The sweet and tart flavours of plums marry perfectly with the heady spice combination of ginger, cloves and allspice to produce this distinctive chutney. Allspice is the dried berry of the Jamaican pepper tree and it’s used extensively in pickling solutions and in its powdered form in preserves and baking. Often referred to as pimento, it is readily available in the herb and spice section of supermarkets.I used our home grown Santa Rosa plums which produced an intense purple coloured chutney.
Other varieties can be used with equally good results with the only real difference being in the final colour of the chutney. Chutney recipes will sometimes use brown sugar and or malt vinegar. This will also produce a dark brown coloured chutney. My preference is to capture the vibrant fresh fruit colour in the chutney, Serve as an accompaniment to ham, pork, turkey or duck or as part of a Ploughman’s Lunch platter.
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Quantity: 6 x 220 ml jars
I kg firm ripe plums (pitted weight)
225 g apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
I medium - large onion finely chopped
225 g sultanas
225 g white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground allspice
20 g peeled and grated fresh ginger
600 ml red wine or apple cider vinegar
Sterilise sealable glass jars and lids
- Mix plums, apples, onion and sugar in bowl. Keep the sultanas aside as they will be added later.
- Place the salt and spices in a large pot with the vinegar and bring slowly to the boil over low heat.
- Add the fruit and sugar mixture stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer steadily until the apple and onion are almost cooked.
- Add the sultans and continue to simmer until the mixture is thick. Stir as often as required to prevent the chutney form catching on the bottom of the pot and burning.
- To test if it is the correct consistency makes a channel across the surface of the chutney with a wooden spoon. If the impression lasts for a few seconds and does not fill up with vinegar, it is cooked.
- Remove the pot from the heat
- Use a funnel to pour into dry sterilised screw cap sealable bottles. Fill to approximately 2.5 cm (I inch) from the top of the bottle and seal.
- Cover jars with fresh clean tea towel until the chutney is completely cold.
- Seal, label and store in a cool dark place in the kitchen or pantry.
- Allow the chutney mature for at least 2 weeks, preferably 4 weeks before eating.
- For the best results use firm ripe fruit that it not too soft or that has been bruised.
- Most chutney recipes will have a larger quantity of sultanas and add them at the beginning of the cooking process. I find the prolonged cooking breaks down the sultanas which gives the chutney a darker brown colouring. I prefer to keep the bright fruit colour with the occasional plump sultana dispersed throughout the chutney.
- Chutney recipes will sometimes use brown sugar and or malt vinegar. This will also produce a dark brown coloured chutney. My preference is to capture the vibrant fresh fruit colour in the chutney,
- The chutney will settle in the jar as it cools.
- Red wine vinegar will add red tones to the chutney and produce a deeper more opulent plum colour.