Eat well - travel often

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.

The following recipe resulted in seven jars of blackberry chutney which if left alone until Christmas will mature into an awesome, smooth and tasty chutney perfect for that huge piece of Christmas Stilton cheese!
Blackberry Chutney – full of Christmas promise:-
Put all of the following ingredients into your preserving pan or other large pot/pan.
700 gm blackberries
700 gm apples (peeled and finely chopped)
300 gm golden castor sugar
1 Tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 Tablespoon black onion seeds
2-3 chillies (de-seeded and finely chopped)
2-3 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
Small piece of ginger root (peeled, sliced and finely chopped)
300 ml apple cider vinegar
* bring to a boil slowly then 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 of the heat and allow to cool for 2-5 minutes before pouring to into sterilised jars.
* cover with the smaller circles in the pack of jam pot covers waxy side down.
* Slightly dampen the clear cellophane covers and put the rubber bands around the top.
*As the mixture cools the cellophane will tighten and create an air tight seal and as the mixture cools it will thicken.
*when completely cooled, clean off any that has spilled down the side of the glass and label.
*store for three months to allow the chutney to thicken.
What is your favourite chutney, please leave a comment below.  If you try this recipe please let me know how it goes.
All opinions and photos are my own.  No photos may be reproduced in any form without my written permission.

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