Sorry gooseberries, I meant gooseberries. This week I harvested our gooseberries from our back garden. A fine bush growing in the shade of an apple tree. I picked 1.5 kg , I couldn’t believe it. So I decided to preserve some by making chutney.
200g chopped onion
1 garlic clove
5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger
50g sultanas (or other dried fruit such as dates and raisins)
A pinch dried chilli flakes
500ml distilled malt vinegar
200g muscovado sugar
1 bay leaf
1½ tsp salt
Wash the gooseberries.
Chop the onions, finely chop the garlic and peel and finely chop the ginger. Place gooseberries, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and dried fruit and bay leaf into a large saucepan. Stir in the vinegar, sugar and salt. Stir the mixture over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
Once the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly and simmer the chutney for around one hour, stirring every so often. As it thickens, stir more frequently and watch that the sugar does not begin to stick to the bottom of the pan. The chutney is done when you can scrape a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and the chutney does not flow back into the gap.
Meanwhile, to sterilise the jam jars, preheat the oven to 140C.Wash the jars well in warm soapy water then rinse thoroughly under running water. Leave the jars and lids to dry, upside down, in the oven. Carefully spoon the chutney into the sterilised jars and seal while hot. Store in a cool, dark place for about a month before eating, to let the flavours infuse. You can always chill in the fridge and eat straight away with some mature red cheddar as I did. Ymm.