Introduction: Pumpkin Chutney
Winter squash is abundant right now and makes a perfect base for chutneys as well as the more traditionally recognized pies, soups and casseroles. This chutney is a great way to use pumpkin or other winter squash as it can be served hot or cold, as a relish with meats, or as a topping for brie by itself or en croute, and once completed, it can be canned for later use. There is a fair bit of prep time needed to peel and chop the pumpkin and the other fruits and vegetables, but the actual cooking is straight forward.
Step 1: Ingredients
The accompanying image shows the most common ingredients in Pumpkin Chutneys published on the Web. I omitted some of these added Craisins and Molasses which I did not see in any other recipes I found.
- 3.5 lb pie pumpkin or other winter squash
- 1 lb tart apples (about 3 Apples)
- 3 cup malt vinegar (or half and half Malt vinegar and apple cider vinegar)
- 2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tblsp molasses
- 24 dates (about 15 oz)
- 1 sweet onion
- 2 cup crasins
- 2 3” sticks cinnamon
- 8 med cloves garlic
- 3 tblsp ginger mashed
- 2 fresh chili’s
- bunch cilantro
- 6 allspice mashed
- 8 cardamom pods mashed
- 6 oz almond, slivered or broken into small pieces
- At large heavy soup or stew pot
- 12 twelve oz Canning jars or enough jars of another size to hold a total of 18 cups
Step 2: Processing the Pumpkin - Cleaning Out the Innards
This is probably the most time consuming and involved step as the pumpkin needs to be cleaned out and the skin needs to be removed.
Cut the pumpkin in half and using a spoon or scraper, scrape out the seeds and strings. The seeds can be set aside for roasting and the strings should be discarded.
Step 3: Processing the Pumpkin - Removing the Skin
To remove the skin will require softening the squash but you don't want to really cook it before adding it to the chutney.
Slice the pumpkin along its grooves to make a series of wedges
Microwave on high for 4 min
if the squash is still too hard to peel away from the skin with a paring knife, nuke it for an additional 2-3 minutes. Don't nuke it to the point of making it soft though.
Once the skin is peeled away dice into 1/2" pieces.
(Pumpkin prepared this way can be packaged and frozen for later use or can be refrigerated for 1-2 days before continuing on)
Step 4: Prepare the Onion
Coarsely chop the Onion
Step 5: Prepare the Dates
Remove the pit and cap from the dates and coarsely chop
Step 6: Into the Pot
I like apple skin so I leave it on, but some would also skin the apples at this time.
Slice each quarter apple into thin wedges and half these, and put in the pot along with:
- The Pumpkin cubes,
- The apple slices,
- the chopped dates,
- the chopped onion,
- the cinnamon sticks,
- The vinegar
- The brown sugar
- The molasses
- and the craisin`s
Step 7: Cooking the Chutney
After about 30 minutes of simmering, the pumpkin, apples, and onion will have softened and lost volume while the dates and craisins will plump up a bit. Over all the volume in the pot will come down about 25%.
At this point fine chop or grind together the garlic, ginger, and hot peppers and mix that into the pot.
Step 8: Adding the Dried Spices
With a mortar and pestle mash the cardamom pods and allspice berries and add those to the pot.
Continue cooking with the pot covered for another 5-10 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue to simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed stirring frequently so the chutney at the bottom of the pot does not burn; This will take about another 10 minutes or so.
If the chutney seems too dry, a little bit of water can be added to the pot to provide a touch of liquid.
Step 9: Prepare the Cilantro
Rinse the cilantro well to remove any sand and coarsely chop it. Mix this into the chutney just before turning off the flame.
Step 10: Preparing the Almonds
Almonds can be bought already slivered of diced, but they are easy enough to break into bits and will be fresher if broken up at the time you want to use them.
To break them up, place the whole almonds into a sturdy bag, and pound with a meat or crab mallet
Toast the almond pieces in a 400 degree oven for 5 or so minutes until brown (check frequently as they can easily burn) and add these immediately to the Chutney as it comes off the flame
Step 11: Fill Sterile Jars & Process
• Fill jars to about 1/8-inch of the top and screw on covers tightly
• Place in boiling bath 10 min and cool
Once cooled, the caps should be concave.