Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More experimenting with presersves: Blueberry Chutney & Plum Preserves

After the recent success with delicious (and properly sealed) jars of blueberry preserves, I decided to try a couple more recipes - plum preserves, and the spiced blueberry chutney I'd seen on Grist.

Along with three of the four pounds of plums and the two pounds of blueberries from my last Costco trip, I needed fresh ginger, shallots and lemons. Followed the recipe on the chutney - cut in half - but decided to wing it on the plums.

Since the plums would need extra time for sitting in the sugar and simmering off water, I started with those. Sliced the plums, then cut each slice into chunks. Mixed in 2-1/2 cups of sugar and set it at the back of the counter while prepping the chutney ingredients.

Poured sugared plums into pot and brought to boil on medium high. Added lemon juice and 1-1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and brought the temperature down to medium low. (Just high enough to keep it at gentle boil.)

On the other side of the stove, sauteed shallots and fresh ginger in olive oil, then added one cup sugar and four cups of blueberries. Once this came to a boil, I added lemon juice, red wine vinegar, white pepper, allspice, nutmeg and one bay leaf. After it had been at a low to medium boil for 20 minutes, it had thickened quite nicely. Ladled the hot chutney into jars which had been simmering at back of stove.

By the time I'd finished with the chutney, the liquid had been cooking off the plums for about one hour. Used the potato masher to break up any remaining chunks, and brought up to a full boil for ten minutes before ladling into the remaining jars.

All jars were sealed, popped back into the hot water pot, and "cooked" for 10-15 minutes. Once everything had cooled, I had seven jars total, all with the lids popped down.

Opening the first jar of blueberry chutney tonight, to go along with fruit, flatbread and mini-melba toast. Have some Amadeus (buttery) and Parrano (sharper tasting gouda) from Whole Foods to have with it. Just have to decide between a glass of chardonnay or some of the wonder Mothership Wit from New Belgium. (Kids are eating leftovers from last night... they liked last night's turkey/vegetable loaf so well that they asked for it again. Far be it from me to discourage them.)

And, if I've any room left after supper, I'll join the kids in toasting up oatmeal muffins from breakfast and covering them in plums.

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