I haven’t made jam nor chutney in quite a while, I feel like I’ve really been neglecting this part of cooking. Why now? Because I went shopping and that triggered my memory. Three years ago I raved about a Wensleydale cheese & carrot chutney sandwich from M&S that I’d had in Birmingham. Since then carrot chutney has been on my to do list but there are so many other things on that list, too, so it got pushed back. Another reason was that I’d never managed to find Wensleydale cheese over here.
It was a total coincidence that I stopped at a supermarket at some place I was driving through, and when I went past their cheese counter I doubled back – Wensleydale! Unfortunately, they didn’t have plain Wensleydale; instead they had a mango & ginger version, and a cranberry one. Hmmmm. I went for the cranberry, and what do you know – delicious. I went straight back to the veggie section to get carrots for making chutney.
And here it is. Over the years I’ve bookmarked quite a few carrot chutney recipes, but in the end I went for a low-effort version. I know, that’s so like me to take a shortcut, so predictable. I got out my Preserve book, went to the green tomato chutney recipe that I’ve made several times before, and got started.
I halved most of the ingredients, left out others – like apples, raisins, and chillies – and I was quite content with the recipe. Why just content instead of happy? Well, for one thing, after three years I had no memory of what that carrot chutney in Birmingham had tasted like. Also, I think my version can – and should – be tweaked no end. Only at that moment I was fixated on making carrot chutney to go with my Wensleydale, so I didn’t bother with much thinking. Plus, except for grating the carrots, this really is a low-effort version.
One thing I would definitely like to change but have no idea how to is to make the taste of the vinegar not stand out so much. Maybe more sugar? Replace white wine vinegar with malt vinegar? Any other ingredients that make it taste softer, less acidic? Not that it’s not good, but as I said, it can be improved. So if anyone has suggestions, let me know, please!
(adapted from hamlyn’s Preserve)
500 g carrots
250 white onions
1 garlic clove
½ tsp ground ginger
½ pinch ground cloves
½ pinch ground turmeric
125 g soft dark brown sugar
150 ml white wine vinegar
Peel and grate the carrots, Finely chop the onions and crush the garlic clove.
Put carrots, onions into a large-ish pan and mix together. Add the garlic, ginger, cloves and turmeric, stir, then add the sugar and vinegar.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and cover pan. Simmer for 1½ hours, stirring frequently.
Transfer chutney to warm dry jars and cover with an airtight lid. Unopened, this should keep for up to 12 months.
The original recipe says to stir for 1½ hours, or until chutney has thickened. However, with my mix of ingredients there wasn’t much liquid apart from the vinegar, so it was more a case of the vinegar slowly boiling down rather than the mix thickening.
It also says to mature the chutney in a dark, cool place for at least 3 weeks before using.