making christmas chutney

November 30, 2009 at 1:08 pm 8 comments

The inclusion of Gluhwein in Matron’s Spiced Christmas Chutney sounded wonderfully festive.   Seeing that the recipe would also lighten my apple load and use up a pumpkin my mind was made up (although using a whole pumpkin was overly optimistic – 1lb of flesh doesn’t leave much of a mark on a pumpkin the size of a basket ball!).  I began using some of Henley’s small bright orange pumpkin but found it really hard to cut without nearly losing my fingers.  The skin on my Jack o’Lantern pumpkins wasn’t nearly as tough but the flesh was much paler, more like marrow that pumpkin.  I roasted the remainder of both varieties of pumpkin while making this chutney and the difference in taste and texture was quite marked.  Henley’s pumpkin was really dense and soft like a sweet potato while mine was less so and didn’t dissolve.  I preferred the taste of Henley’s so I’ve saved some seeds for next year.  To make Spiced Christmas Chutney
4lbs cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1lb pumpkin cut into half inch cubes
1lb red onion, chopped
3oz grated root ginger
10oz brown sugar
rind and juice of an orange
4oz dried cranberries
4oz dried mixed fruit
1/2 pint gluhwein (mulled wine)
3/4 pint spiced vinegar
(prepared in advance by infusing malt vinegar with your favourite christmas spices –  cinnamon , clove, nutmeg, star anise etc)

  • Put all the ingredients, except the sugar, in a large saucepan and simmer for at least 30 minutes.  The amount of liquid in this recipe seems small but once the apples start to soften the chutney becomes more runny.
  • Add the sugar and continue to simmer until the mixture has reduced.   The degree to which the pumpkin dissolves depends on what variety you use.  Spoon into sterilised jars when it’s reached desired consistency (note:  this chutney is not as brown as recipes that use darker vegetables/fruit)
  • This recipe makes a vast amount of chutney so you may wish to halve it if you don’t have lots of appreciative friends to gift it to.  I filled nine 500g honey jars. 
  • I must admit I’m feeling quite chuffed that my Christmas preparations are so advanced and leisurely this year.  Pressies for little ones in Australia, Bolivia and Germany are ready to be posted.  The garden is starting to slumber for winter and it’s that time of year when cold wet weekends just shout ‘curl up with a book’.

    Which I am going to do as of tomorrow night when I start reading ‘The Christmas Mystery‘ by Jostein Gaarder, author of Sophie’s World.  Since enjoying it for the first time in 1998 I’ve been wanting to re-read it in December because each chapter is numbered like an advent calendar leading up to the last chapter: ”the twenty fourth of December”.  If you fancy reading along with me there are plenty of second hand copies and reader reviews on Amazon.  Limiting myself to one chapter per night will be a challenge!

Entry filed under: in the kitchen. Tags: , .

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann  |  November 30, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    More fab chutney Nic, your store cupboard will be groaning!

    What a lovely idea to have a book that leads up to Christmas, sounds like we’ll be getting some very cold weather, so we might get snow, just right for curling up with a good book as you say.

    Reply
  • 2. Peggy  |  November 30, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    The chutney even looks festive! I like the idea of an advent book too although I could not imagine just reading one chapter a night but it would be a good book to take to bed I usually get about a chapter read before my eyes start drooping.

    Reply
  • 3. mangocheeks  |  November 30, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I am surprised your cupboard hasn’t collapsed

    : )

    Reply
  • 4. miss m  |  December 2, 2009 at 1:09 am

    You sure are on top of things, Nic. Are you always so organized ?
    Your chutney looks lovely !

    Reply
  • 5. Nip it in the bud  |  December 2, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Ann – just as well G is a master up putting up strong load bearing shelves! Snow outside and a cat on the lap reading a book inside? I could manage that ;o)

    Peggy – you’re right but having not read a book at bedtime for ages it was perfect last night. My eyes wouldn’t have lasted more than the few pages of day one.

    MC – all my chutneys were too much of a challenge for my cupboard so they’ve remained where they are on shelves in the cellar. They brighten up the place at least

    Miss M – sometimes. It’s easy to be organised about the things you enjoy doing. And I definitely have a chutney addiction!

    Reply
  • 6. a tasteful garden  |  December 3, 2009 at 12:35 am

    your chutney looks spectacular! i’ve been saving one Lumina pumpkin, my last one from the garden, and this sounds like a lovely recipe to try with it.
    thanks so much for stopping by my blog by the way 🙂 — allison

    Reply
  • 7. Johanna  |  December 17, 2009 at 1:26 am

    gluhwein in chutney sounds fantastic – yet another reason to make gluhwein – I was chopping pumpkin when on holiday in Edinburgh and I really missed my good chef’s knife for it – it will challenge any knife – and that book sounds interesting – I have read sophie’s world but not hear of the christmas mystery

    Reply
  • 8. Benefits Of Organic Farming  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Benefits Of Organic Farming

    making christmas chutney | Nip it in the bud

    Reply

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