Every summer and fall, I try to make at least two or three batches of chutney. It’s a handy thing to have to tuck into gift bags (it helps to break up the monotony of all the jams) and it makes for a very easy potluck contribution (one log of goat cheese + a jar of chutney + baguette rounds = happy diners). Last year, I did versions with black plums and apricots. So far this year, I’ve made cherry chutney and this batch of honey-sweetened peach chutney with some of the Canbassador fruit.
Chutney is not one of the condiments I ate during my formative years, but it has grown on me in my adulthood. These days, it’s one of my refrigerator staples and on days when the leftover pickings are slim, I pull out some cheese, make a piece of toast, and grab some chutney. Works every time. Right now, I’m eating the very end of the black plum from last summer, as well as the dregs of the persimmon chutney from this project.
Before you start making this chutney, you should know that when it comes to removing the skin from relatively small amounts of peaches (and tomatoes, too), I’ve changed my strategy. I am no longer a fan of the blanch and chill. Instead, I cut the peaches into quarters and pull out the pits and heap them in a heatproof bowl. While I work, I bring a kettle of water to a boil.
Once all the peaches are sliced, I pour the boiling water over the fruit. Let it sit for a few minutes, until you see the skins starting to wrinkle. Drain the fruit, rinse with cold tap water, and peel. It works really well and feels easier and more streamlined.
The only thing I can’t stress enough is the importance of using a the heatproof bowl. One very distracted evening, I used a glass bowl that I thought was Pyrex. It was not and it shattered from the hot water. I was able to salvage some of the fruit, but it made a mess and was generally unfortunate.
Cooking times can vary a great deal with chutney. I always plan a secondary kitchen project when I have a batch going, so that I can stay close to the pot and give it a good stir every few minutes. It has a tendency to stick on the bottom as the cooking time nears its end, so try stay focused in those last moments of simmering.
The only other useful tip I have to share when it comes to chutney is that it’s best to open a sealed jar an hour or so before you plan on serving it. When you first open chutney, all you can taste is the vinegar. However, if you let it breathe a little, the vinegar dissipates a little and the flavors of the fruit and spices are more prominent.
How do you like to eat chutney?
Honey-Sweetened Peach Chutney
- 4 pounds yellow peaches about 8-9 cups once peeled and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion minced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups golden raisins
- 1 3/4 cups red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds any color is fine
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Cut peaches into quarters and remove pits. Pile peaches into a large, heat-proof bowl.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Once it boils, pour the water over the peach quarters. Let them sit for 2-3 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and pull away from the fruit.
- Peel the skins away and chop the peaches.
- In a large, non-reactive pot, combine the peaches, onion, raisins, vinegar, honey, mustard seeds, ginger, salt, red chili flakes, and lemon zest and juice.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring regularly, at a brisk simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the chutney thickens, darkens, and the flavors start to marry.
- While the chutney cooks, prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold 4 pints of chutney (I like to use half pint jars for a product like this one).
- When the chutney is finished cooking, funnel it into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
- When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
- Once jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. Sealed jars can be stored on the pantry shelf for up to a year. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
You rinse them with hot water after pouring boiling water on them? How long do you have to wait before you can handle them w/o getting burned?
Oops, that’s was a typo! You rinse them with cold water to make them cool enough to handle. So sorry!
That tip about the boiling water is so cool, I’m definitely trying that! And I echo your comment on staying close to chutney. I got overconfident this year and left it alone. Came back to a big burnt spot: had to switch pots, fish out the burned bits that made their way into the batch and spent a good half hour of elbow grease rescuing my Le Creuset.
Yum, that looks delicious. I always get a half bushel of peaches every year and this looks like a nice alternative to all the jam. Do you think I could cut it in half without too much trouble?
Yes. Feel free to halve the recipe!
What is the yield on this recipe? 8 half-pints?
It makes a total of four pints, but I like to can it up in eight half pints.
It sounds really good. I think I might try this if I have any peaches leftover after peach salsa.
Do you leave 1/2 inch of headspace when you fill the jars? Also do you find the finished product very sweet? I was thinking of usin less honey if you think it wouldn’t ruin the recipe.
You do leave 1/2 inch headspace. And you are welcome to reduce the honey, but truly, it isn’t a super sweet chutney.
So peaches are safe in a water bath canner? I know some fruits require pressure cooker canning.
Most varieties of fruit contain enough acid to be safe for boiling water bath canning. More often, it’s vegetables that need to be done in a pressure canner.
It’s 1 3/4 cups of red wine vinegar, right? The recipe says 1 3/4. I am going to try this with barlett pears from my backyard and use brown sugar instead of honey and apple cider vinegar instead of red wine vinegar….. thanks for the inspiration!
Yes! 1 3/4 cups!
I dont have red wine vinegar on hand- can I use something else in substitution of it?
Any other vinegar that has a 5% acidity will work. That’s typically apple cider vinegar and distilled white vinegar.
Thanks for the suggestion about opening a sealed jar ahead of time before serving. I was thinking some of my chutneys and relishes tasted too “vinegary” – so it makes sense to do this to let them mellow a little.
I made a great Green Tomato Chutney last fall which we ate with cheese sandwiches!
I did not grow up with chutneys either and am unsure how to eat them. I have had some peach on pork and ham. I like the toast/ cheese idea as well.
I like chutney in small doses – one or two jars would get us through the year – but I have several close friends who adore it. This will make great gifts. As we all get older, no one really wants “stuff” anymore, so I’ve been using my canning projects for Christmas gifts for a few years now, to great success. People love getting something tasty that then goes away.
Letting the chutneys breathe for an hour was exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks!
Rachel, it really makes them so much better and allows the flavor of the fruit to come forward.
I love chutney! One way that I like to serve it is as an accompaniment to potato latkes. I sometimes make a chicken salad with a little mango chutney stirred into the mayo. I will definitely be making this peach chutney, and I’m excited to try this new method of peach peeling!
I’m still working through my plum fig chutney from last season. Amazing with a nice piece of sharp cheddar. Thanks for your vinegar trick. Great info!
Goodness! Just made a batch of this with some of the bushel of peaches I got a few days ago! Amazing! Can’t wait to try it on some crackers with goat cheese (and wine). I’ve never tried chutney before, but since I had so many peaches, and this recipe was screaming at me from the front page of your blog, I just had to try it. So glad I did, thanks for the recipe Marisa! 😀
I tried your small batch peach peeling method last night with nectarines – worked great! I’m allergic to the skins of raw fruits and vegetables and recently my allergy has gotten so bad that even peeled fresh fruit doesn’t work for me. I’m going to have to can a lot to be able to enjoy all the fruit that’s in season right now!
I made a batch of this Monday night and even though i was very careful to try to get all the air bubbles out, i still have some pretty sizable air pockets that can be seen on the sides of the jars. I’m thinking it’s because of the chunky nature of the fruit. All the jars sealed, but i’m worried about the air pockets. Will this be safe to keep on the shelf?
Oops, so sorry for the late reply. Yes, it’s perfectly safe, even with the few air pockets.
I’ve just discovered the wonders of chutneys and this looks really good! Love your website and all of the jar ideas.
I ended up having to cook this down for a lot longer after I realized that I did not have the heat high enough (after 1 hour it was not thickening at all). It ended up being cooked for almost 2 hours as I was also making some jam at the same time. Will this long of a cook time will not affect the safety of this chutney in any way (does it change the acidity?)
It’s really delicious so I hope not!!
The extended cooking time should not impact the acidity or safety of the finished product at all.
This looks like something I’d love to try, but I don’t have golden raisins. Can I substitute regular ones for them? Thanks so much!!
Marissa – so glad you were able to get away for a while and your blog is exceptional.
I have a question and it has really nothing to do with the above discussion.
I have searched and cannot find an answer.
Is it possible to pressure/water batch can cucumbers, NOT as pickles. I was wanting to preserve cucumbers as cucumbers so that I could fry them at a later date the same way you fry zucchini, in egg dip,then flour. Any help you can give me in this is greatly appreciated.
I was also going to try and make a jelly out of cucumbers just to see if it could be done. I have already made zucchini jelly and it was good, but nothing has beat my lemon balm jelly yet. It is the best jelly I have made so far. I make so much lemon balm jelly that I now make it in quarts instead of pints. And with it being such a good healing herb it is awesome. I love my rose petal jelly too, it is so weird that you taste what the flower smells like, truly different but exceptionally good.
Darlene, you’d need to pressure can cucumbers in order to preserve them without pickling. However, I don’t recommend it because they are not going to hold their texture at all. You are going to end up with jars of mush. It will not be something that you’ll be able to fry later on. You can make jellies and jams with cucumbers, though. Here’s a good one: http://food52.com/recipes/12923-cucumber-jelly
Thank you so much for your wonderful blog! It’s really helped me get comfortable with canning, even if I use recipes from other sites occasionally. One thing I wondered, and haven’t found answered anywhere–why peel tomatoes/peaches/etc? Is it strictly for appearances, or is there a safety aspect to the process?
You peel peaches and tomatoes because their skins are unpleasant in finished products (and, in the case of tomatoes, the skins often turn bitter over time).
Aha! Thanks very much. I’ve not done much with canning tomatoes that didn’t involve smushing them and/or cooking them down into mush. Now I know!
Marisa–we tried the slice, cover with hot water, dunk in cold water, peel method today for peaches. So easy!!! And it’s so much easier to slice them with the skin on, rather than after you’ve peeled them.
Today’s haul–peach chutney; peach slices in lite syrup; pear-rosemary jam, and pear-jalepeno chutney.
Fantastic chutney, made it today for first but not last time.i subbed dried cranberries for the rains. And in 20 years of me canning and growing up canning with my mother i have never had such an odd occurrence as what happened in final cooking down. The aromas were so intense of the peaches and honey i was in canning heaven. I looked out the corner of my eye and about a dozen honey bees were buzzing around the kitchen from through the open back door. I shooed them out catching with a jar and paper, about another dozen were beating the screens on the window. In our house this chutney will be forever known as Numba One Stunna chutney.
I once did an outdoor demo that included honey. The bees flocked and I ended up getting stung in the scalp. It was a weird day.
Love the new name for the chutney, though!
I have your honey-sweetened peach vanilla jam in the canning bath as I type. I’d like to try this chutney next. How do you think it would be if I substituted nectarines for the peaches? I have a bunch of ripe ones ready to use! Thanks for all your great recipes and tips!!!
Thanks for your lovely site, Marisa. You have become my go to resource for all things preserving. I’ve just made a batch of the peach chutney and was wondering why it needed a 15 minute water bath instead of 10? Can’t wait to taste the “ripened” chutney.
I found this chutney to be quite dense and so recommended the 15 minute processing time to ensure that the heat penetrates all the way to the center of the jars.
Took this out to our fall CSA potluck and it was snarfed down. Posting a link to the CSA’s facebook page. Thanks.
Can I substitute white peaches in this?
No. They have different acid levels.
I see now that the recipe specifically says yellow peaches. I never know if “peaches” listed in a recipe means white or yellow, and now that I’m up on the whole white peach/low acid thing, I’m nervous about subbing them. If you don’t specify yellow or white in your recipes, is it safe to assume I can use either? We went through 150 lbs from our white peach tree (and gave away at least that much again), and canning seems like such a wonderful way to preserve them.
I don’t like raisins–would leaving out the raisins lower the overall acidity too much and make it unsafe? I have a pressure canner I was planning to use anyway, since I’m at a high altitude (4,300 feet), but am not very experienced at canning and don’t know what adjustments are and aren’t safe.
Omitting the raisins will have no impact on the acidity. I actually wouldn’t recommend that you process this in a pressure canner because it will overcook the fruit. You’d be better off increasing the processing time by ten minutes. https://foodinjars.com/2012/02/canning-101-on-adjusting-for-altitude/
Great–thank you much. I’ll take your advice on the water bath canning. I just found your link to the FDA’s food acidity guide. I’m guessing that because yellow peaches are more acid than raisins, I can substitute 2 cups of additional yellow peaches for the 2 cups of raisins called for in the recipe in order to not have the vinegar be too overwhelming once the relatively sweet raisins are removed.
Great website–I’m looking forward to this chutney!
More a question, than an answer: is it possible to finely chop the raisins? My kids will not eat ‘cooked’ raisins in ANYTHING! I thought that if i finely chopped them, the cooking time would make them virtually invisible? If I did chop them, how would the flavor of the chutney be affected? I’ve never made chutney because most of them call for raisins. TIA
You could try it, but I really don’t know how it would impact the cooking time or flavor, as I’ve not done it before.
I made 5,5 kilos of this chutney 9 days ago, the family and friends that tasted it said it was amazing! scrumptious! delicious! and the only thing I have to say is that I am glad I can still find wonderful peaches in the market to make another 2 pots to last until Spring. Thank you Marisa
It came out great and is going in the Christmas baskets this year. It was my first adventure making chutney and with the exception of chopping chopping it was easy. I ventured from the recipe and substituted craisins for raisins since I didn’t have any and live far enough out of town took the chance. So glad I tried it.
Hi Marisa, I am going to make a chutney with mango nectarines but will not have the 4 pounds only 2. Will cutting the recipe in half still work nicely or would I need to adjust a particular ingredient?
Cutting it in half should work just fine!
I had a few fresh peaches that were on the verge of getting over ripe, so I decided to follow this recipe. I had only enough peaches cut up, to make 1/3 the recipe, so I divided it up and made the chutney. I could hardly wait for it to finish is smelled so good. I was able to jar up 2 jars and have a couple large tablespoons left over to “taste”… delicious! Thanks for the recipe and I look forward to having a bigger pot next year to can more for my friends and family!
I just made this recipe with a bit of trepidation- I’m a bit sick of making jam after jam after jam, so I needed a change. Frankly, chutney freaks me out, such an odd mix of ingredients. Well, I love it! Thanks again, Marisa!
So glad you like it!
This turned out great for me! Thanks so much for the recipe. So far it’s been enjoyed with pan-fried chicken breasts and grilled salmon, and with tortilla chips when I ran out of salsa on Labor Day:)
I made this a couple weeks ago. I substituted craisins for the golden raisins. This is wonderful! I’m just breaking into the chutney world. I took it to a potluck at work and served it on water crackers with pepper turkey and provolone slices. It was a hit! Thank you so much for inspiring me.
This is the first chutney I’ve ever attempted. Wish me luck!
Can I substitute brown sugar for the honey? I know honey is more acidic than the sugar so I wasn’t sure.
You will need to use more, as honey is sweeter than sugar. It will also change the color. But there’s actually no acid implication in making the swap.
Would it be ok to use Nectarines in this instead of peaches?
I made this last night. The flavor of vinegar is very strong and over powers the peach flavor. I wonder if it would be safe to dramatically reduce the vinegar to let the peach flavor shine? Also, could I have used apple cider vinegar?
You need the vinegar for safety, so I don’t recommend reducing the volume. You can use apple cider vinegar, if you prefer.
I ended up with 3 pints so I didnt put the jars in a rolling bath. How long will the chutney last in the fridge? Can I freeze the other two jars instead? If so, how long will it last in the freezer?
It will last about a month in the fridge. You can freeze it (though make sure to leave extra headspace to account for expansion). However, I don’t store mine in the freezer, so I can’t hazard a guess as to how long it will last.
Getting ready to dive into this recipe but have a question re lemon juice. All the other water bath canning recipes I’ve seen specify to use bottled lemon juice as the acidity is more consistent than juice from actual fruit. If I’m using the bottled what is the measurement? If the answer is above, I beg your pardon – just did a quick perusal. Thank you!
The lemon juice in this recipe is present for flavor, rather than for acidity balance. It is not playing a role in safety, but is instead present to help bring harmony between sweet and tart. There is no reason to swap it out for a bottled product.
I am really new to canning, like a month. I really enjoy your site/blog. I haven’t got a lot of storage space and usually cheat and use all frozen fruit. How much of a difference will it make in the recipe?
Do I have to peel the peaches? I have seen other recipes that do not call for peeling.
I always peel the peaches when I make this chutney. I prefer the texture that way.
Sorry that I did not think of this in my previous email. If I use fresh peppers such as jalapenos or hot red serrano chili peppers, how many do you think I would need. (I would use them whole.)
This recipe is not designed for fresh peppers. They can change the acidity in a way that can render the finished product unsafe.
can u use any honey with the honey sweetened peach chutney? i bought unpasturized creamed honey so its in more of a dolod stste than liquid??
You can use any honey you want.
Can I use semi ripe peach ie green as they fell off of the tree and I do not want to waste them.
No, you want them to be ripe.
I just made this recipe for the first time and was very disappointed in the outcome ..they appear to runny ?..liquidity …and too vinegary .subsequently i was wondering if there was a typo in the quantity of Red wine vinegar
You need to cook this preserve down until thick. If it’s too runny, it’s because it needed to be cooked longer. And chutneys require a lot of vinegar to be safe for canning.
I have made your peach pickle and found it super easy and delicious
I made this recipe in August 2019 & need to make again this yr. Delicious. I mostly served with goat cheese & crackers
I’m so happy you like it!
Thank you for the recipe! I made it last week and had a bit left over and had it with grilled chicken. After I finished soaking the peaches in hot water to remove the skins, I was hesitant to toss the peachy water down the drain. I added it, and more water, to a large pitcher and made sun tea. Trying your peach jam recipe next.
You’re very welcome! And what a smart way to use up that water!
Getting ready to make this recipe again. It is amazing over a goat cheese log with crackers. Makes for a fancy appetizer. I will be canning this every year now that I have tasted it, I haven’t met anyone yet who doesn’t love it. Thanks for much for sharing your recipes and canning advice.
I’m so happy to know you like it so much!