Mango and brandy-oh

21 Nov

It’s mid November, which means that , apart from being my mum’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mama!), it’s getting close to Christmas.
And when it gets close to Christmas that means it’s preserving time!
For the last few years I have been giving my family jars of my homemade preserves as presents. The first year I did this, I spent the last week leading up to Christmas cooking frantically until all hours of the night, before getting up, going to work and beginning all over again.
Now I am a bit more prepared. I collect jars throughout the year and begin cooking in November.
Preserving seems so old fashioned, but I really love it. I keep jars in the cupboard for emergency gifts and they always come in handy for impromptu barbeques.
I’m delightfully happy that there appears to be a mango glut this year; they are already so ridiculously cheap! I picked some up for a dollar each, so I have a dozen of the sweet fruit just waiting for me to start cooking and eating. Mangos have a beautiful pine-needle aroma and the scent just screams summer and Christmas to me, so it feels fitting to include them in my Christmas hampers.
So this week I’ll be wearing one of my vintage aprons (yes, I collect them) and dancing around to Rosemary Clooney – “Mangos” while I make the first preserve of the season:

Mango and Brandy Chutney

Olive oil

1 1/2 tbs of mustard seeds

3 red onions, chopped finely (I use a food processer)

A thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped into sticks

1 1/3 cups of brandy (the nicer the brandy the nicer the chutney!)

6 large mangoes, peeled and roughly chopped

2 1/2 cups of caster sugar

1 1/3 cups of apple cider vinegar

Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they pop (a couple of minutes)

Add ginger and onion and cook, stirring until soft.

Add brandy and cook for about a minute before adding the mango, vinegar and sugar.

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until it has thickened.

While chutney is hot, divide amongst hot, sterilised jars and seal tightly – it will splutter as it hits the jars, so be careful you don’t burn yourself

Turn them on their lids for a couple of minutes before turning them right side up to cool.

Label them and store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months. Refrigerate after opening.

I covered the tops of mine with brown paper and wrapped some kitchen twine around the lids. I used a decorative stamp on the top and hand wrote the name and date on in a black pen. I found small wooden spoons at a local shop and attached them witht the twine. I think they looked quite pretty, but I’m not sure what I’ll do this year!

UPDATE:

I made my chutney and it turned out perfectly!

I made six jars and it yields about 2 litres.

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