Recipe: Reynard's "Wang In Whatever You've Got" Chutney

Since we're only a month away from Christmas, and if you are a chutney enthusiast or perhaps looking for an idea for a homemade gift, may I present to you all...

Reynard's "Wang In Whatever You've Got" Chutney

This is based on a very old Marguerite Patten recipe for plum chutney, but I'll use whatever I've got to hand, whether it's a glut of apricots, beetroot acquired on yellow sticker, windfall apples or those last few green tomatoes that never seem to ripen. The beauty of this recipe is that you can be as creative as you want to be. The key to a good chutney is balancing the flavours between sweet, sharp and hot, sticking to the quantity of fruit & veg vs sugar, vinegar and salt, and cooking it slowly down to the right consistency.

2 lbs fruit & veg, after peeling, de-stoning, coring, chopping etc or grating in the case of root veg. A minimum of one quarter of this i.e. 8 oz should be onion.
4 oz dried fruit e.g. mixed dried fruit, candied peel, sultanas or raisins
Half a large head of garlic, roughly chopped
Thumb-sized (or more if wanted) piece of root ginger, cut into small slivers
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pint vinegar
12 oz granulated sugar

Put the prepared fruit & veg in a large pan, along with the dried fruit, garlic, ginger, mustard seed, chilli, bay leaves and salt. Pour over the vinegar and cook gently until the fruit etc is soft, stirring every now and again. When the fruit is cooked, add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Turn up the heat a little, and get the mixture to a medium simmer. Stir occasionally to check nothing is catching on the bottom of the pan. When the chutney has reduced by about half, you will need to start to keep a closer eye on it. You may wish to check for seasoning at this stage, adding more chilli etc. The chutney is cooked to the right consistency when it looks a lot like jam, and if you drag a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan, you will leave a clear channel with no liquid in it.

Decant into clean jars and seal while still piping hot. (A jam funnel works a treat here to prevent messes.)

Some chutneys can be eaten more or less right away, others are better after being left to mature for a month or so - or even longer. The heat from the ginger and chilli will mellow with keeping, so there's no need to be shy if you like it fiery. You can also add other spices into the mix; star anise and cassia bark work pretty well, especially with stone fruit, but do fish out all the bits before decanting into jars.

Particular favourites here chez Casa Reynard are as follows:
1) 3 parts apricot and / or nectarine to 1 part onion, plus a heap load of chilli but omit the ginger
2) 3 parts yellow plums to 1 part onion, omit the chilli, but add a generous quantity of fresh and crystalized root ginger
3) 2 part red tomato to 1 part cooking apple and 1 part onion, omit the ginger, but keep the chilli, and swap granulated sugar for dark muscovado
4) 1 part pineapple, 1 part mango, 1 part cranberry, 1 part onion
5) 1 part green tomato, 1 part red pepper, 1 part cooking apple, 1 part onion

Happy chutneying!!!
 
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raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
1 tip, don't use an Aluminium saucepan, use either an Enamelled or Stainless Steel one.
 
Since we're only a month away from Christmas, and if you are a chutney enthusiast or perhaps looking for an idea for a homemade gift, may I present to you all...

Reynard's "Wang In Whatever You've Got" Chutney

This is based on a very old Marguerite Patten recipe for plum chutney, but I'll use whatever I've got to hand, whether it's a glut of apricots, beetroot acquired on yellow sticker, windfall apples or those last few green tomatoes that never seem to ripen. The beauty of this recipe is that you can be as creative as you want to be. The key to a good chutney is balancing the flavours between sweet, sharp and hot, sticking to the quantity of fruit & veg vs sugar, vinegar and salt, and cooking it slowly down to the right consistency.

2 lbs fruit & veg, after peeling, de-stoning, coring, chopping etc or grating in the case of root veg. A minimum of one quarter of this i.e. 8 oz should be onion.
4 oz dried fruit e.g. mixed dried fruit, candied peel, sultanas or raisins
Half a large head of garlic, roughly chopped
Thumb-sized (or more if wanted) piece of root ginger, cut into small slivers
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
2 large bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pint vinegar
12 oz granulated sugar

Put the prepared fruit & veg in a large pan, along with the dried fruit, garlic, ginger, mustard seed, chilli, bay leaves and salt. Pour over the vinegar and cook gently until the fruit etc is soft, stirring every now and again. When the fruit is cooked, add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Turn up the heat a little, and get the mixture to a medium simmer. Stir occasionally to check nothing is catching on the bottom of the pan. When the chutney has reduced by about half, you will need to start to keep a closer eye on it. You may wish to check for seasoning at this stage, adding more chilli etc. The chutney is cooked to the right consistency when it looks a lot like jam, and if you drag a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan, you will leave a clear channel with no liquid in it.

Decant into clean jars and seal while still piping hot. (A jam funnel works a treat here to prevent messes.)

Some chutneys can be eaten more or less right away, others are better after being left to mature for a month or so - or even longer. The heat from the ginger and chilli will mellow with keeping, so there's no need to be shy if you like it fiery. You can also add other spices into the mix; star anise and cassia bark work pretty well, especially with stone fruit, but do fish out all the bits before decanting into jars.

Particular favourites here chez Casa Reynard are as follows:
1) 3 parts apricot and / or nectarine to 1 part onion, plus a heap load of chilli but omit the ginger
2) 3 parts yellow plums to 1 part onion, omit the chilli, but add a generous quantity of fresh and crystalized root ginger
3) 2 part red tomato to 1 part cooking apple and 1 part onion, omit the ginger, but keep the chilli, and swap granulated sugar for dark muscovado
4) 1 part pineapple, 1 part mango, 1 part cranberry, 1 part onion
5) 1 part green tomato, 1 part red pepper, 1 part cooking apple, 1 part onion

Happy chutneying!!!
Those are some nice flavour combinations, you have piqued my interest. I make peach and tamarind chutney in August to get rid of a peach glut, eating 200kg of peaches within one month is a tall order. I made some green tomato chutney this year and its nice but I made the mistake of not adding quite enough vinegar in the boil, the need to temper the sweetness with just the right tartness and get a good set is for the experienced.
The pectin alchemy you can learn by rote but stood in front of a stove and actually trying to get it to clot before the mixture starts to stick and catch, oh boy!
What savouries would you have a mango and pineapple chutney with?
 
OP
Reynard

Reynard

Guru
Those are some nice flavour combinations, you have piqued my interest. I make peach and tamarind chutney in August to get rid of a peach glut, eating 200kg of peaches within one month is a tall order. I made some green tomato chutney this year and its nice but I made the mistake of not adding quite enough vinegar in the boil, the need to temper the sweetness with just the right tartness and get a good set is for the experienced.
The pectin alchemy you can learn by rote but stood in front of a stove and actually trying to get it to clot before the mixture starts to stick and catch, oh boy!
What savouries would you have a mango and pineapple chutney with?
I've never used tamarind, let alone in a chutney. That's certainly one to try...

The mango, pineapple & cranberry works really well with pork pie, cream cheese, a nice ripe brie or camembert and cold cooked chicken.

P.S. You could try making peach butter - it's a good way of using up a LOT of fruit, as you cook it right down.
 
I've never used tamarind, let alone in a chutney. That's certainly one to try...

The mango, pineapple & cranberry works really well with pork pie, cream cheese, a nice ripe brie or camembert and cold cooked chicken.

P.S. You could try making peach butter - it's a good way of using up a LOT of fruit, as you cook it right down.
Peach butter, I learn something new in the world of eats every day! Condensing something right down is always good when you only have so much space. A good pork pie for the mango & pineapple, yes that sounds right up my street. Pork pie manufacture is on my list of importing the more indispensable parts of blighty, the French have some nice cuisine but a good pie is nowhere to be found.
 
OP
Reynard

Reynard

Guru
Peach butter, I learn something new in the world of eats every day! Condensing something right down is always good when you only have so much space. A good pork pie for the mango & pineapple, yes that sounds right up my street. Pork pie manufacture is on my list of importing the more indispensable parts of blighty, the French have some nice cuisine but a good pie is nowhere to be found.
I'm sure I spotted a recipe for pork pie in a cookbook the other night... :reading:

Fruit butters are easy to do - the technique (and finished texture) is the same as chutney. Peel, core, stone, chop etc your fruit, then weigh. Weigh out half the quantity of sugar. Put fruit in a pan with a little water to get it going, and then cook slowly until very tender. Add the sugar, stir till dissolved. Then just cook that down slowly till it reaches that same "clean channel at the bottom of the pot when you drag a wooden spoon through it" as you do with chutney.

Plum butter is the classic one - it's used a lot in German and Polish baking - but any orchard fruit can be preserved this way. The result is thicker and more tart than jam, but it's good on hot buttered toast as well as a filling for cakes.
 
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