I will forever look back at June 2010 as the Month of the Cherries. First there was a revival of a favorite cherry tart recipe, then roasted cherries and cherry vinegar. Now, as a final ode to this favorite fruit, I offer Cherry Chutney. Amazing stuff, this. Read on for the recipe!
This scrumptious cherry chutney offers all the things we love about chutney. It's sweet, sour, gloppy stuff that goes well with roasted or grilled meats like pork and chicken. It's also good as a ketchup substitute for things like a grilled cheese sandwich or spicy brat. This particular recipe doesn't call for any heat, but next time I think I'll try adding a 1/2 seeded and deveined hot pepper like jalapeno and see what happens.
Like most chutneys, this comes together rather easily, with only the onion and candied ginger to chop. If you don't have the whole spices on hand, you can just add a pinch each of ground versions or a heathy pinch or two of 5-spice powder.
makes one cup
1 cup pitted cherries
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup raisins or currants
2 tablespoons minced candied ginger
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (yellow will do, too)
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
a few grates of whole nutmeg
pinch of salt
Combine everything in sauce pan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue to simmer until mixture is thick and gloppy. This may only take a minute or two. Remove from heat and fish out cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and whole cloves.
If not using right away: cool, spoon into a jar and refrigerate. It should keep for a week or two.
Recipe can be tripled (happy cherry pitting!) and puts up well. Just follow these instructions for basic canning principles.
(Images: Dana Velden)