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Original Recipe:

Spicy Plum Chutney Recipe

Author: Aida Mollenkamp

Published: August 2007, Chow.com

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The ideal chutney balances sweet, spicy, and savory, and that’s what we’ve done with this plum version. The mustard seed and currants play off each other for a condiment that’d dress up anything from grilled chicken to a pan-seared pork chop.You can, of course, make this recipe without canning it—just be sure to use or eat it within a week. If that’s an unrealistic venture, use the tips and instructions below to can the chutney.Special equipment: We’re assuming that you already have basic tools lying around (like cutting boards, bowls, and measuring cups), so here’s the special equipment you’ll need for canning: 6 (4-ounce jelly jars) 6 lids with sealing compound for 4-ounce jelly jars 6 bands for 4-ounce jelly jars Boiling water canner or 15- to 20-quart pot with a tightfitting lid Canning rack that fits inside the boiling water canner or 15- to 20-quart pot Thin, flexible rubber spatula Jar lifter Deep frying/candy thermometerGame plan: General canning tips: Before you turn on the heat, be sure to do the following: Read the recipe through, gather all necessary equipment, and check that you have the right amount of each ingredient on hand.Give all your equipment a once-over: Examine your canning jars for nicks, cracks, uneven rims, or sharp edges that may prevent sealing or cause breakage; check that the lids have no dents and that the sealing compound is even and complete; and check that the bands fit properly.Finally, have your jars, lids, and bands already sanitized before you start, and prepare only enough for one canner load at a time.Chutney-specific tips: Select fresh plums at their peak, and use firm, uniform-size produce free of any cracks, spots, or growths.This recipe was featured in our canning story.

Yields: 6 (4-ounce) jars   Change Amounts: Half | Original | Double Yields: 6 (4-ounce) jars   Change Amounts: Half | Original | Double Yields: 6 (4-ounce) jars   Change Amounts: Half | Original | Double


8 plums, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped (about 6 ounces)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup dried currants

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, sliced paper thin

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Step 1:

Wash the jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well. Dry the lids and bands, and set aside.

Step 2:

Place the jars in a boiling water canner or a 15- to 20-quart pot fitted with a canning rack and a lid. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 10 minutes, then turn off heat.

Step 3:

Keep the jars in the hot water until ready for use, removing one at a time as needed.

Step 4:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Step 5:

Let cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, or until reduced by 1/3. Continue cooking, stirring frequently to make sure chutney does not burn, until chutney is syrupy, another 10 minutes.

Step 6:

When chutney is ready, remove the jars from the hot water with a jar lifter, letting excess water drip off. Bring water in the canner back to a simmer (about 180°F) for processing the packed jars.

Step 7:

Remove chutney from heat and fill the sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.

Step 8:

To remove any air bubbles, slide a clean rubber spatula down the side of each jar and press inward on the chutney while rotating the jar; repeat 2 to 3 times for each jar.

Step 9:

Wipe the rim and threads of each jar with a clean, damp towel. Place the lids on the jars, checking that the sealing compound is centered. Fit the jars with bands and tighten just until resistance is met.

Step 10:

Check that water in the pot or boiling water canner is at a simmer (about 180°F), and set the jars in the canning rack. (The jars must be covered by 1 to 2 inches of water. Add additional boiling water as necessary.)

Step 11:

Cover the pot with a tightfitting lid and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Process the jars for 10 minutes at a gentle but steady rolling boil. (Begin calculating the processing time once water is at a rolling boil. Check occasionally that water remains at a steady boil.)

Step 12:

Once processed, remove the jars with the jar lifter and set upright, 1 to 2 inches apart, on a dry towel. Do not retighten the bands; let cool at least 12 hours.

Step 13:

After the jars have cooled, check for a seal by pressing the center of each lid. If the center is concave and does not flex, remove the band and try to lift off the lid with your fingertips (don’t pull too hard). If you cannot lift the lid, there is a good vacuum seal. If the lid pops off, your jar did not properly seal. Eat the chutney within two months.

Step 14:

To store properly processed jars, wipe each lid and jar with a clean, damp cloth (the bands don’t need to stay on for storage), label the jars, and store them in a cool, dry, dark place. Unopened jars can be kept up to a year when stored properly. Once opened, keep in the refrigerator and use within two months.

Comments & Reviews




1. whyaduck said on August 02, 2010:

"To give it more of a Moroccan feel I used dates instead of currants, ginger and cloves. I served it on pork chops with a hit of hot pepper oil and drizzled melted chocolate over the whole dish... YUMMY!!! I am going to try it with chicken next time and instead of cloves use cinnamon and saffron."




2. LNG212 said on September 25, 2009:

"I made two batches of this recipe. For the first I used a mixture of Blufre and President plums and followed the recipe as is. It came out very tasty but not really spicy. So the second batch (same variety of plums) I added a cinnamon stick and about a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, as suggested above. Wow that made it really good. I'll definitely make this again during next year's canning."




3. FelixHyl said on September 01, 2009:

"I made this on Saturday and it was sooo good. I will be making more again this weekend and this time I think I will add some ginger a little extra kick."




4. BCCathy said on August 30, 2009:

"I made this today. I wish I had more plums to make another batch, my kitchen smells wonderful. I too used yellow plums (small ones from a friend's backyard tree) which were small enough once pitted that I didn't need to chop them any further. I substituted dried cranberries for the currants and like another reviewer, added one finely chopped jalapeno pepper and a pinch of ground cloves."




5. Vetter said on August 09, 2009:

"I just made this as a double batch. I used yellow plums, and my additions were a habanero, a pinch of cloves, and some toasted and ground pink peppercorns. YUM. This would be really good with a fall pork roast or goose or duck."




6. Vetter said on May 30, 2009:

"Gah-- don't go reducing the acid in recipes that you're going to water bath can, folks. Acid is super important-- that's why the conventional, food-safety-checked recipes call for (icky) bought lemon juice and 5% vinegar..."




7. mmmaria said on May 05, 2009:

"oh man this is delicious! the red pepper flakes and cinnamon were a great addition, too...however, i didn't add the lemon juice because my plums were already tart. wanderingt, if you're using a sweeter plum (like the dark purple ones) lemon juice and a little underripe would be best, i think...but tart plums of any variety will be lovely, too."




8. Mollybud said on October 14, 2008:

"I made this Chuney with big red plums. I do not know the correct name for them. Make sure they are not too ripe. That way they are a little tart and add more flavor. They turned out great."




9. chutney said on October 14, 2008:

"you can use practically any plum......of course the results will differ with each type but i'll bet they'll all be tasty and a lovely colour!"




10. wanderingt said on October 09, 2008:

"I'm new to making my own chutneys. Would someone be kind enough to let me know if I need to use a certain kind of plum? The only plums in season, here, are yellow plums, a very crispy, sweet, bright red plum, and these gigantic purple plums that are shaped more like a mango. Would any of these work?"

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