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Rhubarb raisin chutney

I had been eyeing the backyard rhubarb from the kitchen sink for weeks. It started out a small mass of wrinkled leaves, and with time and sunshine and spring rain drops it grew into a full large-leafed plant. I had to tell myself not to cut it yet. The longer I waited the bigger the stalks would be. But yesterday felt like the day. So as soon as I put my youngest son down for a nap I headed out into the garden with my shears to harvest those red and green stalks of rhubarb, and by the time naptime was over I had four jars of sweet and sour rhubarb raisin chutney cooling on the kitchen counter.

This recipe makes four pint/500 ml jars of chutney. Prior to filling, I boiled my jars and left them in the hot water until ready to be filled. The sealing discs and ring bands were also boiled and left in the hot water until ready to be used.

Here's how I made it:

2 lbs rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 lbs onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated white sugar
3 tbsp dry mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 cups malt vinegar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 156 ml can (5.5 fl oz) tomato paste

I started by sweating the rhubarb and onion in a large stock pot for five minutes over medium heat. The remaining ingredients were added and the mixture was brought to a boil over high heat. I returned the heat to medium and allowed the chutney to bubble and reduce, uncovered, for 50 minutes, stirring often.

The chutney was ladled into the jars, leaving a half-inch of head room. The jar rims were wiped clean with a paper towel dipped in sterilized water, then the sealing discs were removed from the boiling water and secured in place with the bands. I lowered the jars into the water bath canner, ensuring there was two inches of water above, and processed them for 15 minutes. The jars cooled on the counter until the seals popped (this can happen immediately or take several hours).

If you're not into canning, you can store a jar of this in your fridge for a few months and freeze the rest.

I love chutney with meat, fish, on burgers and inside sandwiches. But my favourite way to enjoy chutney is simply spooned on top of crackers and cheese. So good!

Have you had your canning supplies out yet this year? What have you made, or what are you looking forward to making? Leave a comment and share your recipes and links!