As autumn (or fall) closes in on us (I am still in denial) the thing that always signals the end of the summer to me is giving up on the last of the tomatoes ripening. I cut down the tomatoes vines and collect the final tomatoes, which are usually green. This year it was a little later as the warm weather lasted longer than usual.
As I look at all the tomatoes that I have collected I always wonder what to do with them as they never seem to taste as nice as during the height of summer and my mind turns to chutney.
My mother used to make chutney in the microwave from a Margret Fulton book of microwave cooking – this saves the slaving over the hot stove stirring and stirring and makes chutney easily achievable. Chutney is usually easier than jam as you don’t have to worry as much about the setting; just thicken it to as much as you would like.
It is nice as you can do as much or as little work as you would like; chopping wise.
Tomatoes (any ripeness – add a little more sugar if all green) I don’t bother to peel just chop; apples; sultanas; and a bunch of flavour and spices makes for a tasty chutney that can be used for everything from savoury tarts to steak to Camembert.
The recipe only works in the microwave if you use the original measurements, however, if you want to double as I did you can just do the microwave and finish on the stove top (or just all on stove)
Equal weight of tomatoes; cooking apples (cored, peeled and chopped); and sultanas (or raisins)
For every 375g (12oz) of tomatoes add the following: (makes 1.5 kg chutney)
- 1 medium onion diced or sliced
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1.5 cups of brown sugar
- 1.75 cups of malt vinegar
- some chilli flakes (optional)
The recipe is very flexible and you can chop everything as small or chunky as you like – I used cherry tomatoes one time and didn’t even bother to chop them at all. I like chunky apple so it is quick to peel and chop them up (I guess you could even skip peeling them if you wanted).
The vinegar and sugar can be a portion of different kinds – brown or white sugar (brown tastes better) and malt; apple cider or white vinegar if you don’t have enough of any one kind to make up the volume.
Chop everything and add all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl (or big saucepan for the stove top) (The picture above looks watery because it is double lot)
Microwave on high (full power) uncovered for 35 mins; stirring every seven/ten minutes or so along the way. If you don’t like the thickness cook for 5 mins intervals until you do (sometimes the tomatoes or apples can add more liquid than predicted)
If using the stove top at all – just simmer until the liquid has reduced enough to make the mixture thick as you like it; stirring more often as the liquid reduces (may take a long time >1 hr); it will set a little when cooled.
(I finished mine on the stove as it was a double recipe and it took an hour to finally thicken – I had it on very low heat so if you are willing to stir more it can be faster)
Carefully spoon into sterilised jars (sterilise jars by pouring boiling water in and tipping water out when cool enough to handle -use immediately)
If you have jar with safety buttons (the thing that pops when you first open the jar) that depressed when the jar is cool you can store them in the cupboard but if not it is best to keep them in the fridge and use in a timely manner.
Let me know how yours turns out and if you have any questions I am happy to help.
Do you have a favour recipe for dealing with gluts? What end of season recipes are your favourite for enjoying over the next year?