Pumpkin Chutney
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    Makes about 2 x 250g jars
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Making chutney is easy, it does require preparation and the cooking requires attention. It’s not fun if the chutney burn and for that reason stirring and attention is important. I like making chutney and you can almost turn fruit or vegetable into a chutney.

The pumpkin can be replaced with butternut squash, choose a firm and dense fleshed pumpkin for this recipe, you do not want pumpkins that contains a lot of water.

I use this base recipe for the foundation of most of my chutneys. As with jams I prefer making chutneys in small batches, this retains a good colour and a fresher taste, if you have too much in a pan then you have to cook it for longer and this in my opinion kills the taste and colour.

Ingredients & Method

  • 1 quartered onion
  • 2 deseeded large fresh red chillies
  • 50g peeled fresh root ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml cider vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 toasted and crushed green cardamom pods
  • 1 star anise
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 200g diced pumpkin or butternut squash flesh
  • 50g golden sultanas
  • 1 peeled, cored and diced cooking apple (180–200g unprepared weight – you need about 150g prepared apple flesh)
  • 2 skinned and diced plum tomatoes

Put the onion, chillies, ginger and garlic into a food processor and blend together until minced and combined.

Transfer the minced mixture to a large, heavy-based saucepan, then add sugar, vinegar, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, star anise and sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and cook over a gentle heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat, then cook, uncovered, for about 8 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and thickened to a syrup.

Add the pumpkin, sultanas, apple and diced plum tomatoes and bring the mixture back to the boil, stirring occasionally. Cook the mixture, uncovered, over a medium heat for 18–20 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to a thick consistency, and no excess liquid remains, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, then spoon the chutney into hot, sterilised jars. Cover with vinegar-proof lids and seal.

Leave to cool, then label and store in a cool, dry cupboard. Store for at least 1 week before using to allow the flavours to develop.

The unopened jars of chutney should keep well for up to 3 months. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 week.

Serve this chutney with roast venison or pork (serve the meat hot or cold), or serve it in a sandwich with cold roast pork or pulled venison shoulder. Alternatively, try serving the chutney with cheese or smoked salmon.

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