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I love chutney. It has so many possibilities with it’s tangy sweetness. I serve it with pork, on little cheese toasts like those pictured below, and occasionally just eat it plain. This chutney is canned in a hot water bath. The idea is that I will give jars away as Christmas gifts, assuming they make it that long.


Pear Chutney with Dried Cherries and Ginger (from Food in Jars)

  • 3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped roughly
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • 4 cups roughly chopped pears (4-5 medium pears)
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Place dried cherries in a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup and pour boiling water over top. Set aside.

Heat a large, non-reactive pot or skillet over medium heat. Add oil and heat until it shimmers. Add onion and sea salt and cook until the onion softened and develops a bit of color. Add ginger, mustard seeds and cardamom and cook until spices are fragrant and the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add vinegar and brand to pan and use a wooden spoon to work up any bits of fond on the bottom of the pan. Add dried cherries and their liquid. Add chopped pears and sugar and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, put a lid on the pan and let pears simmer gently for 30-35 minutes so that they soften.

When the pears can be crushed with the back of a wooden spoon, remove the lid from the pot. Increase the heat to high and cook quickly, stirring regularly, to help reduce any remaining liquid. When chutney is no longer at all watery and looks deeply colored, take a taste. Makes adjustments as needed.

When chutney is fully cooked down and tastes good to you, ladle it into three prepared half pint jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. When time is up, remove jars from canning pot and let them cool on a folded kitchen towel. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten within a week. Sealed jars can be kept in the pantry for up to one year. Makes 3 half pints.