Country Chutney

1 1/4 lb Parsnips

1 lb Apples (3 md.)

-peeled, cored and sliced 1/2 lb Onions (2 md., abt. 1 cup)

-peeled and chopped 1/2 lb Ripe tomatoes (2 md.)

-peeled and finely chopped -- (about 1 cup) 1/2 ts Dried cracked ginger or

1 1" piece dried whole ginger

1 ts Mustard seed

2 1/4 c Cider vinegar

1 c Dark brown sugar; packed

1 c Dried currants (4 oz.)

-- lightly packed 1/2 c Pitted dates (4 oz.)

-- finely cut 1/4 c Crystallized ginger; packed

-finely diced (abt. 2 oz.) 1 ts Table salt

1 lg Pinch cayenne

The author writes: "This relish is based on a prize-winning English recipe of more than a generation ago. It is less sweet than traditional chutneys; most of its sweetness comes not from sugar, but from apples, dates, and parsnips. I generally use Winesap apples but any well-flavored, crisp eating apple will do." Cook unpeeled parsnips 30 to 40 minutes in boiling water, to cover, in a saucepan or skillet wide enough to permit them to lie flat. They should be soft enough to mash. When the parsnips can be pierced easily with a fork, drain and cover with cold water until cool enough to handle. Peel and mash. Simmer the apple slices with 1/2 cup water in a covered 1 1/2-quart saucepan for 12 to 15 minutes, or until soft enough to mash. Do not drain. Place the mashed parsnips and apples in a wide 4-quart saucepan. Add onions and tomatoes; tie ginger and mustard seed loosely in a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth or place in a metal tea ball and add to the pan, along with vinegar. Bring to boil over medium heat and simmer slowly 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour more, or until thick. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. The chutney will darken considerably. Remove from heat and spoon at once into hot, sterilized half-pint or pint jars; seal. Store at least 1 month before opening. Yield: About 7 cups. From _The Pleasures of Preserving and Pickling_ by Jeanne Lesem. New York: Random House, 1982. Pp. 146-147. ISBN 0-394-75311-4. Posted by Cathy Harned.


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