This is adapted from a recipe I found on a BBC website last year. That one doesn’t include the whole spices and uses sultanas, but I prefer using the figs as I find they give a better flavour which complements the pears nicely (as do the spices!). If you prefer a less chunky texture, chop everything (including the walnuts) into smaller pieces.
Ingredients for Pear, Fig and Walnut Chutney:
- 1.5kg pears
- 400g dried/ready to eat figs
- 375g Bramley apples
- 375g onions
- 1 level tbspn ground cinnamon
- 1 level tbspn toasted cardamom seeds, crushed
- 5 mace blades
- Zest & juice of two oranges and one lemon
- 450g soft brown sugar
- 425ml cider vinegar
- 125g walnuts roughly chopped
Method for Pear, Fig and Walnut Chutney:
Chop the figs and place in a small bowl together with the orange and lemon zest and juice, and leave to soak whilst preparing the rest of the fruit.
- Peel, core and chop the pears and apples. The apples will reduce to pulp, but cut the pears into pieces no smaller than half inch cubes if you want to be able to recognise them in the finished product!
- Peel and finely dice the onions
- Place the whole spices in muslin and put into a preserving pan with all the other ingredients except the walnuts. Stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a good simmer, stirring occasionally.
- When the chutney is almost at the desired consistency (this could take well over an hour), toast the walnuts by dry-frying in a non-stick pan. Stir the chutney frequently as it thickens to avoid burning: it’s ready when a spoon leaves a trail briefly when drawn through the mixture. Remove the spice bag.
- Stir the walnuts through the chutney and ladle into hot, clean, sterilized jars. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for at least a month to mature. Refrigerate once opened.
Makes Approximately 10 x 8oz jars.