Published October 24th, 2012
Spice Pear or Apple Chutney
(Yields approximately 5 pints)
This chutney can be used in many ways. I used it for chicken curry, but Penny Porter uses it in oatmeal, over yogurt or in muffins. She uses pippin or Fuji apples, or Bosc pears if using pears. I used a combination of Fuji and Honeycrisp.

10 large pears or apples*
1 1/2 star anise
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 whole Thai chili
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 orange, zest and juice (this is where I used lime zest and juice ... delicious and a bit more tart)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (add just five minutes before placing jars in the water bath)
* To prevent browning of fruit, make a solution of 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and one gallon cold water. Immerse cut fruit in this solution until ready to use.

1) Use a spice bag or make a bag with cheese cloth to put star anise, cinnamon stick, Thai chili and whole cloves.
2) Wash pears or apples, peel, core and cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces.
3) Wash orange, then zest and juice
4) Combine all ingredients in a large, nonreactive sauce pot. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, or until thick, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
5) Remove spice bag and add nuts. (I did not use the nuts, but will try next time)
6) Ladle hot chutney into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. (Fill one jar at a time, leaving the remaining jars in the hot water to keep them sterile and also this helps pull the vacuum for a good seal.)
7) Remove air bubbles by tapping bottom of filled jar on a cutting board covered with a folded towel to prevent cracking.
8) Wipe rims of jars with clean, damp towel and seal with new lids and rings. Twist rings until secure, but not too terribly tight.
9) Process for 20 minutes in a boiling water canner, or large pot. Be sure water is about 2 inches above the top of the lids.
10) Remove jars to a cooling rack, check seal, label and store in pantry.
11) Refrigerate after opening.
** Note: Porter suggests removing the metal rings before storing, leaving just the sealed lid on top. The rings can get rusty after being in the water bath, and it is easier to tell if you have any problems with your preserved food if you do not have the ring on it. She says this way the jars can better "talk to you" to tell you if there are any spoilage problems.

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Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA