Making Chutney After All – Serviceberry Chutney Recipe

Okay, not that long ago, I was speculating that I probably wouldn’t be making a whole lot of chutneys this year, as they tend to hang around and not get used. However, I find myself wanting to make chutney after all – super-small batches (like: one cup only) that I can throw into the slow-cooker with a pork shoulder roast, or mix with diced bread or wild rice or nuts or something and then stuff into the cavity of a roasting duck or similar.
So I made a chutney today.

Serviceberry Chutney 2013
1.5 C fresh serviceberries
0.25 C finely diced cooking onion
0.5 C granulated sugar
0.25 C red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground ginger
0.5 tsp dried rosemary
pinch salt
1) Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan
2) Put a saucer in the freezer for later use in the “cold plate test”
3) Bring ingredients to a rolling boil and cook for 5+ minutes
4) While chutney is boiling, place a 1C jar (or two half-cup jars) in a boiling water/steam bath to sterilize
5) Test the “syrup” of the chutney by dribbling some on the cold plate (the one in the freezer). If you can smear a line through the dribbled syrup and have it not run back together, then your chutney is ready.
6) Pour the chutney into the sterlized jar, and cap (tightly, but not too tightly).
7) Turn jar upside down and process in a boiling water / steam bath for 5-10 minutes.
8) Allow to cool, right side up, on a wire rack. Listen for the “plunk” of the lid sealing. (If you don’t hear this, you will need to process the jar again OR keep the chutney in the fridge and use it up within about a month[1].
So that’s the chutney I made today.
I also made one tiny (half-cup) jar of red currant jam, plus I froze two cups of sour cherries and two cups (maybe a little more?) of red currants. I love how my freezer is filling up with fruit (that, incidentally, isn’t costing me a thing).
I keep seeing strawberies at the markets and the roadside stands and the grocery stores, and half of me wants to buy some… and the other half of me goes “But there’s all this free stuff lying around…” and so rather than buy strawberries, I pick another pint of serviceberries on my way home from buying veggies and eggs.
In my fridge right now: broccoli, snap peas, rainbow chard, rhubarb (which I did pay for, more fool me), one large slicing cucumber that really needs to be eaten[2] one and three-quarters yellow peppers, the better half of a butternut squash, half a bunch (the bottom half) of asparagus, the stem of a single hard-neck (I think) garlic bulb (the bulb is in my garlic basket – I’ll have to look up how to cure it, though this has probably been cured already), three potatoes and a bag of cooking onions.
Things to preserve this week:
Rhubarbicue sauce
Garlic-Dill cucumber pickles

Part of me would love to make a sour cherry salsa, even though I have yet to find a recipe for one that actually discusses water-bath canning as part of the process (they tend to say “best eaten the same day”, which makes me wonder…) and I’d love to get my hands on more currants[3] and more sour cherries for (a) freezing, (b) turning into jam, and/or (c) eating right away on short cake with vanilla ice cream. 😀 (A red currant fool wouldn’t be out of place, either).
Baby potatoes, the season’s first tiny carrots, radishes, and early baby green and golden zuccini, as well as snap beans, are starting to show up at the farmers’ markets. Shopping for groceries is quickly becoming less about figuring out how to make the same three ingredients interesting again and more about being sellective and not letting my eyes be bigger than my wallet – or our weekly food intake. 😉
My lovely wife tells me that Suntech (I think) has a “scratch-and-dent” bin (tomatoes sold in 20lb lots) at its farm – the sign says “try some health “junk” food” – and I’m thinking they might be the place to go for my sauce tomatoes. 😉 I foresee a weekend ride on the bike out to just south of Manotick with a 3-gallon bucket stuffed into the backpack and ready to be filled. 😉
Anyway. That’s it for this evening.
Enjoy the chutney, if you decide to make it. 🙂
Meliad the Birch Maiden. 🙂
[1] Strictly speaking, it will keep in the fridge for something like 3-6 months, but why have it just sitting there?
[2] I suspect I’ll be making a cucumber salad for tomorrow night’s dinner, but I could wind up doing something else.
[3] I find that red currants taste a little bit like pomegranate seeds – not the fruit part (pomegrates are much sweeter in that department), but the seeds themselves. Currant seeds and pomegranate seeds both have that bitter taste to them. When I made my red currant jam this afternoon, I added about half a teaspoon of pomegranate molasses to the mix, just for the heck of it, because I think the flavours will work well together. 🙂


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