It's a brilliant way to use up unripe tomatoes if the weather (like this year) hasn't been great for them. I picked 5kg of green tomatoes from my allotment as they were starting to get blight then made two batches of this stuff. Some will be saved for Christmas presents and some will get eaten over the year.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 2.5kg green tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 0.5kg onions, finely sliced
- 4 tsp / 30g salt
- 1L malt vinegar
- 0.5kg soft light brown sugar
- 250g sultanas, roughly chopped
- 3 tsp / 20g ground pepper
- Preserving pan or other large lidless pan. I prefer a 10 L stainless stock pot.
- 7 - 10 jars with lids
- Food wrap / cling film
- Sticky labels
- I find a jam funnel really useful. Especially for larger bits of tomato.
Approximate cost: 2.5 GBP per batch (if you grew the tomatoes).
Step 2: Prepare
This will draw out lots of the tomato juices and help enhance the flavours. This step can be skipped if you don't want to leave it overnight, just reduce the salt by half.
I thoroughly recommend doing this step as it will reduce the time you need to cook your chutney for. Much of the cooking time is just reducing the liquid down so it's a thick enough consistency for chutney.
Step 3: Heat the vinegar, add the sugar.
Place the litre of vinegar into a large pan. Add the 500g of light brown soft sugar and stir over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil.
Step 4: Sultanas
Step 5: Drain and add the tomatoes and onions
Add to the chutney and stir in well. Add the 3 teaspoons / 15g white pepper.
Bring to a gentle boil.
Step 6: Cooking time
All you're doing for the next 1 - 2 hours is stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat if they start to boil too vigorously.
You might as well get your jars ready now!
Step 7: Preparing your jars
Place them in an oven preheated to 140 degrees Celcius (280 Fahrenheit).
This will dry and sterilise them.
Step 8: Is it ready yet???
Remove your sterilised jars from the oven and place on newspaper. At this point I realised I didn't have any newspaper so I used chopping boards. Regardless, make sure you have something covering your work surfaces to make it easier to clean up, bottling the chutney will make a fair bit of mess.
Holding the hot jars in an oven mitt in one hand, spoon the chutney into the jars with the other. When full give them a quick tap on the bottom against the work surface to knock out any air bubbles then fill the next jar.
When all your jars are full place a double layer of cling film or food wrap across the top of each jar and then trim around it. As the chutney cools the air below the wrap will contract, sucking the cling film down against the surface, protecting it further from mould. You can see the concave shape of the wrap in the pictures.
Step 9: Labelling and topping off
Once cool, add the lids and stick on the labels. You can start eating the chutney right away, or leave it to mature for one or two weeks. I couldn't wait so had some warm with cheese and biscuits. Mmmmmm.
The finished chutney, if preserved well, should keep for six months or more. Last week I opened a jar my gran gave me the previous Christmas (9 months) and it was still fine.