Several hours later, after a trip to The Farmer's Daughter, where we had picked apricots in the past, we had about 25 pounds of fruit, mainly Blenheim apricots, but a few peaches and nectarines mixed in as well.
Wisely this time, we decided to leave the canning to the next day. That break gave us a chance to ponder recipes and buy necessary ingredients. As you can see way below, it also gave us the energy needed for a busy day: two types of apricot chutney, apricot syrup and bourboned apricots. 30 jars in all!
The recipe below is one that we have made several times.
A couple of notes:
- This chutney makes a lot of what I have decided to call chutney juice. Even though you do reduce, at the end of an hour's reduction time, we still had enough extra to can several jars. I plan on using them to cook pork. If you prefer, you can continue to reduce further, but an hour was long enough for me.
- You do really want to keep your jars warm in the oven while this reduction is going on.
- The first time we made this chutney we were very disappointed in the sharp and vinegary taste. I put it on my canning shelves and left it for about 6 months. When I finally opened it, I loved it. So if possible, plan on letting this jars rest for at least a month if not longer.
|First the chopped onions|
|Next the sliced apricots|
|Ready to remove the apricots for the syrup reduction|
From Sensational Preserves by Hilaire Walden
6 3/4 pounds ripe apricots, halved and pitted
2 cups raisins
3 onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
3 teaspoons coriander, crushed
3 3/4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
6 tablespoons sea salt
4 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3 3/4 cups white wine vinegar
Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Raise the heat and boil, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are completely soft but not disintegrating.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to your jars. Keep warm, in a low oven.
Boil the remaining liquid in the pan until it becomes a thick syrup. We have done this numerous times and each time it surprises me how long this will take. Once thickened, and we waited an hour, ladle into your warm-apricot filled jars. Finger seal the jars and boil in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Store for at least one month, (longer is better) before eating.
Yield: 10 1/2 pint jars chutney plus 3 pint jars of what I am calling chutney juice.
As I mentioned we had a few other projects going as well. The results: