Summer chutney makes most of the harvest

Chutney preserves the summer harvest for months. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)
Recipe: Mix peaches, plums, tomatoes and more with this easy preserve

By Debbie Arrington

Looking for a low-sugar way to use up a bounty of fruit and/or tomatoes? Try mixing and matching in your own summer harvest chutney.
This sweet-tart and savory preserve adapts to what summer fruit – including tomatoes – that are on hand. All tomatoes, it tastes close to homemade ketchup. All peaches, it retains a deep orange color. Combined, the mix of ripe sweet stone fruit and more acidic tomatoes creates a wonderful balance of flavors, perfect for grilled pork or chicken. It's also a delicious relish on sandwiches or appetizers.
This recipe adapts well to the amount of fruit and tomatoes on hand. A smaller amount will cook quickly: 1 pound will reduce in 20 to 30 minutes to a thick consistency. Six pounds needs 2 hours to reach that same point. The ripeness and juiciness of the fruit and tomatoes also affects cooking time.
Every summer is different, and so is the harvest that goes into this chutney. I’ve made this recipe for years and, I admit, it always comes out a little different, depending on the mix of varieties. (This year, I used purple plums, freestone peaches and loads of Juliet tomatoes.) I’ve also experimented with dried cranberries, currants or cherries instead of raisins (all worked just fine) as well as different vinegars and wines.
Whatever the combination, this chutney tastes like summer.
You’ll appreciate that come fall and winter.

Juliet tomatoes
 and freestone peaches
Summer Harvest Chutney
Makes 8 cups
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons butter, margarine or vegetable oil
3 pounds stone fruit (ie. peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, etc.)
3 pounds tomatoes
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup wine vinegar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine (such as pinot noir)
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, currants, etc.)
Plums are a good option for chutney.
1 tablespoon candied ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
In a large heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter or margarine or heat oil and saute chopped onion and garlic until soft.
Peel and pit peaches or nectarines. Pit other fruit. Chop into ½- to ¾-inch pieces.
Core and chop tomatoes (peeling optional).
Add fruit and tomatoes to pot with onions. Add broth and bring to boil.
Add brown sugar, vinegars and wine.
Rinse raisins or dried fruit with hot water, then add to pot. Stir in ginger, pepper flakes and salt.
Bring back to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Stir often as mixture starts to reduce to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Simmer and stir until fruit and tomatoes break down and chutney thickens to desired consistency. The finished chutney should mound on a spoon like applesauce.
Note: Refrigerate until ready to use; it will keep at least a week, covered. Finished chutney may be frozen.
Or process in half-pint jars in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes.
Note: Can be made with all stone fruit or all tomatoes.


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