As I mentioned in my previous post, I almost missed my yearly winter jam and chutney making session. Once I had made my strawberry jam, my attention turned to what other fruit and vegetables I had which could be converted into jam or chutney. (Yes, I still have another two jam recipes from that session to post).
The first candidates for this were the pears in my fruit basket. There were a few and I knew they were going to rot before they got eaten.
I don’t know what it is but, in my home, it seems to me that when the fruit basket is full no one seems to be particularly interested in fruit. And when that basket is close to empty and I’m due for a visit to the market, everyone is wondering why there is no fruit to eat!
So there were these pears and no one seemed to want to eat them. I searched through a few recipes to make some jam but none of those that I saw really excited me. Pear chutney seemed a better idea, so I made up my own recipe for chutney using whatever I had on hand.
In favour of this pear chutney, let me just say the chutney was gone faster than those pears languishing in my kitchen!!
5 pears, cored and diced (peel if you prefer)
¼ cup golden raisins
1 medium white onion, miced
1/2 cup packed demerara sugar (adjust to taste)
1 cup apple unsweetened apple juice
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp chilli flakes
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp salt
Steam cook or microwave the diced pear till well cooked. Using a masher or wooden spoon, break the cooked pears till mushy but not a purée.
Put the minced onion, demerara sugar, apple juice, vingar, fresh ginger, mustard seeds, chiil flakes and salt in a pan. Cook this mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves.
Add the mashed pear and raisins and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently until all the liquid has almost evaporated. Add the garam masala, stir and cook till all the liquid had evaporated.
The chutney must still be very moist.
Ladle the hot chutney into hot sterilized jars and seal. This recipe gave me enough chutney to fill two 250 gm jars.