Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nutty Pear Kumquat Chutney

Today was blisteringly hot here ... so much so that one of my first thoughts of the day was of a thick, creamy, icy milkshake! And yet, I spent large parts of the day cooking - which actually ended being a fabulously cathartic experience - making up for all those insane work days that kept me away from cooking and blogging :)

A long, long time ago I promised to make a surprise chutney for our friend Daria - she's the one of the walnut ranch fame, we're still living off her awesome Franquette and Hartley walnuts that she brought back from California a few months ago. Poking around 400 sauces, dips, dresssings, blaahhh, blaahh, blaahhhh ... unearthed a pear and walnut chutney recipe that I figured Daria would be pretty happy with :)

"There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The original recipe asked for firm windfall pears that I substituted with some firm, green D'Anjou pears. I also chose to throw in a gala apple and a handful of kumquats - the latter was a great substitute for the orange juice that the original recipe called for - not only did it add a refreshing citrus bent to the chutney, but totally added to the texture too.

Nutty Pear Kumquat Chutney
Chunky, funky and chockful of flavours! :)

Servings: Makes about 1 lb

3 firm D'Anjou pears
1 gala apple
1/2 sweet yellow onion
10-12 kumquats
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup cheap, old red wine :)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup succanat (you could just use more brown sugar or go with demerara or muscovado instead)
1 cup walnuts - chopped
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t salt
1 guajillo chilli

Peel and core the fruit and chop them into 1" chunks. Peel and quarter the onions, then chop them up into 1cm bits.

Place the chopped onion and fruit in a preserving pan with the vinegar, sherry and wine.

Slowly bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30+ minutes, until the apples, pears and onions are tender, stirring the mixture occasionally.

Brown the guajillo chilli over open fire till blackened. Grind up the kumquats along with the chilli to a coarse puree.

Add this puree along with the sugar to the simmering mixture. Gently heat till the sugar is dissolved, then simmer for about 30 minutes till the chutney is thick and no excess liquid remains. Stir frequently towards the end of cooking to prevent the chutney from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

*sigh*! I know! Lots of simmering here, but trust me, it'll all work out well :)

Gently toast the walnuts for a few minutes until they get a warm brown colour. Stir the nuts into the chutney along with the cinnamon.

Spoon the chutney into warmed canning jars, cover and seal. Store in a cool, dark place and leave to mature for atleast a couple of weeks.

Hmm ... somehow, we decided a couple of hours was about as good as a couple of weeks and dug into this today itself :) Totally worth it!!!


Sweet, spicy, tart ... an awesome olio of flavours -felt like it hit every taste bud and exuded a great aroma too! Obviously, the chutney was great on crackers, but I can't wait to try this with some pilaf or tabbouleh.


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KALVA said...

Yumm lovely chutney dear..

TBC said...

The chutney/relish sounds wonderful.It would go well with so many things!

evolvingtastes said...

What a lovely color! Looks lovely, Kay.

bee said...

love the nutty chef's nutty concoctions.

Nags said...

that looks lovely on a cracker. I always have my crackers plain though.. makes me feel better :)

Dee said...

love the chutney recipe kaykat , I have always eaten kumquats , raw , I kinda like how they taste... this is a must try .... do you thnk one can replace the pears with any other fruit ?

Mansi Desai said...

ooh! that looks like such a refreshing combo K! I love it!:)

Katie said...

That looks wonderful. Beautiful photo. I love your blog!

KayKat said...

Hey Dee!

I'm sure you can try some other fruit here - anything firm is probably going to work best, no? I'd love to hear about your experiments!

bhags said...

My first time here, i think. You have got a lovely space here....nice recipes and lovely photos......:)
The chutney looks idea bout kumquat

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks really delicious! I love a good chutney and it sounds like it would go perfect with a pilaf!

farida said...

Your chutney looks lovely! I bet it tastes great! I love chutneys, jams, preserves - anything like that is welcome by my palate:)

White On Rice Couple said...

I love chutney and will have to gather up some kumquats for this!

I can see myself eating a whole loaf of bread with this chutney. Yeah, i like my chutney with bread.

SteamyKitchen said...

You are the chutney queen!

Want to do a swap with me? I'd love to try your chutney and I'll send you a jar of homemade sweet chili me!

Coffee & Vanilla said...

It sounds sooo good and I bet it taste good also with cream cheese in the sandwich! :)


Sophie said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)

spykd_drink said...

I found an amazing spice merchant in Seattle, WA (you mentioned being from the pacific northwest, near Canada, so hopefully near Seattle!). Its behind Pike Place market on Alaskan way. Just past the end of the market before you get to Tullys, go behind the "market" and its on the left hand side, called World Spice. The ladies there are amazing, and they ship spices in twice a week from all over the world, so instead of buying grocery store dried out tasteless stuff, you can get something that was in India 2 days ago! Amazing difference in quality, and not very expensive either!