So, you’re left with a pumpkin or two – as I am. And you hate any waste and would love to see it to some good use – as I would. But if you’re going to do all this cutting, peeling and dicing you’d rather want the effort to go a long mile – as I love as well … Then it is time to pumpkinize and turn your nice and plump pumpkin into a chutney.
When it comes to preserves there’s a certain generational sinusoid in my family. My grandmother made plenty of preserves of different types and tastes. Gooseberry compote, pickled mushrooms, cherry liqueur, pears in vinegar syrup filled the shelves of her huge cellar and brought back summer and autumn tastes when needed. My mother, on the other hand, makes hardly any and prefers the shop-bought ones, though her mirabelle plum jam is the most amazing one and it would bring her fame and fortune. I don’t make preserves because I have to, like Grandma Zosia or because I do not need to, like my Mum – I make them as a treat because I love to have a few home-made preserves stored in a jar for special occasions.
Now, this recipe for the chutney is a swift transition from Halloween to Christmas. I do realize I am using two very un-November words here, yet – to me this is the month to stock up and make your house cosy – and this chutney is exactly the way.
This recipe is well tested and comes from Nigella Lawson Kitchen cookbook. What I like about it is that you do not need to be super strict with the proportions. A bit more or a bit less will do as well. A word of warning, though, – yes, the smell of the vinegar is strong while cooking but don’t be alarmed it will get lovely balanced once sealed in a jar for a few weeks.
Spiced Pumpkin Chutney
1 – 1.25 kg pumpkin (half of a large one or a whole small one)
1 cooking apple
2 red chilly peppers
100 g raisins
275 g brown sugar
0.5 – 0.6 l white wine vinegar
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp of salt
a selection of (sterilized) jars – mine come from IKEA
- Deseed, peel and dice the pumpkin (make sure to keep the seeds as they are full of magnesium and taste great roasted with a pumpkin or butternut squash soup).
- Peel and finely chop the onions and apple.
- Put all the ingredients in a big pot with a lid, gently bring to boil stirring every now and then to dissolve the sugar.
- Simmer on a medium heat for about an hour (bear with the smell). You want the pumpkin pieces to get softened but still hold the shape.
- Spoon the hot mixture into your jars, seal the lids and leave to cool.
- Leave it to mature for at least a month and enjoy with your festive meats.
A jar of home-made chutney makes a great gift as well, so it’s always smart to make one or two extra ones and share with friends.