- Prepare canning jars and lids.
- You will be reducing vinegar, open up the windows and make sure you have good ventilation.
- Add the chopped cherries and apples to a stainless steel or enameled stockpot.
- Tie the allspice and the cinnamon sticks into a cheesecloth bundle.
- Add the spice bundle, vinegar, onions, garlic and salt to the stockpot.
- On medium heat cook for about 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens.
- Stir the chutney occasionally.
- Just as the chutney begins to spit add the honey and stir to combine.
- Lower the heat and continue cooking at a simmer for 20 more minutes. Stir often.
- Do not let it boil hard and certainly don’t leave it. At this stage the chutney scorches easily.
- Add the raisins and bring back to simmer.
- Remove from heat.
- Remove the spice bag and fill the chutney into sterilized jars leaving 1/2-inch head space.
- Process or pour into sterilized jars and place in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
My cherries are still green, but it won’t take long before we can enjoy this year’s produce if the birds would leave us some. With a large garden and mature fruit trees we are keenly aware that changes are taking place. The last couple of years brought in some never seen species of bugs and birds. Some of the familiar wildlife that used to pass through from spring to late fall disappeared and we have been getting new ones; large flocks are coming through and sometimes eating up everything in sight. We had to replant several times. Ferocious birds would ransack our birdhouses and beat up on local species that have been nesting in the backyard for decades. The mosquitoes are deadly. There are too many storms and the breeze is a constant and we are getting brutal winds even on hot days. Climate change, it’s happening.
I thought it was high time I added the chutney recipe from last summer. It yielded three tiny jars of chutney and some, which we ate with cream of wheat and with cream cheese on crackers. If you use a food processor to chop the fruit, pulse only once or twice. It will be a bit messy, but you can always chop the fruit with a chef’s knife. The cherries and apples should be in chunks and not liquefied. Don’t put them in a blender. The raisins are added last. They will swell from the heat and don’t require cooking.
5 cups ripe, coarsely chopped cherries
1 apple cored, peeled and chopped
2 tsp whole allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
4 garlic clove, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
1 cups raisins
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