Monday, December 14, 2009

Peach Chutney

I think this is my last batch of chutney for a while. I made this with some of the Clarkdale peaches stored away in the freezer. It's fine to leave the skin on the peaches if you didn't peel them before freezing. You can get star anise in the bulk section at Green Fields Market, and probably with spices in most well-stocked grocery stores. But if you can't find it, try substituting 1 tsp fennel seeds (you'll need to use the cheesecloth in that case) or for a somewhat different flavor, add some ground allspice.

3 star anise pods
1 tsp whole peppercorns
8 cups frozen sliced peaches (about 2 1/2 quart-sized freezer bags, well filled), thawed
2 medium onions, diced
1 Tbsp grated ginger root
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
2-3 whole dried chili peppers (or add minced frozen ones to taste)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
Lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste

Place the star anise and peppercorns in a tea infuser or tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth.

Combine all ingredients in a large, wide-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens to desired consistency (probably an hour or more). Taste and adjust sugar, salt, and lemon juice if needed. Remove chilis and star anise and peppercorns.

Makes 5-6 cups. Can be canned, frozen, or refrigerated.

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