Pear Chutney (for canning)

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There are many wonderful cheeses in the UK, and nothing brings out the flavour of cheese on a cracker, like a lovely chutney on the side. We had a profusion of pears from our tree this year (only its second year in our garden) and this is what 6lbs of pears looks like when cooked to chutney level! There are eight (8) jars total, each ranging from 450 – 600 ml. Scroll down for recipe. Be forewarned that there is a lot of chopping and dicing involved with making this, so it isn’t a quick event!  When I make stuff like this I take everything into the living room and watch a favourite programme while I chop, peel and dice!

Pear Chutney

Pear Chutney

PEAR CHUTNEY RECIPE

  • 6 pounds ripe pears
  • 1 3/4 cups coarsely chopped red and or green bell or other sweet pepper**
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 1/3 cups sultana or other raisins
  • 2 2/3 cups chopped dried apricots
  • 1 2/3 cups chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Preparation

  • 1. Sterilise seven seven or eight 500 ml (about a pint) jars in boiling water
  • 2. Peel, core, and chop pears; you should have about 10 1/2 cups.
  • 3. In an 8- to 10-quart pan, combine pears, bell pepper, sugar, vinegar, raisins, apricots, red onion, ginger (optional), cinnamon, allspice, cloves, garlic salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-high and stir often until mixture is thick and reduced by 1/3, about an hour.
  • 4. Spoon (with sterilised spoon!) into sterilised jars. Leave a 1/2 inch at the top headroom. Make sure you wipe the top and sides of the rim with a clean wet sterilised cloth so that the lid will be able to seal properly.
  • 5. Put the lids on. Tighten but do not over tighten.
  • 6. At this point you SHOULD process in a hot water canner for 10 minutes*.
  • 7. Allow to cool overnight.
  • 8. In the morning, any jars with lids that have not sealed should be put in the fridge.

* I confess that I don’t do this step.  I sterilise all jars and equipment scrupulously beforehand and as it is a high acid recipe and I put it from the hot pan into hot jars, I never do the extra 10 minute boiling in the jars. BUT I am telling you that it is a necessary step according to the “experts”.
** I used sweet Italian friggitello peppers from my greenhouse.

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