Country Chutney

Course : Chutney
Serves: 7 cups
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1 1/4 pound Parsnips
1 pound Apples (3 md.) -peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 pound Onions (2 md., abt. 1 cup) -peeled and chopped
1/2 pound Ripe tomatoes (2 md.) -peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Dried cracked ginger or 1 inch piece dried whole ginger
1 teaspoon Mustard seed
2 1/4 Cup Cider vinegar
1 Cup Dark brown sugar -- packed
1 Cup Dried currants (4 oz.) -- lightly packed
1/2 Cup Pitted dates (4 oz.)-- finely cut
1/4 Cup Crystallized ginger -- packed finely diced (abt. 2 oz.)
1 teaspoon Table salt
1 dash cayenne

Preparation / Directions:

The author writes: "This relish is based on a prize-winning English recipe of more than a generation ago. It is less sweet than traditional chutneys; most of its sweetness comes not from sugar, but from apples, dates, and parsnips. I generally use Winesap apples but any well-flavored, crisp eating apple will do." Cook unpeeled parsnips 30 to 40 minutes in boiling water, to cover, in a saucepan or skillet wide enough to permit them to lie flat. They should be soft enough to mash. When the parsnips can be pierced easily with a fork, drain and cover with cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel and mash. Simmer the apple slices with 1/2 cup water in a covered 1 1/2-quart saucepan for 12 to 15 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. Do not drain. Place the mashed parsnips and apples in a wide 4-quart saucepan. Add onions and tomatoes; tie ginger and mustard seed loosely in a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth or place in a metal tea ball and add to the pan, along with vinegar. Bring to boil over medium heat and simmer slowly 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour more, or until thick. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. The chutney will darken considerably. Remove from heat and spoon at once into hot, sterilized half-pint or pint jars; seal. Store at least 1 month before opening.

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