Recently I took a jam-making class from the SF Cooking School, and I felt so inspired when I came home that I whipped up a batch of chutney. As I’ve mentioned before, Brian and I get a produce box that we love from Betty’s Organics. I started ordering it to push us to eat healthy and to encourage myself to cook more. I love the challenge I get when unfamiliar items come in the box. For example, I never knew I really liked fennel until it came in a produce box. I had to look up a recipe, and the fennel’s flavor was so bright and delicious. I love using it now, especially with citrus and fish recipes.
Lately in our produce box we’ve been getting a lot of pluots, which are a cross between a plum and an apricot, but with more characteristics of a plum. We got so many that Brian was tired of eating them and so was I, so the few we had lying around were starting to go bad. I’ve been determined to not let any of our produce box go to waste, so when I came home after that preserving class I had my eye on those pluots. I turned them into a spicy plum and mango chutney.
Here’s my recipe, but you should adjust the flavors to your liking.
What you'll need:
- drizzle ollive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 4 pluots, diced
- 1/2 large mango, diced
- 1 small green apple, grated (apple has lots of natural pectin, which helps thicken the chutney)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons citrus champagne vinegar
Let's get started!
Add a drizzle of olive oil to a medium pot over medium-high heat, then add the garlic, onion, thyme, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion begins to soften. Next add the plutos, mango, apple, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and champagne vinegar, and bring to a hard simmer. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until it reduces by a little more than half.
To test whether the chutney is done, do what’s called the “plate” test: Put several small plates into the freezer before you start cooking. When you’re ready for the test, grab a plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of chutney onto the plate; when it’s fully cooked, it will begin to thicken up on the plate almost right away. You can gently rotate plate to test the viscosity. Use your judgement, taking into consideration the last time you had chutney and what the texture was like.
This made about one half-pint jar with a little to spare. I processed the jar in a water bath and safely tucked it away in our pantry. I ate the extra chutney with some cheese and crackers, of course with a glass of wine to wash it all down. When we’re ready to break it out again, I might pair this chutney with chicken or a pork loin.
Properly processed and canned, the chutney will last for about a year on the shelf. Without canning, it will keep for one to three weeks in the fridge.
Let me know your favorite way to have this recipe! Enjoy!