Last week, I mentioned that I’d combined the quart of strawberries from my latest Philly Foodworks with two additional quarts to make a batch of strawberry chutney. This chutney is much like the sweet cherry version I wrote about last summer and it’s a good one to eat with cheese or in grain bowls.
It starts with about four pounds berries. Once chopped, that adds up to about 12 cups, if you prefer volume measurements to weight (though really, a kitchen scale is one of the most useful tools there is).
The strawberries are combined with chopped red onion, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, golden raisins (though you could use dark ones if that’s what you have), mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and a couple star anise blossoms.
Once all the ingredients are in the pot, you bring it up to a boil and then cook it until the fruit softens and the liquid thickens. I like to start on high and then reduce the heat as the chutney cooks down. You know it’s getting close when you get that tell-tale sizzle as you stir.
Once the chutney is finished cooking, fish out those star anise pieces (they add good flavor in small measure, but if you leave them in the jars, they will overwhelm all the other ingredients). Once in the jars, the chutney has a lovely, dusky color.
Oh, and remember. If the flavor of vinegar overwhelms your chutney eating experience, open the jar and let it breathe a little before serving. Half an hour or so should be enough to help the most intense fumes dissipate.
- 4 pounds strawberries, hulled and diced
- 2 cups minced red onion (about 1 large)
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
- 1 lemon, seeded and chopped
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2 star anise
- Prepare a canning pot and 4 pint jars (or a combination of pints and half pints that hold a total of 8 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.
- When the processing time is up, remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- Once they've cooled to room temperature, remove the rings and test the seals. Sealed jars can be stored on the pantry shelf for up to one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten within one month.