Lemon Chutney

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From the Vitality Food Feature ‘GIFTS FROM THE KITCHEN‘.

(Makes 4 cups)

  • 8 organic lemons, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbsp kosher or pickling salt
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 dried cayenne pepper, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes, optional
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar (or use 1-1/2 cups coconut sugar as a lower glycemic alternative)

1) Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the lemons, being careful not to include the white pith. Using a paring knife, cut away and discard the white pith from around the lemons. Finely chop the zest. Coarsely chop the lemons, discarding the seeds. In a non-reactive (glass) bowl, combine the zest, lemons and salt. Cover with a clean cloth and set aside in a cool place overnight.

2) In a Maslin pan or large saucepan, combine macerated lemon mixture, garlic, currants, apricots, lemon juice, vinegar, ginger, cayenne, cardamom, coriander and hot pepper flakes. Bring to a light simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the brown sugar. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the heat to keep the mixture at a regular simmer and cook, stirring frequently for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick and mounds on a wooden spoon.

3) Meanwhile, heat four 1-cup (250 mL) jars in boiling water and scald the lids, lifter, funnel and tongs.

4) Skim and discard any foam. Fill hot jars, leaving a 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) headspace. Remove air bubbles and add more hot chutney if necessary, to leave a 1/4-inch (0.5 cm) headspace. Wipe rims, top with flat lids and screw on metal rings. Return jars to the hot water bath, topping up with hot water if necessary. Bring to a full rolling boil and process jars for 10 minutes.

5) Remove the lid of canner (large pot) and wait 5 minutes before removing jars to a towel or rack to cool completely. Check seals, label and store in a cool place for up to 1 year.

Pat Crocker's mission in life is to write with insight and experience, cook with playful abandon, and eat whole food with gusto. As a professional Home Economist (BAA, Ryerson U., Toronto) and Culinary Herbalist, Pat’s passion for healthy food is fused with her knowledge and love of herbs. Her wellness practice transitioned over more than four decades of growing, photographing, and writing about what she calls, the helping plants. In fact, Crocker infuses the medicinal benefits of herbs in every original recipe she develops. An award-winning author, Pat has written 23 herb/healthy cookbooks, including The Healing Herbs Cookbook,The Juicing Bible, and her latest books, Cooking with Cannabis and The Herbalist’s Kitchen. www.patcrocker.com

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