Preserves

Tamarillo + Fig Chutney


Prep Time : 20 Minutes | Cook Time : 90 Minutes | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Moderate

Hello my lovelies! Tamarillo chutney is perhaps the most kiwi chutney there is and it’s a favourite for a lot of people. It has such a distinct flavour and goes so well on everything from a burger to a cheese cracker. This version has pops of dried fig to add texture and richness. I almost don’t know what to say. It’s just delicious chutney and you should go and make the chutney right now. Tamarillos are native to South America and are grown here in NZ as well as Australia and the US. They have a really distinctive, almost savoury flavour. They used to be called tree tomatoes (before the export marketing board decided it wasn’t exotic sounding enough) and they are actually in the same plant family as tomatoes.

This is a small batch so if you have light-fingered friends when it comes to your preserves you may want to double it. Be patient and dice your onions and apples finely so they cook down properly. You will get the best texture if you use an apple that breaks down during cooking rather than holding it’s shape. The key to getting the best out of your chutneys is to let them mature for a couple of weeks at least before eating them. I know it’s hard but it’s worth it.

Cut a cross in the bottom of each tamarillo and pour boiling water over them. Leave them to soak while you do the other prep.

Wash and rinse your jars and lids. Put the jars in the oven at 120C (250F) and just leave them there. They’ll be in there way longer than they need to be but it’s better than forgetting until it’s too late. Put the lids into a heat proof jug and set aside.

Peel and finely chop the onions and apples. Put them into a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Get the tamarillos out of the water and peel off the skins.

Finely dice the tamarillo flesh and add it to the pot along with the vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds.

Make up a spice bag with the cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, peppercorns and ginger. Add it to the pot too. We’re ready to go.

Put the pot over a medium heat and start that baby cooking.

You will need to simmer the lot for around 45 minutes until everything is breaking down and the liquid has reduced by about a third. Stir it off and on during this time to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. You’ll need to stir more towards the end.

Add the salt and chopped figs and keep simmering, stirring all the time until the mixture passes the trail test. When you pull your wooden spoon through the chutney it should leave a trail briefly before closing back up. I have never been able to get a good picture of this. It should take about 15 minutes more.

Boil the jug and pour boiling water over your jar lids. Get the jars out and place them on a folded tea towel on the bench by the stove.

Spoon the chutney into the hot jars and give them a tap on the bench to settle any air bubbles. Fill them to about 5mm from the top.

Clean the rims of the jars with a paper towel dipped in boiling water. Drain the lids and seal the jars.

Now comes the hard part. You need to wait for two weeks. The world won’t end if you eat your chutney earlier but it will most definitely be more delicious if you can leave it to mature.

Now where’s that cheese?

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Tamarillo + Fig Chutney


Prep Time : 20 mins | Cook Time : 90 mins | Total Time : 2 hours | Difficulty : Moderate

Makes : 4 to 5 cups

The quintessential kiwi chutney beloved by all – tart tamarillo with a hint of spice.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams peeled diced tamarillos (about 6 large)
  • 300 grams peeled diced onions (about 2 medium)
  • 300 grams peeled diced apples (about 3 small)
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (200 mls) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 + 3/4 cups (350 grams) packed soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • A spice bag containing:
    • half a cinnamon stick
    • half a star anise
    • 1 bay leaf, torn up
    • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon diced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 5 or 6 (50 grams) dried figs, finely chopped

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Large saucepan
  • 5 or 6 one cup jars with lids

Directions:

Cut a cross in the bottom of each tamarillo and pour boiling water over them. Leave them to soak while you do the other prep.

Wash and rinse your jars and lids. Put the jars in the oven at 120C (250F) and just leave them there. They’ll be in there way longer than they need to be but it’s better than forgetting until it’s too late. Put the lids into a heat proof jug and set aside.

Peel and finely chop the onions and apples. Put them into a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Get the tamarillos out of the water and peel off the skins.

Finely dice the tamarillo flesh and add it to the pot along with the vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds.

Make up a spice bag with the cinnamon, star anise, bay leaf, peppercorns and ginger. Add it to the pot too. We’re ready to go.

Put the pot over a medium heat and start that baby cooking. You will need to simmer the lot for around 45 minutes until everything is breaking down and the liquid has reduced by about a third. Stir it off and on during this time to make sure it doesn’t catch on the bottom. You’ll need to stir more towards the end.

Add the salt and chopped figs and keep simmering, stirring all the time until the mixture passes the trail test. When you pull your wooden spoon through the chutney it should leave a trail briefly before closing back up. I have never been able to get a good picture of this. It should take about 15 minutes more.

Boil the jug and pour boiling water over your jar lids. Get the jars out and place them on a folded tea towel on the bench by the stove.

Spoon the chutney into the hot jars and give them a tap on the bench to settle any air bubbles. Fill them to about 5mm from the top.

Clean the rims of the jars with a paper towel dipped in boiling water. Drain the lids and seal the jars.

Now comes the hard part. You need to wait for two weeks. The world won’t end if you eat your chutney earlier but it will most definitely be more delicious if you can leave it to mature.

Now where’s that cheese?

Cook’s Notes:

  • You can mix up the spices to suit your taste – a favourite addition of mine to many pickles and chutneys are szechuan peppercorns.
  • Choose firm ripe tamarillos to get a good flavour – if you find the skins aren’t coming off easily return the fruits to the hot water for another minute or two.

 – Properly sealed in sterilised jars this chutney will keep for several months on the pantry shelf – refrigerate after opening – 

Adapted from The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton.

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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