Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cherry Day 2012: Chutney

Along with our brandied, bourboned or ryed cherries, for the past three years we have also made cherry chutney. We have experimented with different recipes, but in the end, came back to a slightly modified version of the "Simply Delicious Cherry Chutney" from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

Cherry Chutney (Slightly modified)
Makes ~eight 8 ounce jars

4 1/2 tsp whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick, broken
10 cups Brooks and Rainier cherries, pitted
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped sweet white onion
1 cup white vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup raisins

Put allspice and cinnamon stick in cheesecloth to create a spice bag.
In a large non-reactive saucepan, combine cherries, apples, onions, vinegar, garlic, salt and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes. 
Add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve.
Add raisins, return to a boil, continuing to stir frequently for 20 minutes.
Remove  the saucepan from the heat and discard the spice bag. 
Ladle the chutney into jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

And now the key: like all chutneys, this becomes much better with time. The Ball book recommends 2-3 weeks. I would advise 2-3 months. The first time we made this we were disappointed with the taste prior to sealing the jars as the vinegar overpowered the other flavors. The jars ended up languishing on our shelves, for about 6 months. Finally, we opened one and to our surprise it was a huge hit. 
So. . .wait if you can. 

Rainier and mini sour cherries waiting for thei


  1. What do you eat it with? I've been looking for Raniers that don't cost me a small fortune out East here with little success :(

    1. Pork-from tenderloin to belly to chops! It also works well with cheese for a cheese and chutney sandwich. And, it is much less glamorous, but I like it a lot with cottage cheese.