Cinderella (Pumpkin Spice) Chutney

Since Jaq and Gus – our neighbourhood mice friends – decided to have their way with my homegrown pumpkins, this years Father’s Day fundraising stall sellout was very much a Cinderella story. From rags to riches, some throw-out table staples – a wobbly pumpkin, spotted bag of apples and spouting onions – were magically transformed into a first class chutney.

Perfectly slippered into a glass jar and adorned with a tiara of jute twine and paper from an old motorcycle magazine, this golden treasure is set to impress any Prince Charming on his big day of the year.

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Cinderella (Pumpkin Spice) Chutney

(quantity: when doubled to use a the whole of a medium sized pumpkin…it makes a lot!)

Ingredients:

3 onions

100g ginger, grated

1 fat red chilli, finely diced

cardamom (seeds from 15 cardamom pods)

2 long cinnamon sticks

1 tbs black mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp tumeric

1 kg pumpkin, diced into small cubes (about 1 cm in width)

3 apples, diced into small chunks

500g brown sugar

300 ml cider vinegar

2 tsp salt

Method:

Fry onion, chilli and spices in the base of a large stock pot till aromatic. Stir in apple and pumpkin. Cook for 10 mins or until soft. Stir in sugar. Pour in vinegar and salt. Simmer on low heat until thick and syrupy. Spoon into hot sterilised jars.

Sterilising jars: I have been making preserves for years now and after trying many cumbersome methods of jar sterilisation, I have settled on the following (that…to the best of my knowledge…has not botulised any recipient yet): wash jars and lids in hot soapy water ensuring that a bottle brush is used to clean the inside. Dip jars and lids into a sink of hot water (to wash off soap suds) and then drain upside down on a tea towel. Place jars and lids (open side facing up) onto trays and leave to dry completely in an oven set at 100 – 120 degrees Celsius.

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