I remember August of last year very clearly. Our tomato plants were producing like crazy, and we were bringing in five to ten pounds each night. Michael and I looked at each other and said it was time to get a pressure canner. Until then, I’d only canned high-acid tomato recipes, and seven years ago I said I would never tackle pressure canning for fear of explosions. But we had no empty counter space left; it was all covered with tomatoes, and they were still coming. It was time to get serious.
After a couple days of research, I ordered a 21-½ quart pressure canner made by All American in Wisconsin. It’s a heavy-duty cast aluminum pot that holds 7 quart jars or 19 pint jars. There are other brands of pressure canners, I just happen to like some of the features on this one, especially that it doesn't need a rubber gasket. You just rub a little olive oil on the edge of the pot before locking down the lid, and it creates a perfect seal. It comes in six different sizes that will hold between 4 and 19 quart jars. Using either the pressure canner or the boiling water method, I canned 40 quarts of tomato products last summer, including tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, and ranchero sauce, and numerous pints of this flavorful tomato chutney. Once I got the hang of it, I was a happy gal. It was easy to use, with reasonable precautions, and I think it did a great job.
So here we are, almost year later, and I’m watching the tomato plants start to ramp up again. It’s a good thing we have all this canning equipment, because I think we will need it again very soon.
This chutney uses tomatoes as the base, then includes Vidalia onions, apples, and raisins. The flavor comes from apple cider vinegar, molasses, and five different spices, and let me tell you, it makes the whole house smell delicious! Just be prepared to stay home while it simmers for a few hours, and have the canning gear clean and ready to go. Since this chutney recipe has a good amount of acid from the apple cider vinegar, you can use the boiling water method as outlined below. No pressure canner required—save the pressure canner for low acid tomato sauces.
I love this chutney spread all over grilled pork chops and other grilled meats. It’s also good with grilled eggplant or mushrooms. Think of it as a highly flavored ketchup replacement.
Tomato and Raisin Chutney
- 12 to 15 quart stainless steel stockpot
- 8 pint-size canning jars with lids and bands, sterilized
- large canning pot
- wide mouth funnel
- jar lifter
- lid wand
- 4 quarts chopped ripe tomatoes (about 16 to 20 large)
- 2 cups chopped Vidalia onions (about 2 large)
- 3 large green apples (chopped)
- 1 pound raisins (half dark and half golden)
- 3 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1½ pounds light brown sugar
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 1½ teaspoons ground allspice
- 3 tablespoons kosher or canning salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- Combine all the ingredients in the stockpot in the order listed. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until it's very dark and thick, at least 3 hours.
- While the mixture simmers, clean and sterilize the jars, lids, and bands. I use the dishwasher with hot dry to sterilize the jars and hand wash the lids and bands.
- When ready to can, fill a large canning pot about half full and bring to a boil. A few minutes before you are ready to fill the jars, put the lids in a hot water bath to finish sterilizing. Pack each hot jar with the hot chutney, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean and place a hot lid on top. Twist the band on just until finger tight, not too tight. Put the jars in the stockpot with enough water to cover the jars 1 inch.
- Process for 10 minutes, then carefully lift out the jars and place them on a heat-resistant surface with a towel underneath. Allow to rest and cool for 24 hours, then store in a cool dark place. Allow to ripen for 2 months before using. (Note: If any jars do not seal, you can repack the chutney into sterile jars and lids then reprocess, or put them in the refrigerator.)
More Recipes for Preserving Tomatoes
More Recipes for Preserving Tomatoes From Other Blogs
[I found all these recipes via Punk Domestics, a great site dedicated to food DIY.]