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.
Strawberries are just starting here I have been waiting to see this recipe since you mentioned it last week! Sounds like it would be perfect with some goat cheese on a crostini! Looking forward to it:)
One more quick question. I’m trying to decide whether to can this in pints or half pints. How long will it last in the fridge once opened?
It will probably keep for a couple of months. It’s got enough sugar and acid that it should do a pretty good job of staving off mold.
Sounds yummy – I’ve been looking forward to this recipe too! Can it be divided in half? And it sounds like the processing time remains the same for smaller jars? I’m thinking about doing smaller jars for housewarming gifts, etc.
Love the blog!
You can certainly divide the recipe in half and can it in smaller jars. The processing time remains the same. The rule of thumb is that you only change the processing time if you’re move between pints and quarts, not between the smaller jars.
Good evening, Marisa,
I have begun making jam and started getting comfortable with the method. To my ire, it has been raining all week and promises to rain again next week. I’m afraid the local fruit will be watery and bland. Is there a way to adjust recipes to compensate for this?
Thanks so much!
It doesn’t work to change the recipe. Just know that the cooking times may be longer and the yield may be less.
Thank you, Marisa!
I can NOT believe strawberry season is over already. I blinked and it was gone, now sweet cherries are in everywhere, at least where I live. Is it just me or did the strawberry season seem to be earlier this year and a bit shorter? I know I lost one ENTIRE week to rain and wet weather. Plus, I don’t really like the ground to be all wet when I pick. I have fibromyalgia and even though I know some people see me and think its laziness, I have to actually SIT when I do picking like strawberries or any other low growing crop. Due to intense pain I can’t squat, I can’t bend over, I can’t kneel, so what else is there? Sitting!! A girl does what a girl has to do despite what others may think. Heck, I can’t even clean my own bathtub because of this.
Even this week I can’t seem to get a break in the weather. I’ve been trying for about 4 days to get laundry on the line and it just doesn’t seem to be happening. I just thought of something. Are they still picking strawberries in the Lancaster area? If so, how much longer will there be any picking on strawberries? I’m assuming there MUST be some “pick your own” places with so many farms. That two hours north can sometimes make quite a bit of difference in the time when crops are ready. I MAY be in the area next weekend. That’s not Father’s Day weekend, but the next. When I pick strawberries, I REALLY pick strawberries. I often pick as many as many as 20 quarts or so. If anyone knows this information please reply to this comment. I would HOPE it would somehow notify me. I figure two hours isn’t too far too travel to gain a winter’s worth of a favorite fruit. Let’s face it, they will definitely be better than getting strawberries this winter in the supermarket shipped in from South America somewhere…….
Truly, I’m not sure where they’re still picking strawberries. This is a good website for finding upick farms: http://www.pickyourown.org/
We’re just starting to pick strawberries in northern New England! 🙂
Love this idea, but I absolutely cannot stand raisins of any kind. It’s my one picky eater tendency that I have not been able to get over. Can I leave out the raisins, or will it alter the recipe enough that canning would then be a concern? Appreciate any thoughts you have, but I understand it just might not be feasible. Thanks for sharing a great idea, anyway!
You can leave out the raisins. Having some kind of dried fruit in the mix really helps with texture, though. Do you like dried apricots? If you chopped them into raisin sized pieces, they’d be a good swap.
Marisa, my husband came home last night with multiple quarts of strawberries so I used some of them this evening using your chutney recipe. It’s soooo good. I’m going to keep some for us and share the rest of the jars with friends, attaching your recipe. Thank you!
I am so happy to hear that you’re pleased with this recipe! I hope your friends like it as much as you do!
I’m picking up a flat of just-picked strawberries tomorrow from a local farm, and would like to try this (just made your honey-sweetened strawberry vanilla jam!) I have never used a whole lemon in chutney. How do you think it would be with preserved lemons (too much)? Also, I’m not a big fan of star anise, ok to leave that out, or should I substitute something else? Thanks for your help!
I made this in August but it’s no longer as vibrantly coloured as it was when it was just done. Went from a pretty pink to a dingy pink. Is it normal that it fades or did I somehow screw it up?
The fading is normal. Strawberries don’t retain their color unless you add a veritable ton of sugar. It will still taste delicious. In the future, keep it in the dark, as that helps it better retain color.
Can you used Crushed red pepper instead of red pepper flakes?
Yes. They are essentially the same thing.
A very disappointing recipe. It has a strange after taste, maybe as a result of the chopped up lemon. It is a bad outcome for the 4 pounds of berries picked in the summer heat and processed in a hot kitchen
I’m really sorry that you were unhappy with this preserve. Not every preserve is for every person.