Green Tomato and Orange Habanero Chutney.

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When a good friend of mine was left with nearly a kilo of green tomatoes and dozens of chillies left on his plants as the weather turned cold last week I put in a request for them, remembering with crystal clarity a recipe for green tomato chutney in one of my 100 plus recipe books. I then spent several minutes throwing cookery books around in irritation; my search for said recipe was entirely fruitless. However I did find Riverford’s Green Tomato Chutney recipe online which was perfect as I had all the ingredients already in stock!

As I’m all for the easy route I did actually chuck everything in a pan straight away and simmer it for a couple of hours. I also added some chopped, dried dates and upped the quantity of cooking apple towards the end purely because it was still all a bit liquid. In addition, because I’d used dark muscovado sugar it needed a bit more than the 200g in the recipe for sweetness.

My crowning culinary glory was that, for the first time ever, I didn’t rub chilli juice in my eyes (orange habs are really, really hot!) But, at the end of two hours it was pretty gratifying to be able to spoon this rich, brown, spicy and incredibly flavoursome preserve into my sterilised Kilner jars (one for me, one for my chilli loving friend.) Apparently the chutney needs to be left for at least six weeks for the flavour to develop but I tried some with bread and cheese and it already tastes pretty darn fine. Now I just need to hide the jars to keep them out of temptation’s way…