This warm, softly spiced jam-cum-chutney, is based on a recipe by my friend Michele Cranston, whom I aptly met over a box of nectarines. The following summer we spent an afternoon making her Nectarine + Chilli Chutney together, and now I can’t bear the thought of Christmas without a jar of this alongside our glazed ham. The recipe can easily be scaled down (try starting with a kilo of fruit), or up - a box of fruit and an afternoon shared with a few friends is perfect and you’ll each go home with at least a couple of jars. It is equally as good with barbecued fish or roast chicken; spooned over poached eggs at breakfast; and alongside a nice, sharp cheddar. As with most chutneys, it likes a little time for the flavours to marry in the jar, so plan to make this at least a couple of weeks before you want to eat it.
Michele’s Nectarine + Chilli Chutney
makes 6 x 300 ml jars
10 - 12 long red chillies
160 ml (2/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
2 - 3 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 - 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 - 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
3 teaspoons finely grated ginger
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 kilos just-ripe nectarines, stone removed and roughly chopped
240 g (1 cup) caster sugar
200 ml white wine vinegar
40 ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin fish sauce
Slice the chillies in half length-ways and remove most of the seeds. Finely slice the flesh into long thin strips.
Pour the oil into a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the ginger and give it a stir, then add the garlic and chilli, and stir to to coat in the oil. Add the chopped nectarines, sugar, vinegar and fish sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for about 1.5 to 2 hours or until the jam is thick.
Spoon the hot jam into hot sterilised jars, give the rims a wipe, and seal. Allow to cool before storing in the fridge. Unopened jars will keep for up to a year.
Based on a recipe for Tomato + Chilli Jam published in ‘Marie Claire - Comfort’, courtesy Michele Cranston