At long last the peaches have arrived in our markets. I love peaches in any form but, I have been suffering from been there and done that for many of my recipes lately. Its time for something different.
Chutney to me is jam with attitude. Sweet, salty , spicy and vinegar laced; chutney will hold its own next to any roasted meats, cheese and of course samosas.
After peeling and processing the peaches, what to do with the pits and peels? Make a flavoured vinegar of course!
So, from one 3 liter basket of peaches, here are two recipes. Frugal and tasty!
1/2 C honey (mild)
1/2 C Cider vinegar
1/2 C Chopped shallot
1 scotch bonnet pepper ( leave the seeds in if you dare, I removed mine)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP chopped golden rasins
1 TBSP finely minced ginger root
In a large stainless steel pot, combine honey, vinegar, shallot, cumin, raisins and ginger. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add peaches and simmer for 30 minutes, or until thick, stirring occasionally. Pour into 4 half pint scalded jars. You could process in a water bath for 10 minutes. I never do. I put the chutney into hot jars and get the lids on as quickly as I can. I have never had a jar fail.
The chutney will mellow with age, some suggest waiting a week or two to eat it, I don’t have that kind of patience.
You didn’t toss out those pits and peels did you? Good, because your going to need them for this next recipe.
Measure out 2 cups of white vinegar ( not the kind used for pickling) failing that you could use rice wine vinegar so long as it’s not the ‘seasoned’ kind.
In a double thickness of cheesecloth place all of the pits and peels from the peaches. Tie the ends together so you have a sort of a ‘hobo’ bag. Leave yourself a bit of string that is longish so you can fetch the bag out of the pot later.
Combine the bag with the two cups of vinegar into a large stainless steel pot, bring to a boil slowly, then simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove the bag and allow the vinegar to cool. Pour into a sterilized pint jar or a bottle with a self sealing rubberized cap. The vinegar will keep in the fridge for 1 year.
Next, I’ll tell you what a “Shrub” is.
It’s a great way to use your Peach vinegar in a refreshing drink.