South Leigh Seasonal Recipes
Pear, Cinnamon and Red Onion Chutney
1.5kg very firm pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
450g red onions, peeled and chopped
450g green or firm red tomatoes, cores removed and flesh chopped
100g stoned dates, chopped
200g celery, sliced
400g granulated sugar
400g muscovado sugar
600ml cider vinegar
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in two if large
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seeds
½ tsp whole black peppercorns
5 small dried chillies
8 allspice berries
8 cardamom pods, husks discarded and seeds lightly crushed
1 tsp coriander seeds
Gather together a good quantity of clean jam jars before you begin - small or pretty jars of preserves make great gifts! Place the jars in a very low oven to warm.
Prepare all the fruit and vegetables and place in a large preserving pan. Mix the sugars and vinegar in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, then pour over the fruit and vegetables. Add the cinnamon sticks, ground ginger, mustard seeds and salt. Tie up the remaining spices in a piece of muslin or place them in a bought bouquet garni, or infuser, bag (available from Amazon and kitchen shops) and add to the chutney.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and allow the chutney to bubble away gently, stirring frequently, until there is very little free liquid. Remove and discard the spice bag together with the cinnamon sticks, then ladle the cooked chutney into the clean, warm jars. Cover with waxed discs, seal the jars and don't forget to label them. Eat now or store for a later date.