UMAMI MART MATSURI FESTIVAL
Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

This is one of those projects that I always think I can handle, but it just turns into dread, and ultimately only goes to prove what a huge procrastinator I am. Since I picked up the plums from Christi a week ago, it's just been this nagging thing that's been clawing at my brain EVERY FUCKING DAY. I wake up and think, "Oh shit, the plums are going bad," or "God, I've gotta hurry and jar those motherfuckers." It stresses me out to the point of anxiety. I'm not meant for these sort of big looming projects.

That said, I'm doing it, and I'm fucking gonna finish, goddamnit.

One way I manage my anxiety-- for better or for worse-- is that I have been doing this in stages, instead of all in one day. So when I last posted, on Tuesday, was when I decided on a recipe, and actually went out and bought all the ingredients. Wednesday, I prepped and started the boil. I continued the boil yesterday, and more or less finished. Today, I will be jarring, and cleaning.

DUN DUN DUN.

So let me show you the prep + boil. In retrospect, it wasn't so bad. I had literally been dreading this project all day, and forced myself to stay in to do it. "What are you doing tonight?" Yoko asked me. "CHUTNYING," I responded firmly, as if to say, "Please do not invite me out for dinner because I need to actually start this."

She knew better, and just nodded. Instead, we had a PBR and whiskey at Acme bar, and went home our separate ways, a bit buzzed. Perfect way to chutney, I suppose.

I started to prep around 7pm. Kinda late, right? I told you I'm the worst procrastinator.

Washed the plums.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Many of them had gone bad in the fridge, since I waited so long to do this. SORRY PLUMS!

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Pitted the plums. They were so tender that I just did this with my hands. Dude, so many fucking plums.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Chopped the onion and garlic; grated the ginger.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Bring sugar and cider to a boil, add the fresh and dry ingredients. Remember I told you I didn't have red pepper flakes, and I was using Tapatio instead? Here goes.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

I added about this much.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Then, add plums. This is only about half of the plums that I had pitted. FML.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Stir occasionally. FOR FOUR FUCKING HOURS.

Here it is at Hour One. Watch how it simmers down, little by little. Pretty neat.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

What to do with the rest of the plums? My mind reeled. I thought of just making a simple jam, with sugar, or waiting to see how this batch would turn out so I could adjust it accordingly. But around this time (10pm), I decided that I just had to chutney it in the same way. I would just keep dreading it otherwise.

So here's Batch #2, which I stupidly started about an hour after Batch #1. The only thing I didn't have was an onion, so I chopped up a shallot instead. This pot is not as heavy as my Le Crueset, fyi.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Batch #1, Hour Two.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Hour Three.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Batch #2, Hour One.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Batch #1, Hour Four. Not bad, K! This is pretty much done.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Batch #2, Hour Two.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

It's 1am at this point and I'm sleepy and cranky and trying to finish THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST but am too distracted with the stirring to really enjoy the book. So I figured I'd finish the chutnying the next day.

Goodnight, Chutney. See you in the morning.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

Here is Batch #2, the next day. This is about another 1.5 hours into simmering.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

This batch is way darker than Batch #1-- almost a dark brown. Remember how I told you that the pot isn't as heavy as the Le Crueset? I think the chutney burned, which is what darkened this batch.

I'll leave it up to your imagination as to what this looks like.

Plum Chutney: Prep + Boil

I didn't feel like dealing with jarring cause I had plans to go out last night...

...So I'm gonna start fixing this situation starting NOW. The first batch is a little too sour, so I think I'm gonna reheat, add sugar, and stir for a little while longer. I've gotta sanitize the jars, then can these motherfuckers.

Then, clean.

I've got yoga in two hours. You think I can do it? Don't doubt me!
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6 comments

  • Hilarious! I want to know how it tastes!!

    chiara on

  • You can do it!

    yoko on

  • I’m horrid cause I don’t really measure when I cook. essentially: I go to backyard and pick as many apples from our trees as I feel is right/feel like dealing with.

    juice 1/3-1/2 of my apple booty with the skins on, and reduce juice in a heavy pot—yes I’m bay area and it’s a big le crueset beast—until it is about 1/4 what it once was.

    peel and cut remaining apples and put into pot, along with [brown or maple] sugar, lemon zest (we have those trees too!) and any spices that I feel like adding. cover pot, put in low oven for hours (overnight if I am sleeping). wake and can.

    apples are to me naturally very very sweet, so I usually add hardly any sugar…maybe 1/4 cup.

    cooking time can be 4-8 hours (longer if I sleep in) and I judge it to be done when it is nice and thick and dark in color.

    the spices can be the classic cinnamon/cassia/ginger/cardamon but one time I did caraway and bourbon and black pepper. I try to go too light on cardamon and caraway. usually I am heavy-handed. subtlety is lost on me.

    the foundation for the above came from richard olney’s time/life cookbook on preserving food. this whole series is crazy good.

    anne on

  • Anne, please share your apple butter recipe!

    Kayoko on

  • when I make apple butter, I get everything into my heavy pots, put them in the oven, covered and at the lowest temp (~250), overnight. when I wake up they are done and ready for canning, and the bottom isn’t burned on account of oven vs stovetop. I’m hoping it also uses less gas.

    anne on

  • Thanks Anne, this is awesome! My parents have a Fuji apple tree so I will def try this. With bourbon of course! Or brandy.

    Kayoko on

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