We have a pear tree in our yard at the Crossroads, and it is heavy with ripe pears. I don’t know what variety it is, but it produces an abundance of sweet pears. The tree has been here a long time, and it was planted by Leo’s mother. I wish she were here to ask what kind of pear tree it is.
So what do you do with an abundance of pears other than feed the wildlife? Today I made pear chutney. Last year I made pear honey and pear relish, but I thought I’d try something different this year.
Are you a chutney fan? I am. It pairs beautifully with pork and chicken, but we don’t do chicken here. Leo is allergic to all fowl. That means no turkey for Thanksgiving at our house!
If you are unfamiliar with chutney, it is a sweet and sour condiment that originated in India. It is usually made with fresh fruit. Sugar gives it the sweet taste and vinegar and onions give it the sour flavor. The ingredients are mixed together and simmered slowly. Additional spices give it an extra zing and make the flavor more complex.
In addition to serving it with meat, it can be used as a quick appetizer. Pour some on top of a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers. Or, spread some goat cheese on some toasted French bread slices and top it with a spoonful of the pear chutney. Or think about how good it would be on top of baked brie!
Since I have so many pears, I canned my pear chutney. If you’d rather not can it, or if you don’t have the canning equipment, you can still put the chutney in sterilized jars with lids and refrigerate it for up to 6 weeks. This recipe will make 11-12 half-pint jars.
Here’s what you’ll need to make my Spicy Pear Chutney:
First, you will need about 5 pounds of pears. Rinse the pears and wipe them down. Don’t peel the pears. Core them and then cut them into small slices.
Next, put a quart of cider vinegar, a box of dark brown sugar, and 1/2 cup water in a very large pot. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add your chopped pears to this mixture along with these ingredients: 1 box dark raisins, 1 box golden raisins, 2 chopped onions, 1 chopped red pepper, 1 chopped lemon, 5-6 cloves of chopped garlic, chopped fresh ginger (a piece about 3 inches long), 1 cup honey, 1 cup light Karo syrup, 3 tablespoons molasses, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon of each of the following: mustard seed, ground cinnamon, paprika, curry, and salt.
When it is finished cooking, sterilize your jars and rings. Heat your lids but do not put them into boiling water. Ladle the mixture into the hot jars and add the lids and rings, filling and sealing one jar at a time.
If you would like a printable version of this recipe for Spicy Pear Chutney, click here.
I’m joining these great parties: