Hello food lovers! Here is a chutney which is a perfect partnership of sweet dates and tart plums. It is unusual in that is preserved with balsamic vinegar. Fear not about the cost! The Pound Shop sell it for – no! – a pound and the chutney will taste just as good.
2 onions, finely chopped
4 apples, chopped
300g chopped dates
4 kg plums, washed, chopped and stoned
4 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
6 star anise
500ml balsamic vinegar
500g soft brown sugar
- Slowly saute the onion until translucent. Add the spices and cook for about half a minute, stirring gently, just enough to allow them to be incorporated.
- Add the apples and dates, stir well, then put in the sugar, plums, and balsamic vinegar. Stir gingerly, but well.
- Bring the chutney to the boil. Simmer for two hours, stirring now and then, until the mixture is thickened but not runny. About three quarters of an hour before the mixture is ready, put the oven on Gas Mark 2/150C/300F, then wash some jars in very hot soapy water. Rinse and dry well, then put them on a baking sheet. Add this to the preheated oven. This will give them enough time to sterilise.
- When the mixture is done, take out the trays jars with oven gloves, then carefully spoon in the chutney (both need to be hot or the glass will crack) and put on the lids. If it is easier, you can tighten them properly when the glass has cooled.
- Wait for at least a month before trying the chutney; the flavours need time to mature.
- Enjoy with salads, curries, ploughman’s or buddha bowls. A jar of homemade chutney also makes a lovely gift!
If you’re lucky, you may find a plum tree and save a lot of money. But if not, this will cost around £12.68, if you get the apples and sugar from Aldi and the rest from ASDA, excepting the balsamic vinegar from The Pound Shop. However, if you know anyone with a plum tree you’ll save £7.50! I have factored in the cost of the spices, so if you have any at home you’ll be up on the deal.