In July and August, all the stone fruits begin to ripen - there is an abundance of plums, apricots & peaches. Sometimes the sheer amount can be over whelming and, in any case, what cook doesn't want to take advantage of these fruits while they are at their best? Here is a recipe I have been making for so many years I had to look up where it came from!
This recipe comes from "California Culinary Cuisine"
a collection of thin little books I bought when I was quite young; they were at the bottom of in a bin at a hardware store that is no longer in business. I remember buying them quite well, I could only afford one a week and would return to the store anxiously hoping they weren't all gone yet. I think they were about $5. I've been using them for about 35 years now. What an investment!
Spiced Stone Fruit Chutney
White Baslsamic Vinegar
Apricots, Plums or Pluots
Cherries (pitted and halved)
Black Peppercorns (crushed)
Organic Orange (for zest)
Let’s Get Started!
Blanch & peel the peaches, then pit & slice thickly all the large stone fruits, halve the cherries. Crush or grind the peppercorns. Strip off 4 strips of zest from the orange, each about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long
In a large nonreactive saucepan, stir together the vinegar and sugar. Add all the fruit to the pan and stir to coat with the vinegar-sugar mixture. Place the cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns and anise seeds on a square of cheesecloth. Tie the corners together with kitchen string and add to the pan along with the orange zest and cinnamon sticks. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and almost jamlike, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Discard the cloth bag and cinnamon sticks.
This can be refrigerated and kept for a month at least. I like to make it ahead for festive dinners. Great with duck, turkey, ham or roast pork! I have also served it over icecream, or with cream as a dessert. In my opinion, this refrigerated chutney preserves the fresh taste of the fruit best.
Alternatively, If You Like Canning:
Have ready 7 hot, clean half-pint jars and their lids. Ladle the hot chutney into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust the headspace, if necessary. Wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with the lids.
Process the jars in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If a seal has failed, store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Makes 7 half-pint jars.
Non-reactive means does not react to citric acid. Stainless steel is fine, enamel coated pans too, also glass. No aluminum, no uncoated copper.