Christmas Plum & Ginger Chutney
For me, this chutney is Christmas in a jar. The flavour and smell is just so Christmassy, and after years of making this, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it. But this year, in my eagerness to get ahead and make this a month earlier to really develop the flavours, I managed to completely de-rail my Christmas spirit. My first attempt resulted in the demise of my favourite plum coloured le creuset cast iron casserole pot. I popped it on the stovetop, got the simmer going and then became completely side tracked and remembered it about an hour later, by which time, it was burnt so badly it has now infused with the lining of the dish. And the lifetime warranty doesn’t cover stupidity.
I am a planner, the normal me, would have already prepared a meal plan, shopping lists and have all my recipes printed out ready to go, but this year, I am worrying myself with my ‘it’ll be right’ attitude. And I think my cooking disaster, may have been what caused my problem, I’ve been sulking and burying my head pretending that the big day isn’t fast approaching.
I somehow thought I had more time up my sleeve, and then here we are, with just a week to go, and I’m feeling a little blind-sided. So far I just have the ham and turkey ordered, and no plans of what I will be doing with them. I’m hoping that it’s just a case that I’ve done it enough times, that I know what I’m doing, and it will hopefully all come together. I haven’t even put up my tree or decorations yet, I don’t know who this person is, but I seriously need to get find the old me and quickly.
I saw a plan this week, that was truly inspiring, I think Jamie Oliver is a very funny guy, does great things promoting healthy eating and has yummy recipes, but this week I finally got the crush thing. If you follow his Instagram account, you would have seen his meal and to do plan in the lead up to and including Christmas Day/Boxing Day – awesome! I love a good planner 🙂 but even that hasn’t got me started.
So in an attempt to reboot myself, I had another run at making this chutney. I usually make up huge batches of it, and give them to friends as gifts, but I have run out of time this year. I decided to use fresh plums, instead of the canned ones I’ve used previously and I’m so glad I did, the flavour is even better. I did think I had made a bad decision when I first started deseeding the plums and saw that I hadn’t bought blood plums which are red inside, these ones had a lovely deep plum skin but are yellow inside. Luckily the skin colours the whole mixture and the resulting chutney is a gorgeous rich colour.
The smell of this cooking is just divine, the whole house gets infused with Christmas! I paid attention this time, and the result is a beautiful jar of Christmas. I think it may have just done the trick……. HO HO HO!!!
Suitable for: gluten, dairy, egg & nut free diets. Also vegetarian and vegan diets (in Australia, our main brand sugars do not contain animal products, but I have read that isn’t the case in some other countries, so make sure to check if making it vegan)
Ingredients (Note – needs to be made a few days minimum ahead of time, and will keep for months of sealed properly)
- 750g plums
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 8cm piece of fresh ginger, skin removed and sliced and thinly as possible
- 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 1 large orange, zest only
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Over a bowl, make cuts into the plums so that they are quartered, then you need to get a bit messy, and pull the fruit apart to remove the seed. Keep the juice in the bowl, to add with the fruit.
- In a medium sized saucepan, add the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon sticks, salt and cloves and stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring to the boil and reduce to a gently simmer for about 25 – 30 mins, or until the mixture has thickened. Make sure to stir regularly, to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- While simmering, sterilise a 500ml jar (here is a great site for how to sterilise jars)
- Carefully pour the mixture into the sterilised jar, and seal. Allow to sit for a couple of days, the flavours need to develop. If you taste straight away, you will find it quite sweet and the vinegar overpowering, but it really mellows out.
- Serving suggestion – try this with your Christmas ham, it is amazing!
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