As promised here is a second installment to my Christmas themed entries. Today is a recipe of an old classic but with my own personalised packaging, much like my Chocolate Truffle Gift Jars post which were also presented in recycled baby food jars. A perfect little gift of…
Charlton Christmas Chutney
(Incase you didn’t know already, my surname is Charlton, hence the name of the post).
I will admit that I am a novice chutney maker so I have cheated slightly by getting some inspiration from various books. But then again, I don’t believe you can be completely unique when it comes to this kind of chutney as its so simple and to be Christmassy you have to stick to traditional spicing. I do think I’ve played around enough with flavours to brand the family name!
The recipe fills about 8 x 250ml baby jars or 4 x Ikea’s smallest rubber sealed jars.
Make sure that the jars and lids are thoroughly cleaned in hot soapy water, rinsed and left to dry in a oven of 150c for at least 15 mins. Making sure that they do not touch in the oven. As this is a hot recipe you need your jars to be hot from the oven to stop the glass shattering. So have your jars in the oven 15 mins before you chutney is finished. Also, if you can have a small extra jar for any extra chutney you make as it will be too late to sterilise anything when you begin to transfer things.
**I wasn’t quite sure about putting the rubber bands from the Ikea jars in the oven, so I washed these in soapy water and then left them in a bowl of boiling water for 5 mins**
For the chutney:
- 800g of cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 500g fresh cranberries
- 250g pitted dates, chopped in three
- 2 satsumas/clementines
- 400g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 250ml white wine vinegar
- 250ml cider vinegar
- 1 tsp table salt
- Wax paper for sealing
You can mix you the recipe as much as you want depending on what you have in the house. I made two batches and one had plums in it that I needed to use up, it also didn’t have the cayenne pepper as my father in law is allergic. So make sure to think about that sort of thing when giving any food as a gift!
I didn’t have a large enough pot for this recipe so I split mine into two. So to begin with I combined my apples, onion, cranberries, dates, sugar, spices, vinegar and salt into a bowl and gave it a thorough stir. Take your 2 satsumas and zest them over your bowl. Cut in half, squeeze in the juices and then scrape the pulp in also. Give everything another stir and than transfer into your two large pans, or one if you have it!
Bring to a boil and then turn down to the a very low heat and leave for about a hour, stirring occasionally to check it doesn’t stick to the bottom. It’s done when the fruit is no longer recognisable.
Carefully take your jars out of the oven and fill with your chutney. Seal with a piece of wax paper and leave for 1 minute then seal your lid on too. And thats your chutney done! Happy to sit unopened for 1 year!
Now for my little bit of crafting!
Before anything else, I painted my small jar lids with specialist metal and glass paint in a shimmer teal colour to cover up any old text from the baby food.
I’ve decided to make some personalised labels and Christmas Pom poms to go on my jars to make my gifts look that bit more special than supermarket conserves. You can find printable labels in lots of places online, especiallyPinterest. I’ve done a combination of bought paper and printed labels. There are so many beautiful papers out there at this time of year, with colours that you’d never get with printing. Mine is from Paperchase and has a vivid magenta, violet and gold pattern.
Depending on the size of my lid, I cut a circle of the special paper to cover top of the lid and then a smaller printed circle with my chutney name to stick on top. If you want to keep things simple though, the paper on its own looked great with the teal edge of the lid.
Then for my finishing touch, my teeny tiny pompoms! The easiest cutest thing you will ever make. They can then be reused by the recipient as a Christmas tree decoration. So hopefully a little part of you will be around long after the chutney is gobble up. Aw!
You will need.
- Some wool that compliments your label.
- Ribbon that’s contrasts or matches your wool.
- Small scissors
- A fork
- Crimping scissors for you ribbon (optional)
Take your wool and wrap and over lap it approximately 20 times around the centre of your fork prong. Cut a length of ribbon, long enough to wrap around your small jar or shorter to dangle from you large one. Thread you ribbon through the centre prong of your fork and tie the ribbon as tight as possible into a double knot. Slip the wool off the fork and snip down the tow edges to get your fluffy Pompom.
Enjoy with a cheese platter or as we have been doing in our house, with a teatime cheese toasty! Yum!