A vintage recipe updated for modern palates and kitchens, this take on Indiana Peach Chutney is a little spicy, perfectly sweet, and is ideal for preserving peach season.
I woke up Sunday morning, itching to get rid of some cookbooks. At least once a year, I like to sort through my absurdly large collection and move some things along. My criteria for letting go of books is pretty simple (if a little haphazard).
If I’ve never cooked from it, I pull it from the shelf and flip through. If nothing strikes my fancy, it goes in the outward bound stack. If spot something that tickles my culinary creativity, I drop a marker in the book and either put it back on the shelf or, if it’s something I want to make in the immediate future, I put the book on my desk.
I had spent the previous couple days in Indiana for the Can-It Forward Day festivities, and so when I evaluated whether I was going to keep my copy of Clementine Paddleford’s The Best in American Cooking, the recipe for Indiana Peach Chutney caught my eye.
It also spoke to me because I had a fridge full of peaches and nectarines from the latest shipment from Washington State Stone Fruit Growers and needed to start moving that fruit into jars.
Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter. To begin with, I don’t have the patience for a process that requires one to poach the fruit in a sugar syrup until translucent (I used a combination of peaches and nectarines, and didn’t peel any of them, either).
Next thing to go was the two styles of raisins (I had dark ones in abundance and so that’s what I used). Finally, I couldn’t abide the idea of adding food coloring. I was certain that whatever color it ended up being would be totally fine.
If you tuned in to Monday night’s livestream (catch the next one on Monday, August 21 at 9 pm eastern), this is the recipe I used to demonstrate steam canning (I promised it a bit earlier than this, but such is life).
The finished flavor is gingery, a little bit spicy, and very fruity. Like many other chutneys, this one is going to be great with cheese, perfect as a bright condiment alongside grain bowls, and delightful on a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich.
Indiana Peach Chutney
- 3 1/2 pounds peaches or nectarines pitted and chopped (about 8-9 cups)
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 cup raisins
- 4 ounces fresh ginger grated
- 2 large garlic cloves pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 jalapeno sliced open halfway
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold between 3 1/2 and 4 pints.
- In a large, non-reactive pot, combine the peaches, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, diced onion, raisins, grated ginger, garlic, ground ginger, and the jalapeno that you've sliced along the sides in order to release the flavor (you will remove the jalapeno at the end of cooking).
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring regularly until the chutney has reduced by about half and has thickened significantly. On my stove, this took a little over an hour.
- When the chutney feels done to you, remove the pot from the heat and funnel it into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortably handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.