Over the Christmas period I bought a pack of fresh cranberries to do *something* with. I wasn’t sure what, and then I saw a recipe for Pear and Cranberry Chutney by Lotte Duncan on the Food Network UK channel and thought I’d give that a try!
The chutney goes great with cheese and cold meats and is best served slightly warmed.
I’ve never made chutney before so this was a new experience entirely!
The recipe says to store the chutney in a lidded plastic container and in the fridge for up to ten days, so this isn’t a long lasting chutney…but it didn’t last long anyway and was eaten well within 10 days! I didn’t use a plastic container…I wanted to use the jam jars I’d been saving for a while :D
I knew I should sterilise the jars, so after a bit of internet research, I found that I needed to clean them with hot water and then place into an oven at 180C (no higher for risk of breaking the glass jars) for 20 minutes. So that’s what I did. There are lots of ways to sterilise jars for preserves, chutneys etc but this is how I did it.
Pear & Cranberry Chutney Ingredients
- 50g butter
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 450g pears, peeled, cored and diced
- 175g seedless sultanas
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 5tbsp dark brown sugar
- 225g cranberries
- Grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
- 4tbsp port
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
I started by getting everything prepped as directed in the ingredients list.
Chopping the red onion…
Peeling, coring and chopping the pears…
Zesting and juicing the orange…(I still can’t find my juicer!)
Weighing out the cranberries, sultanas and sugar…
I also measured out the vinegars and port and placed in a bowl to add to the mix later on.
The prep time for this says 1/4 hour on the original recipe, with a further 25 minutes to cook.
I placed the butter in a saucepan and melted down before cooking the onions gently over a low heat for five minutes until soft.
Then the pears and sultanas went in and cooked for a further ten minutes.
Now for all the seasonings! First I popped in the mixed spice…
…then the vinegars and port…
…then the orange zest and juice…
…next was the dark brown sugar…
…and finally I added the cranberries…
I gave everything a good stir and cooked for another ten minutes or so.
A seasoning of salt and black pepper and then I had a little taste – it’s hard when you don’t know what something is supposed to taste like when a recipe says “add more sugar or vinegar to your own taste” but if you try some and it makes you pucker your lips and wince, add some more sugar, if it tastes too sweet, add some more vinegar!
Using a big spoon, I placed the hot chutney into the hot jars (never add cold things to hot jars and vice versa as they may crack) and was ever so proud of my first chutney making experience! I was able to fill up 3 regular sized jam jars with my chutney.
I allowed it to cool down before putting in the fridge and when we wanted to use it, took out the required amount and warmed it in a pan on the stove top.
Of course, you could give this out as a gift, but make sure you make it at the last minute so that they get the most out of it! And let them know how to store it and for how long.
It really is delicious and I hope you give it a try too! I know I’m glad I did :)