September 14, 2010
I was so excited to find out that my friend Kristi’s Grandfather has two huge Sand Pear Trees in his yard in Lake Mary which is the next little town over from Longwood. This is the only variety that grows in Central Florida and is similar to an Asian Pear, but has a lovely grain to it and is bursting with pear flavor. She has brought me about 50 pounds of them so far, and I developed this recipe to make a delightful chutney that pairs beautifully with cheese, pork, fish or chicken. This recipe was inspired by one that I found in one of my favorite books called Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp & Margaret Howard. The prep time on this is about 45 minutes and the cooking time is about 60 to 75 minutes.
6 lbs Peeled and Chopped Pears (1/4 inch cubes)
2 lbs Chopped Tomatoes (I used Plum, grape would be nice too)
2 lbs Chopped Peaches
1 cup Thompson Raisins
2 lbs Brown Sugar
5 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Ground Chili Flakes
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp fresh ground cloves
2 oz Crystallized Ginger Chopped Fine
I have a 13 qt Le Creuset Dutch Oven that I use for this recipe. The mixture cooks down quite a bit, but if you use a smaller pot, you will have splatters everywhere. Chutney is so simple in that you can bung all the ingredients in the pot at one time, give it a few huge stirs and set the fire going. Bring this up to a boil and then turn the heat down a bit for a hard simmer. Let this cook down until nice and thick. This should take anywhere from 60 to 75 minutes depending on how hard you let this boil. Stir at least every 10 minutes to ensure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. You will be left with a gorgeous, sweet chutney that takes so much of its color from the tomatoes. The yield on this is about fourteen 8 oz jars. Plenty for your winter larder!