Monday, October 5, 2009

Peach Apricot Cherry Raisin Chutney


It's the end of peach season and giant peaches can be had for a song around these parts.  When I was a girl, I spent my summers in a one stoplight town with my grandparents.  There was never much money or space, but that house was full of love & good cooking.  Long before Alice Waters, and the yuppie quest for exotic fare, my grandma, Yan (short for Virginia Ann), knew how to stretch a dollar and load up on all that was local, fresh, in season, and turn it into some kind of wonderful. 

My grandfather was an artist and friends and customers sometimes traded goods for art.  I remember when 2 lugs of fresh peaches arrived at the house.    My grandmother woke me at 6 AM and taught me how to can. For days, we canned peach parts & peach jams, then she introduced me to peach chutney. Sweet, hot, spicy, chunky.

I plan on making some East Indian inspired crock pot fare next week, so I thought I'd tweak a few things and make me some crock pot chutney while thinking about Yan.  Because of the acid and sugar, this chutney should live for about 3 months, covered,  in the fridge without needing to be canned.

Winner, Loser or Meh

This is fabulous!  So good it is fit for a Ballywood slumdog millionaire - rich, hot, chunky, sweet & sour chutney.

Recipe

Use a medium crock pot for this recipe. My medium crock pot is an old one, so it doesn't run as hot as newer models.  Adjust cooking times if you use a newer and/or larger crock pot for this recipe.

See Tips: Peeling Peaches before starting.

Ingredients
  • 6  large under ripe peaches, softball sized, peeled, pitted chopped into large chunks to yield 2 1/2 lbs
  • 1 3/4 cups dried apricots, chopped, yield after chopping (each apricot cut into 6-8 pieces)
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar, (I use Braggs)
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 2 tsp powdered coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
Place everything except the last 2 ingredients into the crock pot. Cook on high for 7 1/2 hours, uncover, add cherries and raisins and cook down until it is like thick jam, about 1 hour.

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