Spiced Pumpkin & Apple Chutney: #pumpkinrescue!

Challenge #PumpkinRescue tweetathon came up with lots of pumpkin recipe ideas! As @AbundanceOxford we’d like to help find solutions to the HUMUNGOUS quantities of pumpkin and squash that go uneaten every year – the number of tonnes of edible pumpkin that goes in the bin every year in the UK is equivalent to the weight of about 1 500 double decker buses…  mainly just because of Halloween, and due to what supermarkets think we want and then bossing farmers around to get spooktacular amounts of pumpkin that massively outstrip demand…so we’ve come up with a recipe to add on!

As Abundance, we love preserving fruit and veg that needs to be used up in a hurry – and although both squash (pumpkins are part of the squash family) and apples keep rather well, they don’t last forever and sometimes, especially if you have a glut, you might need to preserve them to save losing them. One delicious warming winter way of preserving them is to make a spiced pumpkin and apple chutney!

Chutneys are great sides and dips: making sandwiches super and adding extra flavour to any meal! You don’t need to be a meat or dairy eater to enjoy chutney- although it’s often touted as a good accompaniment for cheese and meat, we particularly like having chutney and hummus to spice up a salad!

Pumpkin & Apple Chutney

1.4 kg (Raw) pumpkin chopped roughly into 1cm cubes (ish)
4 Tomatoes roughly chopped
500g cooking apples, peeled and chopped (our favourite Oxfordshire cooking (cooking/eating) apple is the great Blenheim Orange (~1740, Woodstock). Other lesser-known yet lovely heritage English cooking apples include Lane Prince Albert (~1850, Berkhamsted) and Annie Elizabeth (~1850) but of course Bramleys (1800s, Nottinghamshire) are great too)
1 biggish or 2 small Onion(s) chopped
125g Mixed dried fruit
125g Soft brown fair-trade, organic sugar (you can buy affordable fair-trade & organic sugar, in re-usable packaging and in the quantities you need it in from SESI
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Organic Ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon Ground black pepper
750ml Apple Cider Vinegar
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Place all the ingredients, except the coriander, into a large pan (ideally with a thick base, to reduce chances of burning) and bring to the boil.

  1. Reduce the heat and simmer for ~ 45 minutes – 1 hour, uncovered, stirring every so often to make sure it does not burn.
  2. * Sterilise your jam jars* (see below for how to) after you’ve been simmering the chutney for about 35 mins, so they are still hot when the chutney is ready.
  3. After the ~45 mins is up, check that the pumpkin is soft. If so, stir in the coriander and continue to simmer for a further minute. If not, continue to cook until soft and then stir in the coriander and simmer for another minute before turning the heat off.
  4. Spoon into those hot sterilised jars. (Ladle + a short fat funnel works well, you can buy “jam funnels” from kilner which reduce wastage. A spatula helps make sure you get all the chutney out of the pan and into jars before it hardens – also making it easier to clean!)
  5. Label up & date, and then look forward to savouring it in 3 weeks’ time! (before that it won’t have matured & won’t taste as nice, it’s worth the wait!)

Consider your pumpkin & apple preserved! The chutney will last, unopened in a cool dry place for at least a year if not 3 years (but be sensible about it, if it smells funky or looks mouldy, even if unopened, don’t eat those parts!)! Once opened, keep in the fridge. If any mould appears, carefully scoop it all off and the chutney that has been untouched by mould should be fine for consumption.

*To sterilise jars*

  • Wash the jars and lids in warm soapy water to scrub off any remaining food.
  • Pop the jars and lids in the oven for 10 minutes at ~ 120˚C. (~Gas Mark 0.5)
  • Turn the oven off but keep the jars in there till ready for use- they should be hot

Voilà Hope you enjoy your winter warming chutney made from preserved autumnal veg!
#pumpkinrescue, @AbundanceOxford, @hubbubuk & @goodfoodoxford  if you make some and take any pictures!
If you hate food waste hope to see you at #DiscoSoupOxford on Bonn Square (opposite the Westgate Shopping Centre TOMORROW! Sat 1st, 12 -5pm, all welcome to join in a free cook-up & feast with live music! Disco Soup #3! facebook event here



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