This year, it seems I’m all about the tomato. We’ve been tomato crazy, and now have tons of tomatoes in various stages of ripening. If you’re in the same boat, this Smoky Chipotle Tomato Chutney is gonna be a perfect way to use up a glut of red ones.
Even if you’ve never canned before, you’ll want to consider this recipe. Small batches of specialty items like this Chutney can be very worthwhile & are easy enough to do. You can probably get by with items you have right in your kitchen for a recipe like this (high acid) that only needs a water bath instead of a pressure canner.
You’ll need a big, tall pot, a rack that will give a little space below the jars when they’re in the pot, a spoon that can be sterilized and a pair of tongs. And jars & lids. Everything else falls into the “nice to have” category – and if you’re doing large batches they’re even nicer to have, but for a few jars you can get by with the minimum.
Just think how great it would be to have some of this Smoky Chipotle Tomato Chutney on hand through the winter, to give as a special gift or to trot out for a party. It’s really like a savory jam or a marmalade, almost a relish, with just a touch of smokiness, a subtle heat and a surprising back note of earthy spices.
This is a kind of like my Garden Chili Sauce coz you’ll find yourself going back for another bite and another, and maybe a bit more like the sweeter tasting Tomato Jam I posted a few weeks ago. This chutney has a lot more “players” in the mix, though, and a lot of complexity.
I borrowed the backbone of the recipe from the Food Network, but spiced and flavored it with my own special spice blends. One is Michael Chiarello’s Fennel Spice Rub. & the other was just a touch of pickling spice. Flavoring & spicing changes are easy to make; just don’t mess with the amount of vinegar (acid) and sugar which are the preservatives in the recipe.
When I first tasted the chutney, before it went in the jars, I was taken back – it was a wild cacophony of flavors. Everything was jumping. But it mellowed & was excellent the next day when we had it on crackers. Set this aside (if you can stand to) for a month or two mature. If you can wait, it’ll be perfect for the Holidays.
Smoky Tomato Chutney
- 1 very large red onion
- 4 1/2 pounds red tomatoes, skinned, seeded & chopped (weigh after skinning and seeding and include the juice in the weight)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, about 1 1/2″ long, minced
- 1 pound of brown sugar
- 8 ounces apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Michael Chiarello’s Fennel Spice Rub
- 1/2 teaspoon Pickling Spice or Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- optional: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon liquid smokd
To loosen the skins and peel the tomatoes: heat a gallon of water to boiling. Make a thin shallow “x” on the bottom of each tomato, add to boiling water for about a minute and then remove. When cool enough to handle, slip off the peels and set aside.
Working over a colander over a bowl to catch the seeds and juices, roughly chop the tomatoes into 1/2 pieces, de seeding the majority as you work. Weigh the tomatoes and juice – you will need 4 1/2 pounds.
Add tomatoes and any juices to a large, heavy bottomed, non reactive pan along with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and simmer gently for one hour. At that point, increase heat and gently boil, stirring often, and being careful not to scorch, until the mixture turns dark and jammy.
Divide between the hot, sterilized jars, add lid and lightly screw ring on. Place in boiling water bath and process for 15 minutes. Here are the canning steps in a Pdf form. The address
If time allows, set the Smoky Chipotle Tomato Chutney aside for a month or two. While very good immediately, the flavors will meld with time.