Plum and onion chutney

Making chutney is simple and not expensive.

The plums were from foraging yesterday

I added them to a little water and boiled until tender. Then I asked hubby to find the stones ( well he is the one that will eat it over the months so if he didn’t want the stones in his lunch then he needed to remove them now) which he did spooning the soft plums onto a plate and using a pair of dinner forks. Took him 10 minutes.

I chopped up and softened three large onions in some oil

Then I collected together a few things that would go well with these two main ingredients.

Brown sugar, garlic purée (fresh garlic would have been better but I didn’t have any) black pepper, chilly salt and malted vinegar.

Amounts that you used don’t matter much. Chutney is a matter of taste and your chief taster should be asked mid cooking if it tastes okay.

I put about 400grams of sugar, a teaspoon of garlic purée, a teaspoon of chilly salt and the same of pepper. Then a glug of vinegar, not as much as I would normally use because the plums are sharp and the onions are quite strong.

Then I simmer for about 60-90 minutes or until the mixture has reduced and the temperature is just over 100c (use a sugar thermometer) . It turns a rich brown colour.

I also prepare jars with lids that I’ve collected over the years. Jars are free with purchases yet a lot of money bought new.

These will be filled with boiling water to warm, (the water is collected for watering the garden after use.)

I use a cloth under the jars to stop the glass from getting a shock and breaking from the heat. Always prepare more jars than you think you’ll need.

Ladle the chutney into the jars, place the lids on while really hot. This is so you get a good seal as they cool. Be careful to protect your hands because the jars will be very hot.

Cover the jars in a tea towel to slow the cooling and shock to the glass jars. Leave for about 12 hours before wiping clean and putting on a label with a date.

These should be stored for about a month before eating to allow the flavours to marry. The chutney should keep for 12 months in a cool dark cupboard, refrigerate after opening.

What it cost. . .

Spice’s a couple of pence, plums free, onions 37pence. Cooking costs less than 40pence ( I watched our smart meter) washing up added to a dishwasher load, full load costs about 10pence.

That’s less than £1 for five jars that in the shops would cost about £1.70 per jar and the house smells divine and we know exactly what is in each jar, only the things we put in and a lot of fun to make together.

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