Christmas Chutney



Is there really anything better than a homemade gift at Christmas? I've given this chutney as a gift for a few years now. I've even been asked if there will be any available this year, so I had  to make it.


INGREDIENTS:

500g dried apricots
170g pitted dates
450g raisins
1 pint of orange juice
2 pints of cider vinegar
2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of sea salt
1 tsp mixed spice
zest of one orange
900g sliced onions
900g diced cooking apples
1 punnet of cranberries
900g white sugar 




Dice all of the dried fruit in the first list and place in a large bowl. Pour over the orange juice and stir. Leave this to sit for 20 minutes, or until the juice has been fully soaked into the fruit - I do this first thing so it's almost ready once I prepare the second part.
In a large cooking pot, add all of the ingredients in the second list. Bring to the boil until you hear the cranberries pop, then reduce to a simmer. Leave the mixture simmering for around 5 minutes, string continuously.
At this point, you want to add your soaked fruit and the sugar. Bring the mix back to the boil, string continuously. The liquids will start to thicken. Once the liquid has thickened nicely, I give it a quick blast in my blender. You can skip this step if you'd prefer a chunky chutney, but I prefer a slightly smoother one. It's all down to your personal preference!


Once the mix has thickened, and is at your preferred consistency, bottle it! I reuse old jam jars for this, but mason jars and clipped lid jars work just as well. Leave them to cool on the side and set before popping them in the fridge to keep them fresh.