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Step by Step - Pumpkin and Squash Chutney
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Pumpkins and squashes come in various shapes, sizes, colours and densities. Winter squashes all form thicker skins than summer varieties, such as courgettes. This tougher skin allows them to be stored throughout the winter. Choose one variety or mix them up in this easy-to-make chutney. Enjoy it served with a range of cooked, sliced meats available from our delicatessen counter, with a selection of cheese, or spread onto sandwiches. Ensure you make enough for Christmas, for yourself as well as for giving away.
Makes: 4 x 500ml jars
To prepare jars for chutney, preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Ensure that they are clean and free from cracks and chips. Wash in hot, soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Place them on their sides in the oven for 10 minutes. Fill the jars while they are still warm and seal the lids immediately.
Make chutney in small jars so it is used quickly once opened.
This product is best stored for 2-3 weeks before use. This allows time for the acidic taste to mellow and the flavour to develop. Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight for up to 6 months unopened. Once opened, store the chutney in the fridge and consume within 2 weeks.
Old jam or chutney jars can be used instead of preserving jars. However, the acidity of the chutney will react with metal lids so these should not be used. If you do use jam or chutney jars, prepare them as above and make the chutney according to the recipe. Fill the jars, then place a circle of wax paper on top of the chutney. Then dip a cellophane circle in cold water, place it on top and secure with an elastic band. When the cellophane dries it will shrink to create a vacuum seal.
Squash and pumpkin can also be roasted. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5. cut your pumpkin or squash in half and remove the seeds. You can then roast the halves, or cut them into wedges. Drizzle with olive oil, or a flavoured oil such as basil or chilli, and roast in the oven until the flesh is tender. A halved Acorn or Butternut squash will take about 40-50 minutes, while wedges will take about 20-30 minutes. As an alternative, they can be boiled and mashed and served as a vegetable dish with a main meal. Both roast and boiled pumpkin and squash can by puréed to make soups and pies.
This chutney is ideal to make around Halloween when pumpkins are at their best. It is also a good way to use the flesh scooped out from a pumpkin lantern.
4 x 500ml preserving jars with new rubber seals
Small sharp knife or vegetable peeler
Large enamelled or stainless steel pan - approximately 6-litres in size
Long handled wooden spoon
Ladle or small jug
Clean, damp cloth
Labels and pen
This recipe was first published in September 2002.