Because it takes a bit longer than jam to cook down, I don’t often choose chutney for my classes and demos. But it happened to fit nicely for this particular class, and I’m so glad it did because it reminded me of just how good this particular preserve is.
I went home on Friday night with a stash of cherries from the sale and spent a chunk of time over the weekend pitting the cherries and slicing them into quarters (because I’m insane like that). I ended up making a larger, slightly tweaked version from the one we made in class, but it was no less delicious.
Once you get through the pitting of the cherries, this chutney couldn’t be simpler. It’s really just a matter of getting the ingredients into the pot, bringing them to a boil, and then cooking until the ingredients marry and the liquid evaporates. There’s no need to monitor the temperature or check for set. It’s done when it doesn’t look watery anymore.
Another nice things about making a preserve like this is that you can break up the cooking time. While my batch was simmering, Scott and I decided that we wanted to go for a walk. I just turned off the stove and slid the pot to a cool burner. When we got back, I brought the chutney back to a low bubble and finished it off.
Oh, and one more thing. If you don’t have the mental fortitude to pit and chop 4 pounds of cherries, try making this chutney with plums. It works just as well and isn’t as tedious.
- 4 pounds cherries, pitted and diced
- 2 cups minced yellow onion (about 1 large)
- 2 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup dried sweet cherries
- 2 lemon, zested and juiced
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- Prepare a canning pot and 5 pint jars (or a combination of pints and half pints that hold a total of 10 cups of product).
- Combine all ingredients in a large pot, stir to combine, and bring to a vigorous boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the mixture has reduced and developed a thick, spreadable consistency, about 50-60 minutes.
- When the chutney is finished cooking, remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the chutney into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.