Anyone who’s been following my blog for a while knows two things about me by now. One, I’m nearly incapable of following a recipe to a “T.” Two, in the last six months I’ve taken on something I never thought I’d do, and I’ve become a total canning convert!
You’ve probably also noticed that I like to put unusual and unexpected combinations of things together. No plain old strawberry jam for me! If I ever make strawberry jam, it’s going to have something funky in it–like tarragon or some such. To come up with these combos, I sometimes take inspiration from cookbook recipes and then tweak them to my liking, other times I come up with something on my own–like a recent batch of Peach Saffron Jam.
Today’s canning adventure was “inspired” by recipes I saw in Put ‘Em Up Fruit, The America’s Test Kitchen D.I.Y. Cookbook and The Complete Book of Home Preserving with a little Joy of Cooking thrown in for good measure! Since it’s tomato season, I wanted to try something with tomatoes because I’d seen various recipes for tomato jams and thought they sounded really interesting. Despite usually being used for savory sauces, tomatoes are a fruit, after all, so why not? Then I started seeing some tomato chutney recipes and thought they sounded good, but I didn’t quite like all the flavor combos they used or I thought they might be a bit too spicy for my taste–a lot of them called for chili peppers, jalapeños or banana peppers or whatever. I can’t take too much spice, so I wanted to avoid them being too spicy. So, based on my reading, I sat down and made a list of stuff I thought sounded like a good combo:
When I went to the Farmer’s Market I was looking for heirloom tomatoes. Instead I saw some nice looking yellow San Marzanos. I really like yellow tomatoes because of their sweetness so I thought they would be great for some sort of chutney combo. I’d also spied some purple peppers there the week before, so I decided to go for those rather than red peppers for their color and because yellow and purple go together nicely! When I went to the store to get my remaining ingredients, I decided to get golden raisins for consistency in color and to go, once again, for the agave nectar for a sweetener. I also picked up a jalapeño, which I thought I could use sparingly to just give it a bit of a kick!
Here’s what I came up with!
Yellow Tomato and Apple Chutney
2 lb. yellow tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 large onion, diced
2-3 apples, cored, peeled and diced
2 small purple peppers, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. golden raisins
1/2 jalapeño pepper, sliced thinly (seeds optional)
2/3 c. cider vinegar
1 c. agave nectar
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 star anise
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1) Combine all ingredients in non-reactive pot. Bring to boil.
2) Turn heat down to medium high/medium and simmer until combination has reached your desired thickness. About 30-45 minutes.
3) Turn off heat and let sit for five minutes.
4) Can per water bath canning instructions for your area and elevation.
This definitely had a bit of a kick to it when I tasted it. If you like things spicy you could add more jalapeño–if you prefer things with less heat, only use 1/4 of the pepper.