Several years ago a friend challenged me to enter a few classes at the local agriculture show, which, in the end, I was persuaded to do – though not without some trepidation! After debating long and hard with myself as to which categories to enter, in the end I chose three, paying the princely sum of 75p for each entry. On the day of the show I was full of nerves, having displayed my entries in the tent the previous afternoon as required under the strict entry criteria. After a sleepless night and early start the following day, I finally entered the marquee. Well! What a shock! I was absolutely amazed to receive two first prizes and one second place. This earned me £8 in prize money – a profit of around £6 on the day – enough to treat everybody to icecreams to celebrate. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited!
Anyway, with the rhubarb season starting, I thought I would share with you my prize winning rhubarb chutney recipe with you. I like to use a selection of sizes of jars, so the chutney can be used for home, or dressed up and given as gifts. Do make sure though that the jars have vinegar proof or non- metallic lids. Quantities given make 3 lbs (1.4 kg) of chutney.
● 900 g. rhubarb, washed and cut into 2.5 cm (1inch) pieces
● 225 g. cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
● 3 medium onions, finely chopped.
● 5 cm. piece of fresh root ginger, grated.
● 1-2 tsp. mild curry powder
● 1 tsp. onion seeds (nigella seeds)
● Pinch of sea salt
● 450 ml. vinegar (pickling or malt)
● 450 g. light soft brown sugar
● Wash the jars in warm soapy water, dry and pop into a low oven to sterilize them.
● Put the rhubarb pieces, apple and onion into a preserving pan, or a very large, heavy based saucepan. Add 1-4 tbs. of water and cook over a low heat until the rhubarb softens, this usually takes around 10 minutes.
● Next, stir in the ginger, curry powder, onion seeds and salt. Pour in half the vinegar and simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
● In a bowl, dissolve the sugar in the remaining vinegar, then add it to the pan. Simmer gently, stirring continuously, until the mixture starts to thicken, this usually takes 10 – 15 minutes.
● Ladle into sterilised jars, seal and store in a dark place.
Do let us know your favourite rhubarb recipes, we’d love to give them a try!