Vine Season Fig Chutney Recipe

POSTED: October 3, 2012

Fresh figs for home-made chutney

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Steps

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Sterilize jars (see note on sterilizing in the crisp green bean pickle and wild fennel recipe)
  4. Remove the cinnamon sticks and ladle into jars until 1/4 inch from the top.
  5. Seal with lids and set the jars in a pot of cold water. Bring the water to a simmer during 30 minutes.
  6. Let cool in the water.
  7. Label and store in a cool dark place for 3 weeks at least.
  8. Serve with cooked meats, sausages, grilled eggplant slices, fried polenta squares or as any meat sauce.

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