an excellent chutney. This recipe uses plums and windfall apples, and makes two large jars.
1.5 lb (approx 700 g) plums, after removing the stones
12 oz (approx 350 g) apples, after preparing
8 oz (approx 250 g) onions
4 oz (approx 100 g) raisins
8 oz (approx 250 g) demerara sugar
0.5 pint (approx 300 ml) malt vinegar
0.5 teaspoon (0.5 x 5 ml spoon) ground cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon (0.5 x 5 ml spoon) ground ginger
0.5 teaspoon (0.5 x 5 ml spoon) ground mixed spice
0.5 teaspoon (0.5 x 5 ml spoon) salt
Wash the plums. Remove the stones, and chop the plums into pieces of the size you would like to find in the finished chutney. I aim for pieces roughly 0.5 – 1 cm (0.25 – 0.5 inch) cubed.
Peel and core the apples. If using windfalls, cut out any bruised areas. Chop into pieces of the size you would like to find in the finished chutney.
Peel and chop the onions.
Put the chopped fruit and vegetables into a large saucepan, along with the raisins, sugar, vinegar, salt and spices.
Bring to the boil.
Simmer, stirring from time to time, until the fruit and vegetables are soft and the chutney has thickened. I test for this by drawing a wooden spoon through the chutney. If the bottom of the pan is visible before the chutney flows back into the gap, I consider the chutney done. This stage normally takes about 45 minutes for me; it may vary depending on your pan and cooker.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the chutney into clean glass jars. I find the easiest way to do this is to pour the chutney into a heatproof jug first, then use the jug to fill the jars.
Seal the jars immediately. I use cling film and a screw-top lid, preferably a plastic lid as chutney will eventually corrode a metal lid.
Store in a cupboard for three months or so to allow the flavour to develop before eating. The chutney will store for several years provided the seal stays intact.