From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...While I don't do a lot of canning and preserving these days, I haven't quite retired from the game. We are fortunate to have friends who garden and share their fruit and produce with those of us who no longer have orchards or vegetable gardens of our own. I received a veritable wind fall of early peaches and small tomatoes yesterday, so I spent most of my day making chutney. I had hoped to make and freeze peach pies, but these early peaches lack the robust flavor of those that come later in the season, so it behooved me to use them in another way. Chutney seemed the most logical choice. I serve chutney as a meat accompaniment, but also use it as an appetizer spread. As a matter of fact, the Silver Fox is now snacking on lightly toasted English muffins that have been schmeared with cream cheese and topped with my peach chutney. Not half bad! However you chose to use it, I think you'll find this chutney to be a nicely balanced mix of tart and sweet, and it is simple to make. The chutney will keep for a week if covered and refrigerated, but it should be brought to room temperature for serving. Here's the recipe for those of you who are inspired or just have extra peaches that must be used.
Early Peach Chutney...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Michael Lomonaco
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large sweet red pepper, seeded, diced 1/4 inch, about 1/2 cup
1 small white onion, peeled and diced, about 1/2 cup
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced, 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup white raisins
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 pounds firm, fresh peaches, blanched to remove the skin, pit removed, sliced into wedges
1) Place vinegar and both sugars into a non-reactive pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
2) Add red pepper, onion, jalapeño, raisins, garlic, ginger, salt and simmer 10 minutes.
3) Add peach segments and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes. If peaches are still firm allow to cook several minutes more. If you would like thicker syrup you may also cook for a minute or two to reduce liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool in pot for 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature. Transfer all excess to a clean container and refrigerate, covered, for up to one week. Yield: 2-1/2 cups.
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