Chutney recipe a last hurrah for local peaches
In his song “Spanish Pipedream,” John Prine offers his listeners some words to live by.
Along with blowing up your TV, he advises listeners to plant a little garden and eat a lot of peaches. My TV is more or less working, and my garden is on the wane, but I have consumed a large portion of peaches this summer. Unfortunately, the local peach crop is coming to an end. For a last hurrah, I made my annual batch of peach chutney.
Originating in India, chutney is a savory condiment made from fruits or vegetables with the addition of vinegar, sugar and spices. When most people hear chutney, they usually think of mangoes. Actually, it can be made with any fruit. Think of chutney as a chunky, spicy jam.
With a multidimensional flavor palate, peach chutney makes a great accompaniment to an array of dishes. Add some to your grilled cheese sandwich for a new twist on an old favorite. Use it as a glaze for roast pork or turkey. Or simply add it to a cracker with some cream cheese for a quick hors d’oeuvre.
The peach chutney recipe below comes from Linda Ziedrich’s “The Joy of Pickling,” my go-to pickle bible. I am including water bath canning instructions, but canning isn’t necessary. Since it contains vinegar, the chutney will last in the refrigerator for months. The recipe makes about three pints.
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
1/2 pound golden raisins
1 garlic clove
4 pounds peaches, pitted, peeled and coarsely chopped (see note)
2/3 cup minced fresh ginger
2 cups cider vinegar
11/2 pounds light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chile powder
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon pickling salt
Put the onion, raisins and garlic through a food grinder or mince them very fine. Put them into a large nonreactive pot with the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring often, for about 1 hour, until it is thick and a rich brown color.
Pack the chutney into pint or half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Close the jars with two-piece caps and process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.
Note: To quickly peel the peaches, dip them first into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, and then immediately put them into a bowl of ice water. The peels will then slip off easily.
— Julie Falsetti, a York native, comes from a long line of good cooks. Her column, From Scratch, runs twice monthly in The York Dispatch food section. Reach her with questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.