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Chutney


I added an exotic note to this classic chutney recipe by using tomatillos, a zesty south American fruit/veg which, with its paper lantern covering, looks like a giant Chinese gooseberry. It has a taste somewhere between a tomato and a grapefruit. Tomatillos grow well in a sunny garden and are starting to be available in specialist grocers and some supermarkets. You could substitute green (unripe) tomatoes.

1kg (2lb) marrow or overgrown courgettes, diced
1kg (2lb) tomatillos or green tomatoes, diced
500g (1lb) cooking apples, peeled and diced
500g (1lb) onions, peeled and diced
500g (1lb) sultanas
500g (1lb) light brown sugar
600ml (1pt) white wine vinegar
pinch of salt

For the spice bag
25g (1oz) dried ginger pieces
12 cloves
1 dessertspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

Put all the ingredients for the chutney in a large, heavy saucepan. Tie the spices in a muslin bag and add to the pan. Bring the chutney slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer gently for 2–3 hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally to ensure the chutney does not burn on the bottom of the pan. The chutney is ready when it is rich, thick and reduced, and a wooden spoon dragged through it parts it to reveal the bottom of the pan. Discard the spices.

Pot up the chutney while still warm (but not boiling hot) in jars with plastic-coated screwtop lids (essential to stop the vinegar interacting with the metal). Leave for at least 2 weeks (ideally 2 months) to mature before serving.

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