Sunday, September 5, 2010

Millions of Peaches...Peaches for Me! Peach Chutney

Peaches, peaches and more peaches!  I thought this year I would make some peach preserves.  I've changed my mind however, since I made plenty of blueberry and strawberry jam earlier this summer, and I'm planning on making a truckload of apple butter this fall. I decided to change things up a bit and make some peach chutney instead.  Peach chutney?  Why peach chutney you ask?  Because I like peach chutney! It can turn a plain piece of chicken or pork chop into something special.  Sometimes I'll grill a spice rubbed pork tenderloin, slice and serve with chutney for a quick mid-week dinner. I LOVE peach chutney on a turkey burger.  As a matter of fact, I substitute my peach chutney for Major Grey's chutney when I make these  Yes, you can buy chutney in the gourmet section of the grocery store, but you will pay dearly for it.  Trader Joe's has a decent chutney, but for some reason they don't always have it in stock. Homemade is so much better. It's one of those things that you don't think you need, but if you have it on hand, an interesting meal is just minutes away. I made a smallish batch, and it should last me the year. If you haven't done any canning, you can refer to my entry
So let's get down to business and make some chutney.

Peach Chutney 
Prepare your jars , 7 half pint jars, lids and rings. Wash and sterilize (see above link).  
  •  12 large peaches, use ripe firm peaches.  Do not use mushy ones!
  •  juice of a lemon
 Other chutney ingredients:  (you can adjust to your liking)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 finely chopped small onion
  • 1 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • a pinch ground cinnamon
  • a pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove of finely minced garlic
Peel peaches:
Wash peaches
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Fill another large bowl with water and ice cubes.
Drop peaches (4 at a time) into boiling water for 60 seconds.
Remove with slotted spoon and plunge into ice bath.
Remove from ice water and skin will pull right this
  • Cut the peaches and remove the pits.  Cut into chunks, and mush them up a bit with a potato masher.  Place peaches into a large heavy dutch oven.
  • Squeeze the juice of a lemon over mushed peaches.
Add all the other ingredients to the peaches.  Gently stir and cook until mixture begins to thicken, about 45 minutes.  (It will continue to thicken as it cools).  It will look like this:

Fill the jars, clean the rim, place lid and screw band and tighten.  Process the jars in a water bath for 20 minutes.  Be sure the jars are covered with 2" of boiling water. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove from bath and allow to cool in a draft-free place. Do Not Disturb!
I have to write a note to keep someone from picking them up to see if they set properly.
You will hear the ping of the lids sealing as they cool.  Mine pinged in record time, about 2 minutes after they were removed from the was like a chorus!  Double check by pressing the middle of the lid.  If it flexes, it is not sealed.  Either refrigerate that jar and use in the next 2 weeks or put the contents in a new jar, using an new lid and reprocess.

Store in a cool dark place.

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