I love fresh, ripe peaches in the summertime. They make a juicy and aromatic snack and are one of my favorite summer fruits. My cousin, Barbara, from the coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina, shared one of her favorite recipes and another interesting way to serve peaches. “Maryland Peach Chutney” is a spicy compote of fresh peaches, raisins and apples. I made a small batch and served it with baked chicken and rice.
South Carolina and Georgia are two of the top peach growing states in our country. So Barbara has a supply of local, fresh peaches all summer. It is tempting to purchase a bushel or basket of the fresh produce at a farmer’s market. And when the peaches ripen, nothing can beat the flavor. Barbara provided the recipe for peach chutney which is calls for 7 pounds of peaches and is meant for canning. It makes a large batch and is an ideal way to use all these peaches. Barbara says this is one of her favorite peach recipes.
The chutney can be used as a sauce and served with chicken, fish and pork. It is great when served at breakfast with oatmeal, granola or yogurt. Or it would make an interesting flavor combination when served with ice cream.
What is chutney? It is “a sauce or relish of East Indian origin, often compounded of both sweet and sour ingredients, as fruits and herbs, with spices and other seasoning.” I associate chutney with Indian cuisine. Barbara’s recipe includes the spices of cumin, ginger, mustard seed and paprika. Although traditional recipes include cumin, I might consider omitting it next time, is seemed over-powered the other spices.
I wanted to make Barbara’s chutney recipe – but 7 pounds of peaches is more than I could tackle. So I reduced the quantities for one pound (plus a little more) of peaches. Rather than canning the chutney and preserving it; we ate it as fresh chutney.
This recipe turned out to be very easy to make. Peeling and slicing the peaches; chopping the apples and grating the onion is the time consuming part. Then the recipe is quite easy to finish. To make the recipe, the fresh peeled and sliced peaches are marinated in the vinegar and brown sugar. Meanwhile, the apples, raisins, onion and spices are cooked on the stove until the apples are tender. (I added a little water at this step).
Remove from stove and cool. Either store in refrigerator until ready to serve or process the chutney in a canner according to the manufacturer’s directions. We ate the chutney that night for supper. Yum!
Barbara's Peach Chutney - A Small Batch
- 1 to 1-1/3 lb fresh peaches (3 large or 5 small peaches)
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp grated onion
- 1/3 cup golden seedless raisins
- 1/2 apple, peeled and diced (such as Fuji or Pink Lady)
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder (optional)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Instructions and Steps:
- peel and cut peaches into slices about 3/4″ thick. Cover with vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
- Combine all remaining ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thoroughly blended and the apples are soft. (Add a little water, if needed, so that the apples do not burn.)
- In a separate saucepan cook the peach mixture for several minutes or until peaches are tender but still hold their shape.
- Combine both mixtures and cook together until they boil for a few minutes.
- Either pour into sterilized jars (boiling hot) and process in water bath according to manufacturer’s instructions. Or alternately, serve immediately and refrigerate leftovers, which may be kept for several weeks.