Packed with heady spices, chutneys are a tart marriage of pickle and jam. They need a long, patient simmer to allow the ingredients to meld together properly and mellow the harshness of the vinegar.
Grape, rosemary and shallot chutney
- Preparation time: 20 minutes plus cooling and pickling
- Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Makes: 3-4 medium jars
2 tbsp allspice berries
2 tsp mace blades
1 tsp black peppercorns
20g pack rosemary, stalks reserved, leaves finely chopped
1kg green grapes
800g echalion shallots, chopped
500ml white wine vinegar
100g granulated sugar
1 tbsp salt, or more to taste
1. Toast the spices in a pan until fragrant; crush lightly. Tip onto a scalded square of muslin with the rosemary stalks; tie up.
2. Add the spice bag to a preserving (or large, heavy-based) pan with the grapes, shallot, vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour in 500ml water, cover and bring to the boil. Uncover and bubble briskly, stirring now and then, until starting to thicken – about 1 hour. Add the raisins and stir regularly for 40-50 minutes, until very thick and you can see the base of the pan for a few seconds between each stir. (Stir constantly towards the end to stop it catching.)
3. Allow the chutney to cool for 5 minutes, remove the spice bag, then stir in the rosemary leaves; season with more salt, if needed. Ladle into hot, sterilised jars and tap each carefully on the work surface (wrap in a tea towel first, as they’ll be hot) to remove air bubbles. Seal at once, then leave to cool completely.