Autumn is the most vibrant season of the year with the full spectrum of orange, browns, yellows and reds shining out from the hedgerows and fields.
It’s also the time of year most associated with harvesting and preserving and I can’t help but wish those glorious reds (or even a hint of yellow or orange) had extended into my polytunnel and were now the main colour of my tomatoes! Instead, around two-thirds of this years tomato crop are still green. Healthy but definitely green, which has left me once again trawling through the recipe books so as not to waste the harvest. October is also the month for picking red chilli peppers and Bramley cooking apples, making this a deliciously seasonal chutney.
When we blog recipes we often worry that we’re not crediting them correctly but given that I’m rubbish at following them and usually end up adding ingredients or leaving some out, making up recipes can come quite naturally as a result. On this occasion it appears to have worked as initial tasting is quite sumptuous (and most chutney recipes are based on a similar variety of ingredients anyway). The chutney is quite sweet yet because of the additional chilli peppers, leaves a fiery aftertaste (depending upon how many you add). The flavours can only improve over the next few weeks as they are allowed to blend.
The quantity given will make around nine jars of various sizes (I have a lot of green tomatoes!) so halve or quarter it to your own needs.
1.6kg green tomatoes, diced
400g Bramley cooking applies, diced
600g red or white onions or scallions, diced
1-3 red chilli peppers to taste
4 cloves garlic
500ml cider vinegar
2.5cm piece root ginger, finely chopped or grated
400 g soft brown sugar
Add all the ingredients to a large stainless steel saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for around an hour or two or until liquid has a firmer consistency and isn’t as runny and the ingredients resemble a chunky chutney.
Empty into freshly sterilised jars and seal whilst the ingredients are hot. Leave for around three weeks to allow the flavours to blend and settle before serving.
Chutney makes a delicious accompaniment to cheese and freshly baked bread.