Chutneys were for a long time a bit of a mystery to me. That is until I was given some by a friend and realized to my delight that just like ketchup, it goes well on top of pretty much everything. I feel like in some ways a chutney is a hybrid between ketchup and jam—it has a strong sweet fruitiness to it, but also a nice tangy bite. Add to that some wonderful spices and it becomes its own unique food.
Lately we’ve been putting chutney on our burgers, sandwiches, crackers, or just putting it on the table where people can decide to do with it whatever pleases them.
I wanted to use up a few of the pears from our tree as well as the leftover peaches from our canning session a few days prior. The recipe is loosely based on a few others but one unique feature is the use of the peach and pear peels to add color and pectin to the chutney.
The peels are normally just discarded so this gave throwing them in to boil with the vinegar and lemon juice gave them a good use. The skins of peaches are often saved and used for making peach jelly (or honey as it’s sometimes called), while pear skins contain good amounts of pectin.
I was especially pleased with just how much color the peach peels added, turning the finished product a deep pink as opposed to a more yellow color that would have likely been the result without them.
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 2 cups pears, peeled, cored and diced, peels reserved
- 4 peaches, halved, and pitted
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 medium onion, diced
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 1 tsp. grated fresh gingerroot or 2 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- 3-5 star anise (one per jar)
- Bring the vinegar and lemon juice to a boil in a small pot. Add the halved peaches a few at a time and boil for 30 seconds. Remove them and allow them to cool while boiling the next few peaches. When the peaches have cooled remove their skins and add them to the boiling vinegar and lemon juice. Add the pear peels as well. Cook the peels at a low simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the skinned peaches and diced onions to a second pot and cook over low heat with the lid on. When the peaches have softened use a masher or fork to crush the peaches. Add the sugar and diced pears and bring to a boil. Use a strainer to remove the peels and pour the vinegar and lemon juice into the fruit and sugar mixture. Add all the spices except the star anise. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30-45 minutes until thickened.
- Prepare canning jars and lids. Fill hot jars with the chutney adding one star anise to the side of each jar so that it is visible. Fill to ½ inch from the top of the jar, clean the rim, then attach the lids.
- Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.