This recipe is remarkably simple to make. Once you prep your ingredients, it all goes into the preserving pan at the same time, and happily cooks away, without needing too much supervision. Chutneys can easily be made spicy, but even the non-spicy version is packed with so many complex flavors you'll wonder why you didn't make chutney sooner!
--> Please chop ingredients by hand. If you use a food processor, the ingredients will probably end up too small, which results in a finished product that resembles an unappealing mush. You want to be able to recognize the ingredients in your chutney.
Makes ~8 half pints
- 4 pounds fresh pears, ripe or slightly green
- 1 onion, chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced OR 1/3 cup bottled lemon juice
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 heaping TBS mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons (sea) salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- IF you want it SPICY....add between 1 teaspoon and 1 TBS red chili flakes.
> Before filling your canning jars they need to be heated so they don’t break during processing. Place jars in a pan with enough water to cover the tops of them. Bring the water to a simmer on your stove top, and keep jars in the gently simmering water until they are ready to be used. Remove the jars from the hot water, one at a time, as you are ready to fill them. Add more water occasionally, if needed.
1. Place vinegar in a large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pan. (In other words, don't use an aluminum, copper, or cast iron pan when cooking with lemon juice &/or vinegar.)
2. Peel pears, although it isn't neccessary, then remove stem ends & cores, then chop. Add pears to the vinegar in the preserving pan as you chop them, to prevent oxidation.
3. Add remaining ingredients to pear/vinegar mixture and stir well.
4. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about one hour. You want it to simmer constantly.
5. Once desired thickness has been achieved, remove the preserving pan from the heat then spoon mixture immediately into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2" headspace if you plan to process & seal them in jars, or 1" headspace if you plan to freeze them instead.
6. Look for any air bubbles in the jars and if you see any, use a chopstick or plastic knife to pop them, then wipe rims of jars spotlessly clean.
7. At this point you can cover jars with tight-fitting lids and either:
a.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
b.) Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
c.) Process the jars to create a shelf-stable preserve that won't need refrigeration by following these steps:
8. Wipe rims clean, place lids atop jars, then screw on bands until they're finger-tight.
9. Process for 15 minutes in a Boiling Water Bath, then remove jars with a jar-lifter and place on a towel on the counter. Let rest for 24 hours, then check for proper seal before storing.
10. If jars lids seal, store them in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Helpful tip: Check lids for a proper seal by pressing the middle of the lid with a finger or thumb. If the lid stays down, it is sealed and will easily keep for up to one year in a cool dark place. If the lid springs up when you release your finger, the lid is unsealed. Place unsealed jars in your refrigerator and eat within 3 months, or within one month after opening.