Elizabeth Peirce’s latest book, You can too!, is a cornucopia of canning, pickling, and preserving recipes, plus lots of really useful advice and stories from Maritime preservers. Working with Elizabeth on her second book was a delight – I designed and illustrated her first book Grow Organic too. Even sweeter was that she included my recipe for pineapple and peach chutney in her publication. I had first given her my adaptation of a plum ketchup recipe that is a dead ringer for steak sauce, but copyright laws on recipes can be tricky, and so the publisher decided that the chutney was a better option.
Here are both recipes.
Pineapple and Peach Chutney
1 ripe pineapple (about 8 cups), peeled and cored, chopped into ½-inch pieces
6 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped (to peel peaches most expeditiously, dip them into boiling water for a minute to loosen their thin skins, then peel)
2 sweet red peppers, seeded and chopped into roughly ½-inch pieces
1 to 2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1½ cups raisins (I like to use the big, dark, seedless ones)
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds, finely crushed with a mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch or more of cayenne pepper, to taste
3 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups light brown sugar
4 cups cider vinegar
¹⁄3 to ½ cup finely chopped candied ginger
2 fresh figs, chopped (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy pot, bring to a boil over medium heat, turn the heat down and simmer for about 2 hours or until thick. Stir every so often to make sure your chutney isn’t boiling too hard or you will scorch the bottom of the pan.
Pour into sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 12 half-pint jars.
Spicy Plum Ketchup
Adapted From Jellies, Jam & Chutneys by Thane Prince
This is similar to a steak sauce and goes well with all sorts of meats and also great with scrambled eggs. I’ve used a mixture of yellow and blue plums, and used only blue plums which results in a darker ketchup.
2 kgs juicy plums (can be blue or yellow or a mixture)
175g pitted dates, chopped finely in a food processor
115g Thompson raisins
1 large onion, chopped
4–6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
60g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (I use a fine microplaner for this and the garlic)
1 Tbsp coriander seeds, freshly ground with a mortar and pestle
1 tsp allspice berries, freshly ground with a mortar and pestle
good pinch of cayenne powder
1½ cups malt or cider vinegar – DIVIDED
1 Tbsp ground turmeric
½ whole nutmeg, grated
300g light brown sugar – adjust to taste as it really depends on the
sweetness of the plums
¼ cup kosher or pickling salt
Halve and pit plums, chop if large, catching all the juiciness. Put into a non-reative pot with dates, raisins, onion, garlic and ginger. Add coriander, allspice, cayenne and 1 cup of the vinegar.
Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 30–40 minutes until the fruit is very soft.
Let mixture cool and press through a food mill. This can take quite a bit of time depending on the fruit. You can also put first into a food processor to chop finely, then put through the mill. You want to have a nice smooth purée.
Return the purée into the cleaned pot. Add remaining ½ cup vinegar, tumeric, nutmeg, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30–45 minutes until reduced to a thick pouring consistency. Stir frequently and watch not to burn the mixture. You really need to taste it at this stage to decide if you need to add more sugar or vinegar, as the plums can be either very sweet or tart. Place a spoonful or two into the fridge for a few moments before you taste it.
Put into hot sterilized jars, and seal.
Makes about 6 jars (250 ml each)