Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney

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Blueberry chutney with artisan cheese and crackers1 Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney 

 

My Grandma’s supper table was always loaded with appetite sparking little extras–three types of homemade cucumber pickles (sweet, tart, and sweet-tart), spiced peaches, sauerkraut, candied crab apples, and pickled baby onions. Thus, I grew up happily on the sharp aroma and kick of vinegar.

 

But even though some of her specialties included spices, such as cinnamon and cloves, they never included garlic or hot chiles.
 

Blueberry chutney ingredients 2 Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney

 

I would have to wait until college to taste my first Indian chutney, a sweet-tart-spicy-hot-chunky-fruity, completely addictive condiment. After that first mind altering bite, there was no turning back. Today, our frig always contains at least one homemade and several store-bought chutneys.
 Blueberry chutney on the stove Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney

 

So what is chutney anyway? It’s basically a reduced, slightly syrupy mixture of fruit (or vegetables), sugar, vinegar, chiles, garlic, and spices. Sometimes it’s preserved by canning, but because of the high vinegar percentage, it keeps for an extended period in the frig as well.
 Blueberry chutney on the stove boiled down Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney

 

Although chutney is perfect as an accompaniment to spicy Indian curry, its usefulness extends far beyond that traditional pairing. Depending on which fruits and spices are used, I love it with ham, duck, game hen, chicken, turkey, fish, beef, prawns, cream cheese, goat cheese, Greek-style yogurt, artisan crackers, savory fritters, satays, grilled anything, and sandwiches.


Cinnamon anise fished from bkueberry chutney Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney 

 

It’s even delicious on its own, straight out of the jar, which is how I’m eating it right now. I did mention the addictive part, right?


Blueberry chutney closeup1 Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney 

 

Spicy Blueberry Ginger Chutney


This deep violet chutney is sweet, tart, spicy hot, and packed with flavor. I especially love it with artisan crackers topped with local cream cheese or farmers cheese. Or as an accompaniment to a savory chèvre or gorgonzola cheesecake.

 

1 cup best-quality red wine vinegar

1 cup sugar

½ stick Mexican cinnamon

6 allspice berries

3 pieces star anise

 

½ cup skinned, finely minced garlic (about 1 large head)

½ cup peeled, finely minced fresh ginger

½ cup stemmed, seeded, finely minced jalapeno chiles (wear disposable gloves)

 
4 cups (l pound 3-ounces) fresh blueberries
 
½ cup golden raisins, optional
 
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon salt

 

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar and sugar, and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
  2. Tie the cinnamon, allspice, and star anise loosely in a small piece of cheesecloth. Add to the saucepan and macerate for at least ½ hour. (If you don’t have cheesecloth, just throw in the spices, and then fish them out later.)
  3. Reheat the chutney, and add garlic, ginger, chiles, and 1 cup blueberries. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens and reduces by half, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the spices.
  6. Add the remaining 3 cups of blueberries and 1-2 tablespoons water if needed.
  7. Simmer until most of the blueberries have softened and the sauce is somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes. Don’t go too far here though. The chutney will thicken more as it cools, and you do want some of the blueberries to retain their shape.
  8. Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins if using, and then add crushed red pepper and salt to taste.
  9. Let cool, put into a plastic container, cover, and refrigerate until cold.

 

Makes 3 cups.

 

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About Susan S. Bradley

Intrepid cook, food writer, culinary instructor, author of Pacific Northwest Palate: Four Seasons of Great Cooking, and founder of the Northwest Culinary Academy.

Comments

  1. After checking out a handful of posts on your blog, I truly appreciate your style of blogging. I bookmarked LunaCafe and will be checking back in the near future.Bravo! :-)

  2. I’m making mine now. The kitchen…NO, the house smells scrumptious! What an elegant use of blueberries. I’m using mine as a spread for a peach tea poached chicken panini topped with a slice of brie. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. i’m going to bake it with my brie wrapped in a cream cheese pastry.
    thanks

  4. Blueberry ginger chutney? Sounds so good and intriguing. I agree with lisa that this will pair perfectly with roasted gem hens.

  5. Officially this looks great. I just made a huge batch of peach chutney and this may be next. Will it store?

  6. Oh, I just made the chutney this morning. Yummy! Now I’m off to the store to get some cheese and crackers for my afternoon snack. I’d love to try a peach chutney, too, as Louise suggested (not so subtle hint). Thanks for the recipe.

    • Wonderful! That’s 2 requests for a peach chutney. I better get some fresh peaches at the University District Farmers Market tomorrow. :-)

      • Following up – I’ve shared the chutney with several friends and everyone has raved about it. It has become a staple in my house!

  7. That looks very yummy. I should post my double sauced chicken pea sauce and blackberry sauce. This chutney would go well with that combo.

  8. Just got back from picking blueberries in the warm sun, visiting with a good friend. That alone is a jewel of a memory, then, here at home, I have about 2 gallons of these sweet sapphire jewels with so much potential! Then! I find this post! Yippee! Hey, do you think you could can this chutney like jelly? Wouldn’t it be a great x-mas gift? How long does it last in the fridge?
    .-= Dana Zia´s last blog ..Saving the earth one artichoke at a time =-.

    • Hi Dana! What a wonderful day, picking blueberries in the glorious sunshine. I was on beautiful Cannon Beach briefly yesterday and thought of you down the road a bit in Manzanita. I see no reason why this chutney can’t be treated like jam as far as preserving goes. Just boil for at least 5 minutes, ladle into sterilized jam jars, and seal. It will keep for weeks in the frig though and it never makes it that long in this house.

  9. What a beautiful melody to close out Blueberry Month. It almost looks looks too pretty to eat. Your suggestions have me in a whirl. Where would I experience it first? I think on crackers first to get the full flavor and then on top of my favorite cheesecake. I can dream can’t I?

    Thanks for sharing, Susan. Any peach chutney in the that frig of yours? August is National Peach Month!!!
    .-= Louise´s last blog ..Feasting Our Way in August =-.

    • Thanks so much, Louise! You write beautifully by the way. :-) I just tried the blueberry chutney with a slice of amazing country-style pate I picked up at Portland Farmer’s Market on Saturday. WOW. So that’s another way, i.e. with pate. Peach chutney? Sounds fabulous. Will definitely see what I can come up with on that theme. Thanks for the great suggestion!

  10. A blueberry chutney sounds really good!

  11. This sounds SO good!!!!
    .-= Jen @ MaplenCornbread´s last blog ..Crispy Vanilla Peanut Butter Squares & Award =-.

  12. This would be so good with some roasted game hens. And, your suggestion for serving it with a savory cheesecake sounds great too.
    .-= lisaiscooking´s last blog ..Spaghetti alla Trapanese and Funghi Ripieni di Ricotta =-.

  13. Looks delicious!
    .-= Ria´s last blog ..Entry for Click event – Bi Colour =-.

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