Sweet fruit chutney and dodgy apricot jam

Here’s Part 2 of today’s New Year preserving extravaganza.

Having turned unripe cherry tomatoes into green tomato mustard pickles (see Part 1), this evening I got stuck into the ripe tomatoes. Another idiot-proof recipe courtesy of The Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook of 1970. This was followed by a less successful attempt at apricot jam.

Sweet fruit chutney

2 lb (900 g) tomatoes, skinned* and chopped roughly
3 large onions, chopped<
2 large cooking apples, peeled and chopped
1.5 lb (675 g) sugar
3/4 cup sultanas
3/4 cup currants
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon whole cloves
pinch cayenne pepper
2 pints (1.2 litres) brown malt vinegar

* Having previously said I wouldn’t peel a cherry tomato, next time I will for this chutney (previously I’ve used big tomatoes, which I did peel). The long cooking means the pulp is completely reduced, leaving skins that don’t give the best texture; I ended up fishing most of them out.

1. Put all ingredients in a large pot and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.

2. Simmer, uncovered, for around 2.5 hours or until chutney is thick.

3. Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.

This makes 2.5 pints (1.5 litres) of thick, very dark, sweet fruit chutney – kind of Rosella chutney on steroids.

Yesterday I received a bag of apricots and a massive zucchini from our family friend Siew Ching (judging by the size of the zucchini, she’s another vege gardener who forgets to harvest, though she’s a lot better at watering than me).

I had a go at making apricot jam (my first time), but managed to scorch the bottom of the jam, inventing a layered dish of apricot toffee topped with toasted-apricot flavoured jam. Fortunately I like apricot jam so much, I don’t mind it a bit toasty, but I won’t be winning any CWA medals with this one.

*Update* – I take it back, it was delicious!

I’ve chopped up the zucchini with some onion, salted it and left it to stand overnight…. I’ll finish the zucchini pickle tomorrow.