After picking all my tomatoes yesterday I was keen to transform them into a delicious chutney.
Confession time. I’ve never made a chutney before. I’ve never even tasted a green tomato chutney either.
I resolved myself weeks ago to the fact that my tomatoes were unlikely to ripen but I was determined that they wouldn’t go to waste or be forgotten about on a windowsill. The search for a chutney recipe began. My main aim was to be able to use all home-grown produce (vinegar aside) so I needed to find a recipe to suit. Eventually I found the one I was looking for, tweaked it slightly (I don’t like raisins or sultanas so I substituted those with apples and added a little extra spice with some fresh ginger)
Here’s how it went down…
1Kg green tomatoes
400ml malt vinegar
200g soft brown sugar
Thumb size portion of fresh ginger
Wash and chop the tomatoes. You can make the chunks as big or as small as you like, if you like chunky chutney keep them big, if you want it less rustic looking, chop them smaller.
Place the chopped tomatoes into a bowl and add a good sprinkling of salt. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave over night. The salt will draw out liquid from the tomatoes and help intensify the flavour. Removing liquid from the tomatoes now will help reduce cooking time later.
The next day, when you’re ready to make the chutney, pour the vinegar into a heavy bottomed pan and add the soft brown sugar. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves completely.
While you’re waiting you can chop the onions, and peel, core and chop the apples.
Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to a gentle boil.
Add the chopped onion, stir through, then add the apple.
While this is coming back up to a gentle boil, drain but don’t rinse the tomatoes.
Add the drained tomatoes to the pan and stir the mixture gently.
Peel the ginger and grate straight into the chutney.
That’s the hard work done!
Simmer the chutney gently, so that the liquid slowly reduces. This took me just under 2 hours. It’s worth keeping an eye on the mixture just to make sure it doesn’t catch the bottom of the pan, we don’t want to burn the chutney now!
While the chutney is reducing, prepare the jars. The quantity above made 3 full jars with a small amount left over…just enough for quality testing at the end!
It’s worth mentioning here that the lids on the jars should have a plastic/rubber seal as the vinegar may react with metal lids and spoil the chutney. Most Kilner jar lids have the rubber seals on the inside.
Wash the jars and lids so they are spotlessly clean and place the jars on a baking tray. Put the jars into a cold oven and turn the temperature to 110-120C and leave until your chutney is ready. To sterilise the lids, place then into a pan of boiling water for about 20 minutes.
Once the chutney has reduced and thickened it’s ready to put into jars. You’ll know it’s thick enough when you can drag your wooden spoon through the chutney and you can see the bottom of the pan for a few seconds.
Carefully, take the jars out of the oven, keeping them on the tray. Spoon the hot chutney mixture straight into the hot jars and screw the lids on tightly: make sure you’re wearing oven gloves though!
That’s it, chutney made.
There was a small amount left over so I had to try it, still warm with cheese on rivita…it was delicious!
Depending on your taste you can eat this straight away or leave it to mature for a couple of weeks…
I’m hoping I’ve still got some left for cheese and biscuits at Christmas!
Here’s the link for the original chutney recipe I found online, I can highly recommend it. You’ll notice the quantities are different. I only had 1kg of tomatoes so I reduced the quantities accordingly.