Pear, Apple and Date Chutney

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pear, apple and date chutney

I picked the rest of our pears, we have around 50 BIG pears.  They are hard but my kids like their pears extra crunchy.  But, my kids don’t reckon they can eat them all before they get too soft which would still be rock hard to everyone else.  So, I am cooking them up.  Last night at midnight, I decided to make some chutney, I finished around one a.m. which is why I mislabelled the jars (can you spot the deliberate mistake?)  I didn’t want to make too much as I’m working my way through a massive jar of plum chutney a friend gave me last Christmas.

When I was small, my granny kept our family supplied in “granny pickle.”  When she died, when I was 15, I was upset that there would be no more granny pickle.  My Mum reassured me that it was actually apple and raisin chutney and that she would make it for us – which she did, until she died, in 2012.  This is my first stab at chutney since then.  The pear tree is actually in my Mum’s old garden, right outside her kitchen window, and It makes me sad that the pears continue to live while she doesn’t – still, she would go mad if a single one of them was wasted!

So, first the pear crumble, now the chutney, and I have plans for pear/custard tarts and wine poached pears –  watch this space.

I used:

  • 2 chopped onions
  • 4 large pears, cored and chopped
  • about 20 dates chopped (you could about 3/4 cup raisins)
  • 12 fluid ounces vinegar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup apple sauce (or two large raw cooking apples, chopped)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar (very approximate)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

I threw everything (except the apple sauce) into a pot and simmered away until it was thick.  I wasn’t planning on using any apple; but, because it wasn’t thickening, I reckoned I hadn’t used enough pears, so I added some of the stewed apple I have sitting in my fridge.  The sugar, I added a bit at a time until it tasted right, so I’m just estimating the 3/4 cup.  The dates, which I chopped small, disintegrated a bit so if I was making this again, I would add them later in the cooking time.  I would say this took around an hour to make from start to finish.

So, If you are using pre-cooked apples, add them towards the end of the cooking with the chopped dates; but, if you are using raw apple, add them at the beginning with the pear.

Needless to say, it is delicious and I am looking forward to our next batch of sourdough bread (tomorrow) so I can have bread, cheese and chutney.  My kids hate the stuff though and came down from their rooms last night complaining about the awful eye watering smell.  I remember I used to complain when my Mum made chutney but at least I liked eating the stuff when it was made.

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