Vine Season Fig Chutney Recipe
At first glance, I wouldn’t have said chutney was kid-friendly food. The name sounds funny, it’s chunky inside the jar, you can’t squeeze it out of a tube and it’s tangy – definitely no ketchup. And yet my 7-year old loves a good chutney with grilled meats and her absolutely favorite is fig chutney. I’ll be specific, it’s the fig chutney from luxury brand Hediard (the French equivalent of Harrods or Fortnum & Mason) but as I told her, “Sweetie we have to get real. You can’t eat a jar of $16 chutney every other week.” So we resorted to making our own. Using freshly-picked vine season figs, we made a dozen jars of chutney to last us through the winter. Hopefully our home-made chutney stands the Hediard-tasting test and ages gracefully.
- 5 cups red wine vinegar
- 2 pounds fresh figs, firm or between green and ripe, stems removed and chopped in 8ths or smaller
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 pound light brown sugar
- 1 sweet onion (Walla Walla or equivalent), finely chopped
- 2 fresh Bosc pears, firm and finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh ginger cubed finely
- 3 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons dark mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, onion, pear, ginger, orange zest, cinnamon stick, salt, mustard seeds and allspice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture has thickened to form a thick syrup.
- Add the figs and raisins and cook just until the figs are beginning to fall apart – about 30 minutes. Note: most of the liquid given off by the figs should be evaporated.
- Sterilize jars (see note on sterilizing in the crisp green bean pickle and wild fennel recipe)
- Remove the cinnamon sticks and ladle into jars until 1/4 inch from the top.
- Seal with lids and set the jars in a pot of cold water. Bring the water to a simmer during 30 minutes.
- Let cool in the water.
- Label and store in a cool dark place for 3 weeks at least.
- Serve with cooked meats, sausages, grilled eggplant slices, fried polenta squares or as any meat sauce.