Aga Cookery Doctor's Damson Chutney
- 1.5 kg (3 lb) damsons
- 500g (1 lb) cooking apples
- 250g (8 oz) onions, chopped
- 250g (8 oz) dates, stoned
- 250g (8 oz) soft brown sugar
- 625 ml (1 pint) malt vinegar
- 15g (½ oz) ground ginger
- 15g (½ oz) English mustard powder
- 15g (½ oz) sea salt
- 2.5 ml (½ tsp) freshly-ground black pepper
- 2.5 ml (½ tsp) ground cloves
Have a damp dishcloth near the cooker to wipe up any splashes as soon as they happen as acid liquids such as fruit juice and vinegar can mark the enamel if left for any time.
Count the damsons and then rub with a clean cloth to remove any surface bloom. Place into an AGA preserving pan and place on the Simmering plate, stirring occasionally until the juices start to run. As soon as the fruit is bubbling, transfer to the floor of the Simmering Oven and leave here to cook until soft, about an hour.
Now go fishing with a spoon and remove all the stones, hence the reason for counting at the start!
Peel and core the apples and cut into pieces and add with the onions, dates, sugar, vinegar, seasoning and spices. Bring back to boiling point on the Boiling Plate, stirring all the time to prevent splashing and then transfer the pan to the Simmering Plate and cook here for 10 minutes. Then transfer to the floor of the Simmering Oven and cook here for two hours. Turn on the oven vent fan if this is manually controlled on your model.
While the chutney is cooking, place your washed and dried jars in an AGA roasting tin lined with several thickness of newspaper. Place the lids in a bowl ready to pour boiling water over before use.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer it to the Simmering Plate. Place the tin of jars in the Simmering Oven to sterilise for 30 minutes.
Continue to cook the chutney, stirring frequently until it is soft and thick. It should leave a trail on the base of the pan as you stir when it is ready and it will look like thick jam. It will also thicken a little further once it has been potted.
Pour boiling water over the lids and allow them to stand for five minutes. Then pour off the water and dry them using a clean tea towel fresh from the drawer.
Pot into the hot jams and screw down the lids straight away to seal.
Alternatively you can use the older method of using discs of waxed paper and then wetted cellophane fixed down with the rubber bands supplied in such kits.
When cool, label and store in a cool, dry and dark place. It needs a good couple of months' storage to reach maturity before using.