I mentioned to my mother-in-law, about the abundance of green tomatoes I had this year and she replied, “Oh, green tomato chutney.” I’ve never heard of or tasted green tomato chutney.
Well, it looks like that I’m not the only one with an abundance of green tomatoes. Reading other peoples blogs, it seems they have had the same experience. It’s the weather to blame. The cold and endless rain during Spring and early Summer, has probably contributed to the late production of flowers. And now I come to think of it, I didn’t see many flowers till August on the tomato plants. Many others have said that they have had a poor apple, plum and pear harvests due to the lack of flying pollinators (bees to you and me), flying around at the crucial time for pollination during all that rain. Hence the tomatoes haven’t had time to grow and ripen before the first frosts of autumn arrived.
So, rather than letting this be a disaster, it seems I have an opportunity to learn about something new. To do what my grand-parents would be more familiar with, to preserve food rather than throwing it away. Just need to find a geen tomato chutney recipe…
On this occasion Delia and Jamie Oliver didn’t do it for me, in terms of their chutney recipes. I found a couple of recipes on the internet that seemed similar and basic. While shopping for the vinegar, apples and sugar, there are many variations of these you can buy, I just asked myself, what would nan have access to. And this is what I’ve come up with. It has made 10 x 227g (8oz) jars
1.8Kg (4lb) Green Tomatoes
3 Large onions, finely sliced
3 Large cooking apples, chopped
500g Raisins, chopped
568ml Malt Vinegar
4 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
8 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
In a large bowl, layer the chopped tomatoes and sliced onions, sprinkling with a little salt. Leave over-night in the fridge.
In a large heavy based pan, pour in the vinegar and dissolve the sugar. Next add the chopped apples and raisins, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the mustard seeds and cayenne pepper. Stir.
Drain the bowl of chopped tomatoes and sliced onions (do not rinse), add the tomatoes and onion to the pan, bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 hours or more hours.
Stirring occasionally. It’s ready when, you drag the spoon through the mixture, the mixture stays put either side of where the spoon was dragged.
Next, put into sterile air-tight containers and allow to mature for 3 months or longer.
I’ve made green tomato chutney because I had loads of green tomatoes and
this has all been funded by myself.
BBC Has rain ruined Britain’s fruit crops?