I really didn’t know what I should call this recipe. Was it compote? Or perhaps a conserve because of the pecans? I didn’t add much spice to the dish but the addition of roasted garlic, white balsamic vinegar and some pepper led to my decision that it is a chutney. If I’m wrong according to chutney purists, then feel free to just call it a sauce. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what the name is, as long as it tastes good. This was delicious on baked brie as a decadent lunch with Simon last Sunday afternoon while my sweet boy napped.
In the photo is my beloved brie baker that my mom got me for Christmas last year. I can’t believe that I lived without this ubiquitous kitchen item for so long. For our lunch/snack I put a small wheel of double creme brie in the brie baker with the very top sliced off, topped it with half a jar of the chutney and put the lid on. I baked it at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. I like my brie really gooey – go for 15 minutes if you prefer it just warmed with a little structure left.
The chili peppers I used were from my CSA and were not super hot. If the peppers you are using are really spicy then you may want to scale back the amount you use. If you don’t have fresh then half a teaspoon of chili flakes would be nice as well.
This chutney is quite versatile. I loved it with the brie, but the next jar that I open is destined to go on a pork roast or maybe grilled chicken. This will also make a great Christmas or hostess gift, although it only made 4 jars so only one or two people will be getting a jar from me. I’m still sick of peeling peaches so a second batch is not in the cards for me, although I’m willing to make desserts that don’t require peeling peaches. The most likely use of peaches for the rest of the season will be cutting them into cubes for Timothy – he likes to eat them with a fork.
I better get on with getting the recipe typed up because I need to work on going overboard for my son’s birthday party that is happening in less than a week. I’m not making the cake, but I will be making some great snacks (veggie dip and my favourite layered apple slice dip) and Giada’s Chicken Tettrazini recipe. Shh – don’t tell him but we got him a tricycle.
***Note after posting: This is in response to a great question from Sean at Punk Domestics. I decided that this would be acidic enough because the lion-share of the ingredients was the peaches which is safe to use water bath canning for, even if there isn’t much sugar added. I used ‘We Sure Can’ by Sarah B. Hood as a general reference and also, I remember reading somewhere (can’t remember where) that it was important to use vinegar with 5% acidity, which the white balsamic I used was. If I hadn’t put in the roasted garlic then I wouldn’t have put in the vinegar but I wanted to make sure so I put that in. The amount of roasted garlic amounted to less than a quarter cup so I thought it wouldn’t be enough to off-set the acidity of the peaches. Also, the inclusion of 1 1/2 cups of sugar also increases the safety of water bath canning. If there are people out there that question the safety of this recipe I would be grateful for (contructive/helpful) comments. There are three jars of this in my basement that I’m confident are safe for longer term storage but if there is a compelling argument that they are not I will put them in the fridge or use them right away in the slow cooker with chicken thighs.
- 6 cups peeled, chopped peaches
- 2 red chili peppers, finely chopped (or ½ tsp dried – use less if you want less heat)
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2 small heads, or 1 large head of roasted garlic
- ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Wash and sterilize jars, lids, and tools. Keep the jars warm so they are ready for the hot jam. Boil the lids only 5-10 minutes just before you are ready to use them so that the seal part is soft.
- Peel and chop the peaches and add them to a large heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot (I use a stainless steel one).
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb and into the pot with the peaches.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except for the pecans.
- Heat over a medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until it has cooked down to where there is very little juice left.
- Stir often to prevent scorching on the bottom.
- When the chutney is the consistency you like (runnier if you want it for a sauce for meat, thicker if you want it to go on brie or other cheese) add the pecans and then ladle the chutney into the sterilized jars. Note: you can add the pecans sooner if you prefer them to be soft.
- Wipe the rims of the jars if you splattered a bit and place the heated lids on the jars. Put the rings on the jars and tighten – but do not too tight.
- Process in a canning pot with a rack in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Remove from boiling water after 10 minutes and place them on a cooling rack. Leave them alone for 24 hours. After that, press the centre of the lids to check to make sure it sealed. If the jars are sealed, store them in a cool, dry place. If they did not seal then pop them in the fridge and enjoy them sooner rather than later.
- This makes approximately four 250 ml (half pint) jars of chutney. Serve with baked brie or roasted pork.
September 12, 2011