CHRISTMAS PEAR CHUTNEY
I named this one Christmas pear chutney because of its high content of dried fruit. It is a perfect chutney to make now and then squirrel away for gift-giving later in the year. It’s really good with strong cheese and grapes. Add more chilli if you like it hot.
150g chopped assorted dried fruit ¾ cup red wine vinegar 2kg firm pears, peeled, cored and chopped into cubes (roughly 10 cups in total) 2 chopped onions 500g brown sugar 4 tsp salt 6 cloves crushed garlic ½ tsp white pepper 1 tsp mustard powder 2 tsp chilli flakes
(or more) 1 tsp coriander powder
I prefer to use my own home-dried figs for this recipe, plus a few raisins and dates, and a bit of crystallised ginger. Pour the wine into a shallow dish and add your dried fruit – you want it to get a good soaking over 2-3 hours. Then, pop everything into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and slowly bring up to a simmer. The pears have plenty of liquid in them, so there’s no added liquid, apart from the vinegar. Cook until nice and thick, stirring often to prevent sticking. Spoon carefully into sterilised jars, seal, label, then quickly hide it away before you feel tempted to eat it. This chutney needs 2-3 months to mature so be strong.
THIS CHUTNEY NEEDS 2-3 MONTHS TO MATURE – BE STRONG AND RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO EAT IT EARLY