Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Peach chutney

Millions of peaches … peaches for me

The other night I had a dream I was drowning in peaches. I can’t stop buying them. I can’t make enough peach pie and bellinis to keep up. Damn these infernal peaches. So…

I’m on the preserve trail. $2.50 at the fresh food markets will buy you enough peaches to turn into something you might not want right now, but will relish (pardon the pun) later in the year when it’s cold and you want curries or something ot accompany sharp cheese wedges by the fireplace.

1.5 kg fresh peaches, blanched with boiling water and drained. You do this so the pink blush stains the flesh making a more attractive chutney colour. Peel the skins off the peaches and discard, seed the peaches and chop roughly.

Add the peaches to a pan and add in the rest of the ingredients:

6 chillies. Suit your taste and heat tolerance, de-seed them if you want to cut back on the heat. There were red habaneros (read: blow your head off heat) at the markets this week, so I used them, but use milder ones if you prefer. Habaneros have an earthier taste than other chillies – less pith and less sweet capsicum notes, more woody flavours. Mixed with the cinnamon in this recipe the simmering chutney takes on an almost sandalwood quality and perfumes the kitchen (… house, apartment, whole apartment block, suburb) with a sweet incense.

2 cups of vinegar: cider vinegar is good for chutney and keeps an earthy fruit taste to the mixture, but white wine vinegar is acceptable.

2 cups of sugar: I prefer light muscovado – keeping the earthy caramel theme by using this or brown sugar.

1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh green ginger, grated
1 cinnamon stick
Rind of 1 lemon, sliced finely or zested.

Stir without boiling until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 ¼ hours or until the chutney is thick and pulpy. Stir it and check it often, particularly as the chutney thickens towards the end of cooking, to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick to the base of the pan. Remove the cinnamon stick before bottling into sterilized jars.

The flavour will develop in the jar and be even better after a month or two.


Blogger neil said...

Thanks Reb, that was exactly what I was looking for. There are so many blogs out there, it's too easy to forget where you've been.

8:19 AM  

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