Preserving Delicious Peach Chutney – Easy Canning Recipe


We are always on the search for easy canning recipes that are not only delicious all winter long, but those that store well for several months too.

As sweet as peaches in light syrup are, they don’t last too long in the pantry. It could be that they are among the first to call out to be eaten as an occasional snack, or perhaps we preserve too few jars – but one only has so much space to store food!

I will be completely honest in saying that I like jars of preserves to be full, packed to the rim with homemade goodness. The most effective way of getting more peaches into each jar, is to cut them up in small pieces.

Jam is nice.

Peach chutney is way nicer.

For chutneys are versatile condiments that go well with salads, roasted or grilled meats, cheese and charcuterie platters, you can even spread a generous spoonful on your sandwich to liven it up.

Mix it in yogurt to make a dip, glaze your sweet potatoes or butternut squash, serve it with homemade cheese and crackers.

The catch is – you cannot buy the best peach chutney at the store.

You have to make it at home, with peaches of the perfect ripeness to really know what you are missing out on.

And you don’t want to miss out. Do you?

What is chutney?

Chutneys are a winter staple in our pantry.

They fall somewhere along the lines between jam and relish. Both of which are excellent to have, though there are times when only a sweet-and-savory bite will do.

A typical chutney is made from fresh fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, vinegar, herbs/spices and sugar (or another sweetener).

Chutneys originated in India long ago, and are far more diverse in preparation and delivery, than what we know in America and Europe. One could say that our Western chutney is a more simplified version, using ingredients that grow locally, such as rhubarb and sour apples.

Overall, making chutney is a wonderful option to preserve fresh garden fruit, in a way that increases your appetite for a well-earned meal.

Ingredients for delicious peach chutney

Every fall, we make apple chutney and plum chutney to have a savory selection to choose from.

Had the early cherry season been grand, we would have preserved some cherry chutney as well, though this year the cherry harvest went into several jars of sweet cherries in linden honey. We can only encourage you to make it the next chance you get!

This summer, peaches were excellent and ripe for the picking (at the local market anyway). Our mountainside village vegetation is best at providing apples, plums, pears and grapes, along with an assortment of mushrooms and wild foraged plants, but peaches must come from a bit further away.

Besides preserving peach compote, we also canned 16 lbs. of peaches in chutney version.

Here is what you need to get started in preserving a batch of peach chutney of your own:

  • 16 lbs. peaches
  • 4 cups onions
  • 2 cups raisins or dried barberries
  • 5 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4-6 cups honey (depending on sweetness of peaches)
  • 2 T. coriander seeds
  • 4 T. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. dried hot pepper, chopped (or red chili flakes)
  • 6 tsp. salt
  • 2 organic lemons, zest + juice
  • 3 T. mustard seeds, optional

To figure out how many jars you need to fill, take this into consideration: an average of 17.5 pounds of peaches makes a 7-quart canner load.

Of course, you could always reduce this recipe in half and still come out with excellent results. Just be sure to use a water bath canner to seal your jars for prolonged storage.

Step-by-step: canning peach chutney

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Yield: about 16 pints

When you have all of your ingredients ready, do one small, but very important thing first – wash and sterilize your jars before getting started on the peaches.

Step 1: Washing the peaches

Assuming that your peaches are freshly harvested and free of blemishes, go ahead and wash them under cool running water. Any peach that feels too soft, or is gently bruised, set it aside for fresh eating, or for peach cobbler.

Step 2: Cutting the peaches

With this peach chutney recipe you have instinctively chosen the easy route.

What makes it uncomplicated?

Well, because you do not have to peel each and every peach. In fact, you don’t have to peel any at all!

Outside of the peach pit, every single bite of fruit goes in the chutney, fuzz and all. After cooking for an hour, it breaks down into a lovely, thick mass.

If you are still thinking about peeling your peaches, I ask you to consider two things: food waste and nutrients. Leave the skins out and you have too much of one and not enough of the other. Preserving food is all about keeping a sustainable balance.

Try it with the skins. You’ll love it.

So, with skins on, cut your fruit into bite-sized pieces. The size does not need to be exact, as they will become mushy while cooking. It is good experience to know, that the larger you cut the pieces, the chunkier your chutney will be. Cut them smaller and it will be smoother.

Step 3: Preparing the onion and spices

Next, you will want to chop the onions into small pieces and measure out your spices.

Raisins or dried barberries? Use whatever you have on hand. The first is sweeter, the second deliciously tart.

Step 4: Mixing everything together

Another easy step is coming right up: mixing all ingredients together.

That means everything, including the lemon zest and juice, raisins, spices, salt, apple cider vinegar and the honey.

Step 5: Cooking the peach chutney

Cooking times will vary depending on how many pounds of peaches you are canning at once, but a good estimate is 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Bring everything together in a large pot over medium heat.

Keep an eye on the pot and stir frequently, as peach chutney tends to stick and/or burn on the bottom of the pot as it simmers for a long time.

The longer you cook it, the more you need to stir it.

Consistency is key. If your chutney appears too runny, keep simmering for longer.

Step 6: Putting the peach chutney into jars

If your goal is short-term storage, 2-3 months, at this point you can simply put the lids on the jars and allow them to seal. Then let them come slowly to room temperature, sitting on a kitchen towel (never directly on the countertop!).

However, from this point on, they will need to be refrigerated.

For longer-term storage, be sure to take the next step of water bath canning.

Before filling your jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace, be sure to prepare your water bath canner.

With a ladle, or with the help of a canning funnel, fill each jar, being sure to wipe the rims before screwing on the canning lids.

Related Reading: Canning 101 – A Beginners Guide To Get Started Canning & Preserving Food

Step 7: Water bath canning of peach chutney

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Once they are finished, remove the jars from the water bath canner and place them on a kitchen towel. Do not move them until they have come to room temperature.

Sealed jars of peach chutney can be stored for up to a year.

Choosing peaches for canning

The easiest peaches to work with, are freestone peaches, where the pit comes clean away from the fruit.

Clingstone peaches are a bit more difficult to process, though if you have a variety with marvelous flavor, simply cut around the stone and process the peach flesh as you go. Since you will be cooking with peach skins on, it is not such a tedious task.

Also, make sure that your unblemished peaches are neither under-, nor overripe. A golden middle is to find a golden peach – all 16 pounds of them.

Now, that you have a good idea of how to make peach chutney and what to eat it with, the big question is – how long will peach chutney last in your house?

Delicious Peach Chutney

Delicious Peach Chutney

Yield: 16 pints
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This peach chutney is one of the simplest canning recipes you can make and it's about to become a family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 16 lbs. peaches
  • 4 cups onions
  • 2 cups raisins or dried barberries
  • 5 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4-6 cups honey (depending on sweetness of peaches)
  • 2 T. coriander seeds
  • 4 T. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. dried hot pepper, chopped (or red chili flakes)
  • 6 tsp. salt
  • 2 organic lemons, zest + juice
  • 3 T. mustard seeds, optional

Instructions

  1. Wash and sterilize your jars and rinse your peaches.
  2. Cut your peaches into bite sized pieces.
  3. Chop your onions and measure our your spices.
  4. Mix all of your ingredients together.
  5. Bring everything together in a large pot over a medium heat. Stir frequently and cook until your mix reaches a chutney consistency – usually 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Pour your mixture into jars. For short term storage (2-3 months), place the lids on, allow to seal and cool and then refrigerate.
  7. For long term storage, process the jars in a water bath canner for ten minutes.

The post Preserving Delicious Peach Chutney – Easy Canning Recipe appeared first on Rural Sprout.

Source: ruralsprout.com

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