Pear-ginger chutney is a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving table, or a lovely hostess gift if you’re heading to a friend’s house for dinner. I made a batch a few weeks ago and it couldn’t have been easier; the pears are the star, enhanced by the acid of the vinegar and brightened by a subtle ginger bite. As with many of my canning projects, I made chutney because I had an abundance of ripe fruit and couldn’t eat it fresh fast enough, and in this case I didn’t want to bake with the pears either. I have close to a dozen jars of pear butter in the cupboard already, so I was looking for something more on the savory track, and this particular recipe caught my eye. I made enough to can but you really don’t have to do that; a single recipe would keep for a while in the refrigerator. If you do make some for Thanksgiving, don’t forget to save a little to put on your day-after turkey sandwich. Yum.
Pear-Ginger Chutney inspired by Belle Jar Canning
- 4 lbs. ripe Bartlett pears, cored and chopped into 1/2″ pieces*
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 c. raisins
- 1/4 c. crystallized ginger, chopped
- 3 T. freshly grated ginger
- 1 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
- 1/2 c. dark maple syrup
- 1 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 1 tsp. salt
Add all ingredients except cardamom and salt into a stock pot or enameled cast iron pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; lower heat and simmer until mixture thickens. This can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes; watch the pot carefully, stirring often to prevent burning, and lowering the heat when necessary. When the chutney has cooked down to a desirable consistency (it should look jam-like), add cardamom and salt. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; ladle immediately into sterilized jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Or, cool slightly and transfer into an airtight container. The chutney will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
If possible, make ahead; the flavors mellow and develop and taste best after 5-7 days.
*Bartlett pears can be left unpeeled because the skins are thin. Other varieties, particularly Bosc, should be peeled.