Blackberry Chutney – Christmas Promise in a Jar
Blackberry chutney time is here and looking at a row of jars on the shelf there is so much Christmas promise in those jars.
On my allotment this year we have been blessed with an abundant harvest of wild blackberries. Although these berries grow wild on the allotment we do tend them, cutting them back at the end of the season and keeping them neat and tidy. The results are masses of beautiful, fragrant and purple jewels just asking to be picked and turned into wonderful creations.
My blogger friend Manjiri came to visit and we popped up to the allotment to pick some blackberries then home to my house to turn these purple jewels into Blackberry Chutney.
My granddaughter, Little Miss, was visiting for a couple of days and wanted to help pick. Looking at her in this picture she reminds me so much of myself at her age (9 years old). She was so into picking that even the little thorns biting her fingers didn’t stop her!
Chutney is a really easy way to preserve fruit and vegetables for those darker winter months, perfect with cheeses and cold meats often leftover after Christmas. The combination of sugar, vinegar and heat create a thick mixture to pour into sterilised bottles best left for about 3 months to mature.
As always I like to get all my ingredients prepared and equipment ready. Manjiri had the job of chopping the two red chillies to go into the pot.
Once I had all of the ingredients in the pot I added the apple cider vinegar and off we went!
The mixture will get a beautiful colour and to start it will be quite wet but as it gently bubbles away for about 25 minutes you will notice it start to thicken and reduce in quantity. When there it little wetness and it is clearly sticky you can turn off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes while you take the jars out of the oven and also let them cool for a few minutes.
Once you have cooled everything down for 2-5 minutes you pour it into the jars and seal with the cellophane jam jar covers and let cool completely. As it cools the cellophane will tighten creating an air tight seal. In the USA they don’t have the jam pot covers we have here so they would use a water bath in the oven to create their air tight seal.
An easy recipe for blackberry chutney to make now that will be ready just in time for Christmas.
- 700 grams blackberries
- 700 grams apples (peeled and chopped)
- 300 grams golden castor sugar
- 1 Tbsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 Tbsp black onion seeds
- 2-3 whole chillies (de-seeded and finely chopped)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
- 1 small piece ginger root (peeled, sliced and finely chopped)
- 300 ml apple cider vinegar
Put all of the ingredients into your preserving pan or large pot/pan
Bring to a boil slowly
Reduce the heat until the mixture is just bubbling nicely
Continue to simmer, stirring frequently until the mixture has softened and thickened
When the chutney has thickened take it off the healt and allow to cool for 2-5 minutes
Put the chutney into sterilised jars
Cover the chutney with the small waxed circles in the pack of jam pot covers, waxy side down
Slightly dampen the clear cellophane covers, cover the jars and secure with the rubber bands included
As the mixture cools the cellophane will tighten and create an airtight seal.
When completely cooled clean off any chutney that has spilled down the side of the glass jar and label
Store for at least three months to allow the chutney flavours to develop fully
Yields 7-8 1lb jars