Old Dowerhouse Chutney
Can you please tell me where I am going wrong? I make Delia's Old Dovercourt chutney every year and it ALWAYS takes much longer than the recipe suggests to cook. Recipe says 1-1.5hours, me 5 hours. Last year I used a medium ring and despite regular stirring it caught the bottom of the pan and I had to clean it before I could carry on. This time I did it on a lower heat and stirred every 10-15 minutes, so it didn't burn but neither did it get rid of the liquid. I follow the recipe re ingredients and what to do but why does mine always take so much longer than it should? Oh, and I only ended up with 5lbs of chutney instead of using the 8 x 1lb jars the recipe suggests it needs.
What pan are you using? If it is a preserving pan – is it a heavy stainless steel one? Preserves are more likely to catch in lightweight preserving pans.
If you are using a large saucepan is it large enough? The wider the surface area the quicker the liquid will evaporate and thicken the preserve.
A smear of butter over the base of the pan before you add the raw ingredients can help prevent it catching.
A wide pan set on the largest ring is best for even cooking.
When you have everything in the pan turn the heat to medium/high and get it up to simmering point and then reduce the temperature down so that a bubble is coming to the surface every few seconds. If it bubbles too fast, reduce the heat a bit or if the bubbles are too slow, increase the heat a bit.
I would stir the chutney regularly and increase the frequency as the chutney thickens.
It’s been a couple of years since I made this one so I’m not sure if it always makes the said 8 pound jars but I do find that the quantities of preserves I make regularly vary a little year on year but a third less seems quite a lot.
I hope this helps.
I use a Maslin pan which is intended for making jam so I assume it's good for chutney too. I was paranoid about it catching (it was a lot of faff last year when it did and I had to decant to another pan, clean out the Maslin pan, and carry on again) so I started from cold on a low heat so perhaps that's where I went wrong. Thanks for the tip about the butter. I'll make notes on my recipe and hopefully get it right next time. It still tastes great!