Spiced Pear Chutney Preserves
Before we moved to the ranch I was a nanny/babysitter/
Whenever I babysat, I was amazed by her cookbook collection and pantry full of preserves. In fact, I started preserving things after seeing all of her bounty. I was in college, making jelly, and dreaming of chickens and a garden of my own.
The first time I ever ate chutney was from her kitchen. She gave a jar to me as a gift, and I wasn't quite sure what to think of chutney, aka raisins soaked in vinegar, because I had never eaten it before. When I finally gave it a try, I knew why it was a gift. It was sooooo good.
Chutney's are now a favorite of mine, and I enjoy them often. Paired with a block of cream cheese, you've got a great appetizer. On top of a hot dog? Gourmet-dog. Cooked with chicken in a crockpot for 8 hours? Melt in your mouth yumminess (a weekly go-to dinner for us).
My MIL sent home a few bags of pears from her orchard. I had lots of ideas for these pears, but I was walking a fine line on the over-ripeness and actual time available to complete my ideas scale
I skimmed the internet for some inspiration and found a great version from Hip Chick Digs. I made a few tweaks to the recipe, and I have to say, it turned out wonderfully.
This makes a great edible gift, and an even better Wednesday night dinner. I like to mix two cups of chicken broth, two chicken breasts, and a jar of this spiced pear chutney together in a crockpot and serve it with rice.
Spiced pear chutney
- 4 quarts (20-25) pe
ars, peeled, cored, and diced - pear with me now... ;)
- 3.5 cups brown sugar
- 1.5 cups golden raisins
- 1-2 lemons, seeded and sliced very thinly
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups vinegar (white or cider work, 5%)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Step 2: Cook on medium heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the liquid evaporates, you will need to keep a closer eye on the mixture.
Step 3: Once the mixture has reduced by half, turn the heat to medium high, stirring as needed, let the mixture reduce until it is about 1/3 its original volume, about 45 more minutes.
Step 4: While the chutney is cooking, prepare a water bath for canning, sanitize jars (boil for about 10 minutes), and prep lids.
Step 5: Once the chutney is ready, remove the cinnamon sticks and ladle into the sanitized jars, leaving 1/4" head-space. Place lids on the jars, and spin rings on until finger tight.
Step 6: Place filled jars in the boiling water bath, and process for 10 minutes (adjusting as needed for altitude).
Step 7: Once finished, remove from the water bath and store in a cool and dark room until needed.
While I do list the steps to preserve the chutney, please remember that this recipe has not been scientifically tested. I suggest cooling to room temperature and refrigerating until use (up to 3 weeks).