Country chutney

Yield: 1 Batch

Measure Ingredient
1¼ pounds Parsnips
1 pounds Apples (3 md.) peeled, cored and sliced
½ pounds Onions (2 md., abt. 1 cup) peeled and chopped
½ pounds Ripe tomatoes (2 md.) peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
½ teaspoon Dried cracked ginger or
1 1" piece dried whole ginger
1 teaspoon Mustard seed
2¼ cup Cider vinegar
1 cup Dark brown sugar; packed
1 cup Dried currants (4 oz.) lightly packed
½ cup Pitted dates (4 oz.) finely cut
¼ cup Crystallized ginger; packed finely diced (abt. 2 oz.)
1 teaspoon Table salt
1 large Pinch cayenne

The author writes: "This relish is based on a prize-winning English recipe of more than a generation ago. It is less sweet than traditional chutneys; most of its sweetness comes not from sugar, but from apples, dates, and parsnips. I generally use Winesap apples but any well-flavored, crisp eating apple will do." Cook unpeeled parsnips 30 to 40 minutes in boiling water, to cover, in a saucepan or skillet wide enough to permit them to lie flat. They should be soft enough to mash. When the parsnips can be pierced easily with a fork, drain and cover with cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel and mash.

Simmer the apple slices with ½ cup water in a covered 1½-quart saucepan for 12 to 15 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. Do not drain.

Place the mashed parsnips and apples in a wide 4-quart saucepan. Add onions and tomatoes; tie ginger and mustard seed loosely in a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth or place in a metal tea ball and add to the pan, along with vinegar. Bring to boil over medium heat and simmer slowly 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour more, or until thick. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. The chutney will darken considerably. Remove from heat and spoon at once into hot, sterilized half-pint or pint jars; seal. Store at least 1 month before opening.

Yield: About 7 cups.

From _The Pleasures of Preserving and Pickling_ by Jeanne Lesem. New York: Random House, 1982. Pp. 146-147. ISBN 0-394-75311-4. Posted by Cathy Harned.

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