Keeping homemade chutney in the pantry or fridge is like having a jar of flavour on hand. A good chutney is vinegary, slightly sweet, and subtly spiced. It should be cooked till it’s thick and coloured.
The simplicity of throwing everything in the pot, all at the one time, has me making this pear and date chutney time-and-time-again.
The possibilities are endless as to what you might serve this fruity pear and date chutney with. I love it with cheese – camembert, goats cheese, aged cheddar, basically any cheese, a strong blue is charming sweetened with a dollop of this chutney. Spread it on your favourite sandwich, smear it on fresh sourdough, eat it with double smoked ham. Last weekend, whilst on a yoga retreat, I served this pear and date chutney with chickpea and pumpkin fritters to the delight of all who ate them. There are no rules to what you can or can’t eat this sweet chutney with. I’d even be so bold as to say, have it with a spicy curry.
Pear and Date Chutney
1.5 kg firm green pears
200g dried dates
4 roma tomato, diced
2 tbsp mustard seeds
3 star anise
2 tsp fine salt
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
Dice pears and place in a large heavy based pot, add dates and the remaining ingredients. Stir and place on the heat. Bring to the boil, cook at a medium – low heat till chutney thickens and liquid evaporates – 50-60 minutes. Once chutney is cooked you can use a potato masher to slightly mash the pear, or leave as is for a chunkier version.
Spoon the hot chutney into sterilised jars. Seal the lid whilst chutney is still hot. Set aside to cool completely. Store in a dark cupboard for up to three months. Refrigerate after opening.