Last week at the markets there was the first real flush of stone fruit available. Plums and nectarines were leading the charge so I got a carton of each. The nectarines, although small were full of fabulous flavor but with only a short shelf life so the plan was to cook them up or preserve them.
Pouring through the cookbooks I came across the following Nectarine Chutney recipe. The ginger and spices won me over so last night I cooked it all up with the help of my daughter Maggie who did a lot of the chopping.
When all the ingredients went into the pan, the mixture had a real Christmas look – all red and green. And that is why I had to get this recipe out as it is a great one to make as a Christmas gift (what I’ve done), particularly if you are lucky enough to have nectarines in season (which we do in Australia).
If you don’t have nectarines in season now, be sure to make this Nectarine Chutney when you do. The beauty of chutneys is they are so easy to make – throw everything in the pan, simmer away until nice and thick, then bottle it up.
Chutneys are great served with curries and meats. My Mum loves them on crackers with cheese. However you eat chutney, enjoy!
2kg nectarines, chopped
1 medium green capsicum, chopped
2 ½ cups white vinegar
4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup chopped dates
¼ cup chopped glace ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir over heat to dissolve the sugar without boiling. Bring to the boil, simmer uncovered stirring occasionally until mixture is thick (it took about 3 hours for me).
Pour chutney into hot sterilized jars (see note) and seal.
Makes about 6 cups.
The Klutzy Cook Notes
To sterilize the jars select a suitable number of jars (makes about 6 cups). Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water then rinse well in hot water and drain. Put the jars into a low oven (100C-120C/210F-250F) for 30 minutes. Remove the jars a few minutes before use so that they are still warm when bottling the jam.