BAKING · Chutney

Pear,apricot,vanilla and toasted pecan chutney

Over the last few days I have been making inroads into the glut of pears and apples that have arrived in my kitchen.

Yesterday it was the turn of the pears .For several years I have made chutney of various types and flavours.

Whilst sorting through the remaining chutney from last year it struck me that most of the chutney I make turns out the same warm dark gingery colour.

This set me thinking . I came to the conclusion that because I usually tend to use brown sugar and sultanas or raisins in the mixture this affects the colour of the finished chutney.

So my aim for the day was to make a batch of unusual, sweet, blond chutney. When I say blond, I mean lighter in colour than my usual end result.

My starting point was one of my usual chutney recipes. Sweet apple chutney.

I put my thinking cap on and decided to change a few ingredients.

First I  replaced the brown sugar with white granulated sugar, then the sultanas were replaced with dried apricots, pears instead of apples and then finally adding a few toasted pecans for  texture.

But would it be bland ?.

I decided to go for it, unusual it had to be!, so I added a secret ingredient.

To make this unusual chutney begin by sterilising 3 x 1lb jam jars with lids, or as I did 4 small and I large jam jar

Next toast 100g pecan nuts in a dry frying pan, keep an eagle eye on them ,they soon burn. Set aside to cool

In a large heavy bases pan place the rest of the ingredients,

1kg peeled, cored and chopped pears

500g peeled and chopped white onion

15floz apple cider vinegar

500g granulated sugar

100g chopped dried apricots

1 vanilla pod, split

Give them a good mix up and simmer over a medium heat, stirring frequently.

The chutney is ready when thickened and a spoon pulled across the surface leaves a visible channel that does not fill with liquid

This process will take quite a while(up to an hour)

Remove the vanilla pod ,scrape the seeds into the mixture and stir well.

Stir in the toasted nuts,spoon into the jars and seal immediately.

This chutney is very sweet and can be eaten as soon as it has cooled.

My aim was to make a blond chutney with an unusual taste, I must admit I love the taste and texture.

I  wish it was a little lighter in colour, but I guess I can’t have everything.





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