1. Food

Plum Chutney

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Plum Chutney / Photo © Molly Watson

As any tender of a plum tree knows, they are prolific with fruit that seems to ripen all at once. Plum jam is the most common way to make the most of the fruit before it rots, but this chutney is another — dare I say more interesting — way to use the harvest. It's particularly tasty on pork or poultry, and makes a fun twist on traditional cranberry sauce with the turkey come Thanksgiving. I've even been known to use it in place of jelly in a peanut butter sandwich, and it goes quite nicely with almond butter, too.

Currants are the traditional dried fruit to add here, but I've been known to use chopped dried blueberries here to great effect.

Want something with a bit of a kick? Try Spicy Plum Chutney instead.

The chutney can be jarred and processed in a hot-water bath to be held without refrigeration or simply put in jars and stored in the refrigerator.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 Pints Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 lbs. plums (about 8 cups chopped)
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • 6 pint or 12 half-pint jars and lids

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (Note: This step is optional and only necessary is you plan to hot-water process jars.)
  2. Put all ingredients (except jars and lids!) in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is broken down and the mixture is reduced by a third, 30 to 40 minutes. Taste mixture and add more sugar if it seems too sour for your taste.
  3. Meanwhile, put jars and lids on a large baking sheet. Put in oven for 10 minutes to heat and sterilize. (Note: This step is only necessary if you plan to hot-water process jars.)
  4. Transfer chutney to jars and seal with lids. If not hot-water processing the chutney, let it cool and refrigerate at least 6 weeks before opening. Keep chilled until opened and used. If hot-water processing, submerge jars in the pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks and up to 6 months before opening. Chill after opening.

Makes about 12 cups Plum Chutney.

*Never canned before? Check out these Tips for Home Canning to get the big picture of the process, a list of equipment you might need, additional resources, and safety tips.

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