Christmas Chutneys!

Christmas jams and chutneys! Exciting stuff. I spent 4 hours today perfecting my chilli jam and red onion chutney to put in hampers for Christmas. Even though it’s really quite time consuming, chutneys and jams make lovely presents and are perfect for when you’re on a budget!

I managed to pick up some lovely Kilner jars for £1.99 each from Dunelm, and I got all the fruit/veg from my local market so each jar cost less that £3 to make. When they’re chilled I’ll use some scraps of gingham fabric and ribbon to top them off!

It’s important to remember to steralise your jars before you put the jam/chutney in. I do it by popping them in the oven at about 180c whilst I’m cooking but you can also boil them up or even put them in the dishwasher. The dishwasher might seem like the easiest option but the jars must still be warm when you decant the jam/chutney. If you’re not careful when steralising then all your hard work will go to waste as the contents will go off pretty quickly. Make sure you steralise all utensils too!

Here are the recipes- definitely worth a try if you’ve got the patience!
  • 6-8 red onions
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar 
Thinly slice the red onions and sauté in olive oil for about 10 minutes. It’s important not to let the onions get brown. This shouldn’t happen if you keep them on a low heat and stir frequently.
When they start to soften add the caster sugar and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the red wine vinegar and balsamic and bring to the boil for a few minutes.

Turn the heat down and leave to simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced and the onions become sticky.

Take off the heat and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.

Put in sterilised jars and leave to cool completely before putting into the fridge to keep.

Red onion chutney gets better with age so make it now ready for Christmas! Once opened it should last 3 months if refrigerated.
And the chilli jam recipe. This one is slightly adapted from the BBC Good Food website. You’ll need a food processor or a blender for this one.
  • 8 red peppers
  • 10 red chillis
  • Large piece fresh root ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 750g caster sugar
  • 250ml red wine vinegar
Deseed and roughly chop the red peppers. Peel and roughly chop the root ginger and garlic cloves. Chop up the chillis (keep the seeds!). 
Add the peppers, ginger, garlic and chilli to a food processor or blender and whiz up until the mixture is pureed.

Put the puree in a large pan and add the tomatoes, sugar and red wine vinegar.

Bring to the boil and remove any ‘scum’ (for want of a better word) that rises to the surface.
Take down the heat and leave to simmer for about an hour stirring occasionally. 
When the mixture has become sticky simmer for a further 15 minutes, stirring frequently. 
Take off the heat and leave to cool for about 10 minutes before decanting into steralised jars.  
Leave to cool completely before putting in the fridge. It should keep for about 3 months if kept refrigerated once opened.

So that’s that! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Merry Christmas!! xxx

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