Spicy peach chutney with brandy and red currants

Spicy peach chutney with brandy and red currants

Cheese is pretty much my number one indulgence when it comes to Christmas. I don’t say indulgence with the purpose of getting all judgmental about food (far from it – one of my main approaches in my blog is to enjoy all food without fads or fashion). I say it because at Christmas I indulge my culinary curiosity by selecting a cheese or two to share with my family and loved ones, something special or unusual that I wouldn’t have just any old day. I’ve found some true favourites over the years, including Kingsmeade Blue and Over the Moon Goat Cheese.

Not that this post is about cheese, but rather one of my favourite condiments, the mighty chutney. I don’t know about you but I find it hard to think about chutney without thoughts of a lovely great slab of cheese, preferably something strong or sharp.

I used to be terrified of making chutney. The dire warnings of my childhood about boiling sugar, coupled with the fact that you had to sterilise jars, made me think it was way out of my league. Slowly but surely however I have grown my chutney confidence.

This recipe is a good one for Christmas because it is just that little bit special to go with little-bit-special cheese. It’s quite sweet and the brandy gives it a touch of something festive. Red currants, combined with peaches, makes it appropriately festive for our Antipodean Summer Christmas, and I am very lucky to have a batch of currants to hand from my sister’s beautiful garden.

Believe me, making chutney is out of nobody’s league. Need a gift at the last minute? Chutney. Have to contribute something for a holiday season dinner? Chutney. If you can make sauce you can make chutney – just put all of the ingredients in a pan and boil.

Happy Christmas everyone, I hope it’s restful and fun.

Ingredients:

1kg peaches, stones removed and cut into chunks

1/2 C red currants (dried are perfectly fine if you can’t get hold of fresh ones)

1 C brown sugar

1 C malt vinegar

100 mls brandy

2 t chilli powder

2 t five spice powder

1 t yellow mustard seeds

1 cinnamon stick

5 cardamom pods, squashed so the seeds can escape during cooking

Method:

Place all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for approximately one hour, stirring from time to time, until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat, spoon into sterilised jars and seal.



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