Strawberry Rosemary Chutney
Its summer time, preserving season. I’m quite excited to bring this recipe to you for a couple of reasons. First of all it’s my first and only completely original chutney recipe. I’ve never seen any recipe for a rosemary strawberry chutney before. It’s a wonderful chutney to go on really any kind of white meat, be it chicken or fish. Its also a fabulous accompaniment for a mediumly strong cheese with crackers. It’s got this lovely strawberry sweetness paired with the the delicate sublime taste of rosemary.
My interest in this started several years ago when I felt I had too much strawberry jam and was mindful of my mission that year to have both a chutney and a jam come out of the year’s crop. I also wanted to figure out a way to use Pomona’s to make chutneys as I had not been successful to that point. The idea with the recipe is to make it like a jam until the pectin is added, and then add the vinegar & salt. The reasoning is that the chemical changes to make jam have all happened so the vinegar is added after the jam is on its way to setting.
The other reason I’m excited to bring this to you is because I’ve developed a Google sheet application for this recipe. I’ve been using Google Sheets for recipes in other posts -for example my sourdough bread, pesto or sausages. As a spreadsheet application, Google sheets allows you to do the calculations needed to get your recipe consistent and just right.
When you go into your garden or the market to get whatever you are going to preserve, you don’t really know how much it’s going to weigh, but usually you do want to be able to use all you got. A given recipe will usually have volume or weight measures, and inevitably you need to scale it up or down. The sheet that I’ve developed with this recipe allows you to input the volume of the strawberries and from there all of the rest of the ingredients are calculated, including the number of jars you will need. If you really like this recipe and want to make it your own you can download the file as an Excel sheet or select ‘make a copy’ and continue in Google Sheets. That done you can make whatever adjustments you wish for yourself
If you’ve read my other blogs you’ll know that I really like to operate by weight so this one is something of an exception. The original formulation of the recipe was done not by weight but by volume, and I simply haven’t done the weight calculation yet. There should not be a surprise as strawberries are 99% water anyway so 1L should be 1000g.
In this as in all my other jam and chutney recipes I use Pomona’s pectin. Pomona’s pectin is pretty special because it’s a low sugar pectin using honey so you can pretty much eat the jams and chutneys you make with Pomona’s guilt-free. In this particular recipe I have used one and a half times the pectin suggested for the usual quantities. This is for a couple of reasons:
- Pomona’s needs more pectin in dealing with a high acidic environment such as a chutney
- there is a large addition of vinegar which increases both the acidity and volume.
That all said, you don’t have to have Pomona’s to do this chutney. All of you will have your favorite jam and chutney ways of preparing things, so use what has worked for you in the past to gel chutneys. My preference is to use my BBQ. I use the side burner to heat the the the jars for for the water bath, and to heat the chutney, I take off the the grill bars and set the pot on top of the heat deflectors.
Finally,. you don’t HAVE to go to the spreadsheet in order to do this recipe. Here is a recipe for 1 litre of strawberries, or 2 pints. If you are not using Pomona’s, use whatever amount of pectin is recommended for 2 pints/1litre of strawberries times 1.5.
1 L Strawberries (or 2 pints)
3 tsp calcium water
1.5 cup honey
3 tsp POMONA’s pectin powder
20. g salt
3. tbs rosemary
125.ml apple cider vinegar
125.ml white vinegar
Total yield: 1.63 L
- 1x 1 Litre jar for preparing the strawberries
- Pot for boiling fruit
- Canning pot for water bath
- 8 250ml jars (7 should be all you need for this quantity)
- 8 lids and tops
- Collandar to hold the jar lids
- Sharp knife
- 1L measuring cup
- bowl for compost
- Teaspoon measuring set
- Potato masher
- 3 dishtowels or pot holders
- Rubber spatula (heat resistant)
- Wooden spoon
- Canning tongs
- Wash and prepare 8 250ml jars
- Prepare the strawberries: wash, cut off tops and other undesirable bits and pack into a litre jar.
- Measure/prepare: rosemary, calcium water, vinegars
- Prepare water bath: half fill your canning pot, and heat. Put jars in, Put lids in a colander and set in the boiling water about 5 minutes before you fill your jars.
- Mix together honey and pectin, stir thoroughly. In Pomona’s method, the pectin powder is added to the honey. The Pectin/honey is added only once the calcium water and fruit have come to a boil. Do NOT add this in with the fruit initially.
- Boil strawberries, rosemary. Use the potato masher to mash the berries.
- Add calcium water and stir thoroughly. Bring back to a boil
- Add pectin/honey mix and stir thoroughly. Bring back to a boil. This is meant to come to a boil, but do not keep it boiling as this will ruin the gelling ability of the pectin.
- Remove the 8 250ml jars from the water bath and prepare them to receive the chutney. Make sure your water bath is boiling vigorously.
- Once chutney is boiling while stirring, cut the heat.
- Working quickly, mix in vinegar and salt
- Taste for saltiness/vinegar in that order. You may want to not add all of the vinegar and salt at once – do it according to taste. What you taste at this stage is what you will get once it is is all done.
- Can and water bath for 10 minutes. The water must be boiling during this time. Do not boil longer as it will affect the gelling ability of the pectin.
- Add labels once cooled.