It makes the most wonderful sweet, dense chutney that is great with cold meats and cheese and can be done right at the last minute. No need for long maturing on the shelf. I made mine on 23rd and we ate it on Boxing day (26th for those who don't do Boxing day :)).
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger (or stem ginger in syrup)
- 200g/7oz ready to eat dried apricots, 1/3 roughly chopped, 2/3 minced
- 175g/6.2oz ready to eat dried figs, 1/3 roughly chopped, 2/3 minced
- 100g/3.5oz raisins, 1/2 minced, 1/2 whole
- 150g/5.5oz demerara sugar
- 150ml/5fl oz white wine vinegar
- 1/4 whole nutmeg, grated
- 1 cinnamon stick
- a glug of port (to your own taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large non-reactive saucepan and sweat down the onions over a low heat until soft and not coloured (about 10 mins).
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2-3 mins to release the flavours.
- Bring up the heat a little and fry for a further 4-5 minutes until the onions start to brown slightly. Keep stirring all the time and make sure they do not crisp, you want them to remain completely soft - you're just caramelising the sugars in the onions.
- Add all the fruit and cook for 2-3 minutes until the dried fruit begins to plump up.
- Sprinkle over the sugar, the vinegar and the spices and mix, adding salt and pepper to your own taste (don't add too much at first because you can add more later if you need to, but you can't take it out).
- Your mixture will be quite thick because of the minced fruit so add your glug of port to loosen it up a bit.
- Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered for 30 mins, keeping an eye on it and stirring. If it looks too dry too soon add a glug more port and taste it every now and then to see if it needs more seasoning.
- You should have no free liquid left once it is ready, but it should still be nice and moist. Remove it from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
- Spoon the chutney into sterilised jars if you want to keep it, but I just popped mine into Tupperware because I knew it would all be eaten very rapidly.