I am a chutney lover! Especially when it comes to lamb or venison and of course cheese. My all time favourite in spring is rhubarb chutney, but last year in summer I created a really good blackberry chutney (delicious with venison) from berries I collected on my way to work. The berries where growing so wild – they really attacked me on my bike! So it was only fair enough to take them home! This year I experimented with sour cherries and the result is also delicious.
So the time is now to fill our category “preservings” a little bit more!
All measurements are roughly. It really depends on your personal liking how spicy, sour or sweet you like the chutney. Just remember that you need to taste and season the chutney while/after cooking when it is hot but you´ll eat it when it is cold, so the chutney will be a little bit milder in the end. The cooking time depends completely on the liquid content of the fruits you use and the heat of your stove (somewhere between 20 minutes and three hours). And don´t leave the house while cooking a chutney, you should cast an eye on the simmering saucepan from time to time – chutneys tend to burn at the bottom. Last but not least: Wear an apron – sour cherries and blackberries can make a mess!! OK, enough chutney wisdoms, here comes the recipe!
Ingredients for the sour cherry chutney:
- 500 g sour cherries, pitted
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 chilli (red or orange), seeds removed
- 3 corns freshly ground all spice
- a pinch of black pepper
- 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
- 0,5 tsp fennel seeds
- 0,5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0,75 tsp salt
- 150 g brown sugar
- 120 ml vinegar (red whine or white wine)
- 1 stalk finely chopped rosemary needles
- 4 bay leaves
- lemon juice to taste
Puree the cherries with the onion and the chilli with a blender. By doing so you break down the cherry skins, so they cannot get caught up between your teeth. If you like your chutney more chunky simply chop everything finely.
Caramelise the sugar in a saucepan. Add the fruit puree and lower the heat (be careful with hot splatters!). Add all the other ingredients beside the chopped rosemary and simmer over low heat until the deserved consistency is almost reached.. Add the rosemary approx. 30 minutes before you think that the chutney will be ready. Taste. Add a little bit of lemon juice (if necessary).
Taste again. Is the mixture sweet, sour and spicy? Well balanced? Add what´s missing.
Remove the bay leaves before filling the chutney in sterilised twist off glasses.
Keep in the fridge up to ?!?….. I think my record in storing chutneys is now at approx. four years. I kept some in my parents fridge before we moved to Australia and my faithful parents kept them for me although I encouraged them to have a taste….in our kitchen they usually don´t survive that long!