This is my most highly requested condiment. Actually, it’s the only one I’ve been asked to make again. And again.
Everybody’s favorite way to eat this? Over cream cheese with those buttery round crackers. Very simply, very old school, but very popular.
What makes a chutney different from a jam or preserves? The addition of savoury ingredients such as onion, vinegars, spices, and other seasonings. There are so many different types of chutneys that it is confusing.
This is a simple chutney, so simple i guess it would be more appropriate to call it a jam. It was actually an item I saw on the grocery store shelf for a crostini topping. When I went to look for a recipe online, the closest thing I could find (at the time), was a Fresh Fig Chutney by Emeril Lagasse. That recipe does have a lot of various seasonings, whereas my recipe does not. Emeril’s recipe calls for a little bit of balsamic vinegar and a lot of red wine vinegar. I never used the whole amount of red wine vinegar that he did, but I’ve found that just a 1/4 cup is enough. I’ve just made my 5th or 6th batch! Delicious!
- 2 cups chopped white onion
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 pounds fresh figs, stems removed, halved & quartered
- 3 cups white sugar
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoon minced rosemary, optional
- 2 lemons, sliced thin then quartered
- 1 apple, diced
NOTE: This is the first time I’ve used the rosemary. We’ll have to wait till winter (when we use these at all our little functions) to see if the rosemary is a keeper. If in doubt, leave it out.
I originally cut the figs in halves, but as it was cooking I realized that I’ve always cut them in quarters, so I quartered quite a few in the pot as it was cooking. Note: I left the stems on as I usually do for whole fig preserves, but I strongly recommend removing the stems.
Saute the onions in the olive oil and butter. If you decide to use the rosemary (fresh only!) add now. We didn’t really like the “twigs” in there. Maybe if the rosemary was left on the stem, and then the whole thing removed? Add the quartered figs, the lemons, the white sugar, balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until sugar is fully dissolved. Continue simmering until reduced by half, and quite syrupy. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Fill your jars, and wipe the rims.
I like to have the lids soaking, warming, in the same water that will be used to process the jars. Add the lids, then the rings, tightening until you just meet resistance.
This filled 12 eight-ounce jars. I prefer the four-ounce jars because it is the perfect amount for a small get together, but these were all I could find that weekend. (Actually, they were on sale!)
To keep the jars for storage, process them in a water bath canner for 15 minutes (rolling boil). If you use four-ounce jars, process for 10 minutes. Always start your timing once the water has returned to a bowl.
As soon as you pull them out and place them on a towel to dry, you should hear the lids start to pop. That is the sound of a good seal.