It's been a year of firsts and with a current glut of courgettes what better time than to have an attempt at my first chutney.
After consulting a couple of cookbooks to get a general idea of what quantities I would need I settled on a combination of courgette, apple and onion. Half a kilo of courgettes fresh from the garden and a quarter of a kilo of the cooking apples and onions.
It was simpler to make than I had imagined, all the above went into a large, heavy based pan with some sugar and cider vinegar. Added to this was some finely grated garlic and ginger and plenty of salt and cracked black pepper. These were just what I had to hand, the variations on spices and ingredients that can be used seem to be endless. This was all left to simmer with the lid off so that the moisture could escape.
According to the books you can tell when a chutney is ready by passing a spoon through the middle of the mixture. If the bottom of the pan is exposed for a few seconds before it all closes back together then it is ready. The jars should be thoroughly sterilised as the chutney can be stored for well over a year this way. The mixture should be jarred while still hot with the jars having a plastic coated lid to stop the vinegar in the chutney reacting with any metal surfaces.
Unfortunately for eager people like me chutney needs time to mature. I'll now leave this for at least two months before opening the first jar. With ten jars altogether it will be interesting to see how much effect the maturing has between the first and the last.