Chutneys are delicious with roasted meat or stews of any kind, as a side dish or even a stuffing - they add a nutritious pop of flavour and colour to any plate. Kids are often lured by chutney as a way to eat foods they don’t otherwise enjoy – when my daughter was young, she’d devour any meat so long as it was covered in either cranberry sauce or chutney. Chutneys are also an excellent condiment for grilled cheese sandwiches and make a nice element on a cheese board. I like to be able to see what’s in the chutneys I serve, but if you prefer a finer-textured chutney (or want to hide ingredients from picky eaters), you can grate the fruit and onions instead of dicing them. While this chutney is ready to eat within a day of preparing, its flavour improves after a few days of resting in the refrigerator.
Put currants in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes or so.
While currants are soaking, combine pears, onion and sugar in a medium sized bowl and let macerate (process by which the sugar draws juice out of the fruit) for 20 minutes.
Drain water from currants and add to mixture along with all other ingredients, stirring to blend.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let marinate at room temperature for 6 – 12 hours before bottling, stirring occasionally during the marinating time.
Bottle in spotlessly clean jars and refrigerate for up to one month. Chutney is ready to eat immediately.
Makes approximately 2 cups.