I’ve started a hunt for recipes that have real winter feel to them and stumbled across this one from Alexa Johnston, a New Zealand author and home cook. Her heartwarming website Ladies, A Plate (oh, doesn’t that phrase bring back the childhood memories?) has a collection of fabulous recipes that are steeped in the comforts of traditional home baking.
Alexa explains that this recipe for roasted feijoa chutney is based on a recipe by Peter Gordon which she has adapted. The chutney is slow roasted in the oven, rather than cooked on the stove top. All her recipes are tried and true and available in her beautiful published books. I know this is going to be a favourite.
She warns that this is a very large recipe which uses up to a dozen jars so you may want to make it in smaller batches.
ROASTED FEIJOA CHUTNEY
- 3 kg feijoas
- 1 kg red onions
- 5 large sweet lemons
- 8 large green chillies
- 2 kg white sugar
- 5 teaspoon sea salt
- 300 ml cider vinegar
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 6 black cardamom pods*
- 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
* You can get these from Indian spice suppliers
The night before:
- Put the unpeeled feijoas through the mincer, or whiz them in batches in the food processor. You don’t want a complete puree, just a lumpy sludge.
- Do the same with the red onions and the whole lemons. (It’s a good idea to cut the lemons into quarters and flick out any pips first.) If you like a lumpier texture, you could just chop everything fairly finely with a knife, and I sometimes do that with a few of the feijoas and one lemon.
- Remove the stems from the green chillies, cut them in half and flick out the seeds. (If you do this under a running cold tap you will avoid chilli burns on your fingers.)
- Put the prepared fruit, onions and chillies into a large bowl with the salt and vinegar and pour over the sugar. Cover the bowl and leave on the bench overnight.
Cooking the chutney
- Preheat the oven to 356º F / 180º C.
- Give the mixture in the bowl a good stir, add the cinnamon, cardamoms and the chillies and pour it carefully into a roasting dish. The dish can be quite full since the mixture will reduce in volume as it cooks.
- Put it in the oven and cook for 2 -3 hours. Give it a stir with a wooden spoon every half hour or so. It is cooked when the mixture is a reddish brown and most of the moisture has evaporated.
- Put it into clean jars, seal and leave for at least a week before eating. This allows the flavours to mellow a little. It will keep for at least a year in a cool, dark place. Makes about 6 pints / 4 litres of chutney.