This is an ideal accompaniment to cold meats, cheeses and pies. It is well spiced and sugared, giving a lovely balance, particularly when spread on hard cheeses like Cheddar, in for example a Ploughman’s Lunch. It is also equally at home as a chutney for a Christmas cold platter. If you like you could replace half the plums with peaches, bringing in a new dimension and texture – these jars of Sweet Plum Chutney make excellent gifts.
Spiced Plum Chutney Recipe
Makes about 3kg of chutney
- 1kg of ripe cooking plums, chopped up small
- 500g cooking apples (Brambly) peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 500g onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 250g sultanas
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 5cm long piece of fresh root ginger – peeled and chopped fine or grated
- 600ml white wine vinegar
- 500g natural brown sugar (Demerara)
- 1 cinnamon stick, crushed and broken
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 tsp of mild curry powder
- 2 bay leaves, dried
- 2 tsp sea salt
Sterilize the storage jars:
Use dry, sterilized jam pots to store your chilli jam in. Always sterilize all the jam jars and lids etc, run them through a dishwasher on a hot rinse setting, or wash, rinse and then put them in the oven for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Be careful if using rubber seals etc., do them separately. Sterilized storage equipment means you can keep your jam for well over six months when made.
Make the spice blend:
In a pestle and mortar (or a spice grinder) add the crushed and broken cinnamon stick, the whole cloves, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, garam masala powder, curry powder, dried bay leaves and sea salt – grind these spices into an even and fine powder – then toast the spice powder in a dry medium hot frying pan for a minute.
Make the chutney:
Note: try to chop up the apple and onion quite small and roughly to the same size and the ginger and garlic very small or grated. This helps make a nice texture to the chutney, which should not be too ‘chunky’.
Clean, de-stalk and roughly chop the plums small and place them in a large, tall preserving pan (or a large tall saucepan with a thick and heavy base). Add the finely chopped apples, onions, crushed garlic and finely chopped or grated ginger. Pour over the white wine vinegar and stir in the ground and toasted spice blend.
Bring the ingredients in the preserving pan slowly up to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the fruit is tender and pulpy. After 20 minutes stir in the sugar to dissolve and then add the sultanas.
Continue to simmer the chutney for a further 40 minutes, stirring occasionally as it thickens and the moisture evaporates. It should reach the consistency of a thick jam. Simmer for a shorter or longer time if needed, to get the right chutney thickness and texture.
Transfer the chutney to warm, sterilized jars. To pot the chutney: it is best to use a wide-necked jam funnel to transfer the chutney into the sterilized jars. Use a long-handled teaspoon (or similar) to press and poke the chutney right down into the pots to exclude any trapped air pockets. Press wax discs on the surface of the chutney before sealing the jar. Wipe the jars immediately, then label them when they are cold.
To Store: store in a cool, dark place and leave to mature for at least 1 month. The chutney will keep unopened for up to 1 year. Once the jars have been opened, store them in the refrigerator.