Introduction: Awesome Autumnal Pear & Walnut Chutney

Picture of Awesome Autumnal Pear & Walnut Chutney

Together with my children, we collect vast amounts of fruit and nuts from public spaces every year. This healthy habit eventually turned into a community project, named the Urbane Forager but that is another story. This instructable is about how to make "Awesome Autumnal Pear & Walnut Chutney".

Recipes are not owned by anyone, they are passed down by Mothers, others and now of course, the internet. This is a seasonal favourite of mine and I make it every year at this time, as soon as we have harvested some pears and walnuts. It is totally tasty in cheese sandwiches and also makes delightful Christmas presents.

Fortunately, I frequently have the willing help of my children when harvesting the fruit and it is advisable to also employ child labour when making the chutney too; there is a whole lot of weighing, pealing, chopping and stirring to be done. Plus, of course, food sourcing and processing is a valuable life skill.

Watch out for sharp knives, boiling hot jars and lava-like bubbling chutney.

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

2.4 Kg. Pears

450g Cooking Apples

800g Sugar

900ml Cider Vinegar

450g Onions

240g Walnuts, Chopped

2 Orange

550g Sultanas

3 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

N.B. These quantities will fill about 12 standard jam jars. You can play around with the quantities to make the amount you require. We recycle resealable jam jars and find them very useful.

Step 2: Method

Picture of Method
Initial Prep.
1. Peel and core the pears and apples. Cut them and the onions into small chunks.
2. Put the fruit and the vinegar together into a large preserving pan and stir. Slowly bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer gently for 30 - 40 mins, stirring it occasionally to prevent any sticking.
3. Don't forget to shell the walnuts, if you have gathered them yourself.

Meanwhile...

Thinly grate the zest off the outside of the orange and set this aside.

Place the sultanas in a bowl and the squeeze all the juice of the orange over the sultanas and leave to soak.

Chop the walnuts, make them fairly fine but still a bit chunky, depending on how you want to use the chutney.

Gently toast the chopped walnuts in a non-stick pan over a low heat, until they become slightly paler.

About this time you need to sterilise your jars (and lids), I do this by putting them in the oven at 100 degrees Centigrade, on a cooking tray covered in newspaper, in a shallow bath of boiling water for half an hour.

4. After the fruit and vinegar has reduced, add the sugar, sultanas, orange juice, and zest into the preserving pan and heat gently while stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

5. Finally, add the toasted walnuts and the cinnamon to the chutney.

6. Simmer gently for a further 30 - 40 mins stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

7. Spoon the chutney into pre-sterilised jars, seal and store in a cool dark place.

It is always good practice to label and date your jars before storing them - needless to say, children make the very best labels!

Step 3: Store and Consume

Picture of Store and Consume

This delicious chutney should be properly ready in about a month or so and should keep for a year.

It will make a uniquely zesty, home-made, Xmas gift and will undoubtedly add a little spice to your food during the Winter months.

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Bio: Keeping things simple can sometime seem complicated but it is always worth the effort and you can build new skills along the way.
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