My mother was the jam maker and my father preserved hundreds of jars of fruit,every summer. We ate one huge jar of peaches or pears every day at breakfast – if the season had been good. So it was kind of rare for one of my parents to make a chutney or relish. My great Aunts were the real chutney makers. It is a summer smell. A summer taste, along side all those other summer tastes. Chutney should be chunky with that whole sweet and sour thing going. It complements cold meats and is perfect with cheese.
But on the rare occasions that my mother did make a chutney it lasted about a week. So good. Today I thought I would be clever and make this batch with the yellow tomatoes. There are so many. I imagined I would get a creamy golden product. Instead I got a brown kind of snotty product. But it tastes perfect. The next batch I will make with the red tomatoes as it is really such a simple recipe. And the deep rich burgundy colour is a little more appetising!
My darling friend in NZ makes this every summer as well. She just makes it in tiny batches, whenever she gets a few extra tomatoes out of the garden. She is a very laid back cook. She just wanders about the kitchen as she drinks her coffee in the morning, throwing bits and pieces into the pot. Later in the day she pops it into any jars or containers she can find and seals it up. All very matter of fact. No fuss. We are sisters from different mothers. She is the sister who does not fuss. I said to her years ago that I had lost my Mothers recipe and she pulled out hers and it was the same one from the same book. An old NZ Womens Weekly recipe book if I remember rightly.
4lb ripe chopped tomatoes (about 16 big ones)
1lb peeled and chopped apples (about 4 or 5)
1lb onions, sliced and diced (about 4 or 5)
2 cups each of sultanas and raisins
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more if you want it hotter)
1tsp each dry mustard and ground allspice
3 heaped cups brown sugar
2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
Ladle hot chutney into hot jars, seal. These keep quite well in a dark cool cupboard but to be on the safe side you may choose to store them in the fridge.
Last night I roasted two chicken breasts, basting them with the last of the pickling brine and a little oil. After turning the chicken twice I slathered it with a little mountain of fresh warm chutney, grilled, after 10 minutes or so I topped that with heaps of grated parmesan and grilled some more. So good. And very pretty. Actually I almost took a picture but hunger got to me first. So here is a picture of Queenie’s bottom instead!