Picking and eating peaches from the tree by our front door is a major family highlight every year. Our old peach tree is famous among neighbours and friends for producing the most incredibly juicy fat mouthwateringly sweet orbs – and during the year there is much speculation about what next summer’s crop will be like. This year peaches only cover one half of the tree, and one branch is so laden that we’ve had to tie a stake to it so it doesn’t crack under the weight of the ripening fruit.
I made peach chutney a couple of days ago. A new recipe this year which is chunky spicy and sweet and will be fab on sandwiches, with a cheeseboard or antipasto platter.
2kg peaches, peeled
1 onion, diced finely
1 garlic clove, sliced finely
10cm ‘thumb’ of ginger, peeled and grated finely
1 cup of dates, chopped roughly
1 cup malt vinegar
half cup brown or raw sugar
4 tbs sweet chili sauce
1 heaped tsp ground cumin or cumin seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
4 med sized clean glass jam jars with metal lids
Turn oven on to a medium heat and place jars (without lids) inside to heat and sterilize. Put lids in a bowl, boil the kettle and pour boiling water over the lids to sterilize also.
Cut peaches in half to remove stones and chop flesh roughly. Place peach flesh and all other ingredients into a large saucepan and turn on to a medium heat. As the chutney mixture begins to simmer stir frequently to avoid mixture sticking to the bottom. Simmer / slow boil for 20 minutes or until nice and thick and then taste (allow it to cool on the spoon before tasting to avoid a burnt tongue!) Add more sugar or sweet chili sauce if you think it needs it and then stir to combine. Turn off heat when desired consistency is achieved.
Turn oven off and remove jars placing them carefully on a wooden board (they are very hot). Transfer chutney to a large jug and pour the hot mixture into each jar until approx 1cm from the top of the jar. Using a tea towel to hold the jar full of hot chutney (and also the lid) screw lid on firmly.
Leave to cool before applying your hand written labels. This chutney will keep for months and months – and it seems to improve over time like a fine wine! When open keep in the fridge.