Looking for an unusual way to preserve fresh peaches? Turn them into piquant chutney!
Every June, when I thin the backyard Red Haven peach tree, I feel like I am stripping away all the potential peaches and the harvest will no doubt be slim.
Every late July-early August, when the Red Haven peaches all ripen at basically the same time, I wonder, “what was I thinking? Why did I leave so many peaches on the tree!”
Mother Nature has an interesting sense of humor.
But a prolific harvest means creatively preserving all those peaches; because my thrifty Yankee upbringing won’t let me waste a single peach. So, for almost two weeks, I have been making jam and preserves, and freezing lots of peaches. I am not a peach pie kind of gal, and it’s been a few years since I made chutney, so the time was ripe – haha sorry, bad pun.
What is Chutney?
Chutney is basically a type of relish/pickle. We tend to consider chutney an Indian staple, but according to Larousse Gastronomique, chutney is actually a British specialty. Chutney usually includes some sort of fruit – we tend to think of mango chutney as the basic version – mixed with spices, sugar, vinegar, and sometimes vegetables too.
Much like other pickled foods, chutney brightens a meal, adding interest and flavor. I especially like to eat chutney with bean dishes.
NOTE: Your batch may not be as dark as the photo above. I used muscovado sugar, a dark colored raw sugar. Regular light brown sugar will result in a lighter colored chutney. Still good!
- 1 large sweet onion
- 1 cup yellow raisins
- 8 cups peeled, chopped peaches
- 2 Tablespoons mustard seed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed, red pepper flakes
- 1 cup chopped, crystallized ginger
- 1 teaspoon pickling salt
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- Dice or finely chop onion and raisins – a food processor or chopper works best.
- Mix all ingredients together in a large cooking pot or Dutch oven.
- Bring just to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or until mixture is slightly thickened.
- Pack into clean, pint canning jars; leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe jar lids, cover with two-piece lids, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- Remove from canner and let sit overnight before removing lid rings and storing.
- Makes about 5 pints.