Autumn Pear Chutney


I am not one to spend time making preserves. Why? Well, because I am spoiled that’s why. On the one hand, my mother. Ever since I can remember seazonal preserves were a must (if not necessity) at home. Come summer/ autumn my mother would practically preserve just about everything: fruits in jams and compotes. Vegetables either pickled or as tapenades. You name it, I’ve probably tried it preserved (if that is the correct cooking terminology): quinces, green nuts, watermelon, cauliflower to name just a few.

Then, in all fairness, the local producers (and/ or the supermarkets). I don’t come from a chutney making country so that in itself was a wonderful discovery. Mangoes, dates, pineapples, limes, all exotic fruits and preserved so differently. Our cupboards are full with a variety of chutneys which usually come back with us from the UK.

So you see why I have not attempted making preserves at home? Although I love them. L-o-v-e. There is always a jar of cornichons au vinaigre (pickles) in our fridge. I am known to eat these as a meal… We have a range of chutneys. A jar of Mediterranean vegetable tapenade (home made). A jar of green nuts jam. I could live off preserves, but pickled eggs? Tiny little onions? Not for me.

Which bring me to this. And this. Combine the two, and you’ll have pear chutney. Of course having not actually made chutney myself was the first challenge. Plenty of pears in the house was another. Bill Granger came to the rescue (again!) and voila, my very own contribution to this month’s Waiter there is something in my … Savoury Preserves, pear chutney

800gr (1lb 12oz) pears, cored and finely sliced
1 white onion, chopped
330gr (1 13/4oz) sugar
250ml (9fl oz) white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 cinnamon sticks
3 small bay leaves
sea salt

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, over medium heat till all the sugar has dissolved. After, simmer for 40min or till the pears turn soft and the chutney becomes syrupy. Leave to cool. Store in a cold and dry place for up to two weeks.

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