Of the several books on preserving that I have on my shelves, I often find recipes that are just slightly pushing the envelope in Sensational Preserves by Hilaire Walden. I've had it for years, having bought a old copy from the Library, on the trolley of 'discards'. I see that second hand copies are reasonable, and would recommend this title.
Today I bought a tray of apricots from Wells Fruit and Vegetables, with the view of making jams or preserving them. I had never made a chutney with fresh apricots, the recipe and technique in Sensational Preserves very much appealed to me.
I have adapted the recipe to use the ingredients I had and also use my lovely locally made Cider Vinegar.
Fruit and onions weighed after preparation
1Kg Apricots : washed, the stone cut out, and each half cut into nine pieces
100g finely chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, and a piece of peeled ginger about 3cm cubed, finely chopped. I keep a little stash of peeled fresh ginger in the freezer, and it is very easy to spice it finely and chopped crossways.
1 tsp whole coriander seeds, gently crushed in a pestle and mortar
1 tsp natural salt
300g light muscovado sugar
300ml or grams organic cider vinegar
Put all the ingredients in a large pan, bright to a gentle boil, and as soon as the apricots are tender, remove them to a dish. I had to drain them a couple of times.
|Tender Apricot pieces are drained off|
Of course there will be other bits with them, but the idea is that the vinegar/sugar mixture is then reduced over a medium heat. When the sauce is thick and syrupy, off the heat the fruit is then combined back. Mix well and pot up whilst hot in cleaned and heated jars, and cover with vinegar proof lids.
|This quantity makes four 340g jars of Chunky Apricot Chutney|
This chutney needs to be stored in a cool dark cupboard for at least a month, before using, whichhelps the flavours to develop.
This is a Chutney with chunks of apricot, and I see this complementing not only 'cold cuts', but going very well alongside tagines, and other dishes from the Levant. I often make a salad of mixed cooked or roasted cold vegetables, with cooked beans or chickpeas, and mixed with a little olive oil, this chutney would be a delicious dressing. Folded through some mayonnaise and a little turmeric and cold chicken it would be a take on Coronation Chicken.
I will probably made an Apricot and preserved ginger jam tomorrow, and an apricot, and pistachio bake of some kind.