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Smoky Tomato Chutney

Pimentón – smoked paprika – gives a smoky flavour to this dark, luscious, red tomato chutney. Great to serve with hamburgers and sausages, and lovely with sharp Cheddar cheese. If you prefer a milder chutney just use the sweet, mild pimentón.

 Smoky Tomato Chutney

  Makes four 1 lb (350 ml capacity) jars

 4 oz (110 g) sun-blush (or mi-cuit) tomatoes
 2 lb 8 oz (1.15 kg) red, ripe tomatoes
 1 tablespoon hot pimentón
 1 tablespoon sweet, mild pimentón
 1 dessertspoon coriander seeds
 1 dessertspoon mustard seeds
 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled
 2 large onions, peeled and quartered
 4 oz (110 g) light muscovado sugar
 ½ pint (275 ml) good-quality red wine vinegar
 1 heaped teaspoon salt
Oven temperatures and Conversions
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You will also need a preserving pan or large, heavy-based saucepan; a funnel; and four 1 lb (350 ml capacity) jars, sterilised.

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three


First of all, drain the sun-blush tomatoes of excess oil and pat dry with kitchen paper. (If using mi-cuit tomatoes, there will be no need to drain them.) Then heat a small, heavy-based frying pan and dry-roast the coriander and mustard seeds over a medium heat, turning them over and stirring them round for 2 minutes to draw out their flavour.

Then crush them together with a pestle and mortar - not very much; they just need to be broken up.

Now, making the chutney is going to be a lot easier if you have a food processor. In the past, an old-fashioned mincer was used for chutneys, and a processor is even faster, but if you have neither, then you just need to chop everything uniformly small.

Add the sun-blush (or mi-cuit) tomatoes to the food processor and chop till roughly ¼ inch (5 mm) in size. Then add the fresh tomatoes and process briefly until they are the same size. Now pour the whole lot into the pan.

Next, add the garlic and onions to the processor and process these to about the same size. Then transfer them to join the tomatoes and add the crushed spices, pimentón, sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring everything up to simmering point, stirring all the time, then, when you have a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to low and let it cook very gently, uncovered, for 3-3½ hours.

It doesn't need a great deal of attention - just come back now and then to give it a stir to prevent it sticking. The chutney is ready when all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture has thickened to a nice soft consistency.

The way to test for the right moment is by using a wooden spoon to make a trail all the way across the top of the chutney - if the trail fills with vinegary juices, it's not ready; when the spoon leaves a trail that does not fill with juice, it is.

You need to watch the chutney carefully at the end because undercooking will make it too sloppy and overcooking will make it dry.

When it is ready, allow it to cool a little and pour it through the funnel into the hot, sterilised jars, filling them as full as possible. Cover each one straightaway with a waxed disc and seal with a vinegar-proof lid while it's still hot, but don't put a label on until it's cold.

Store the chutney in a cool, dry, dark place for 8 weeks to mellow before using.

To sterilise jars, wash the jars and lids in warm, soapy water, rinse well (again in warm water), then dry them thoroughly with a clean tea cloth, place them on a baking tray and pop them in a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Add their contents while they are still hot.


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