Canning Peach Chutney


A Ferry from Vashon to Seattle

Last weekend I spent the afternoon on Vashon Island at a local kick-off Canning Across America in the home of Shauna Ahern, aka Gluten Free Girl.  Jas and I had just moved house and so I left early to unpack. Leaving early also meant that I didn’t stay long enough to leave with blueberry jam, plum preserves or the canned whole tomatillos I helped to clean.

A few days later, I got a call from my friend Gerry Warren who asked me if I wanted any peaches. A tree at his house in Darrington yielded excellent peaches this year, but he had too many to use up himself. I took ten pounds of small to medium sized firm peaches that ripened a lot in the few days they sat in a covered cardboard box.

Gerry and Diane's peaches

Gerry and Diane's peaches

I spent a few hours canning today. Yes, it’s work, but I’m feeling very fortunate to have gotten this amazing fruit free of charge. Thanks Gerry and Diane.

About seven or eight years ago, I made a small batch of mango chutney from a recipe given to me by a friend from Andhra Pradhesh (India), but I had never canned any chutney in large batches. I browsed through recipes looking for one that had enough acid for canning. I settled on an American-style chutney recipe from Putting Food By, 4th Edition. Apple cider vinegar and very conservative spice amounts, this chutney seemed right for roasted or grilled sweet and lean meat, sausages and high fat cheeses. I don’t think it would work as a condiment for samosas, but I could be wrong. I adapted the original recipe by using chopped dates instead of raisins and adding brown mustard seeds and cinnamon to the spices. I personally expect mustard seed in any chutney and I think it helped a lot. Feel free to leave them out if you like.

American Peach Chutney

Recipe adapted from  Putting Food By, 4th Edition

Some ingredients

Some of the ingredients


Juice, pulp and peel of 2 lemons, finely chopped

4 cups cider vinegar

2 lbs. dark brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp brown mustard seeds

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

3 tsp Kosher salt

6 lbs. coarsely chopped firm peaches, peeled and seeded

1 1/2 cups crystallized ginger coarsely chopped or 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or golden raisins

2 serrano chili peppers, stem removed and mince

Optional replace 1/2 cup minced onion or shallot if you don’t like garlic


Chop lemon, removing the seeds but saving the juice (food processor or blender), and put in an open, large heavy enameled kettle with sugar, vinegar garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon and fresh chili. Boil the mixture over medium heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile prepare the peaches, and add them to the syrup with the dried fruit. Boil slowly, stirring to prevent sticking and scorching, until the fruit is tender but not mushy and the syrup thick- about 45 minutes. Ladle the hot chutney into hot sterilized 1/2 pint jelly jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headroom in 1/2 pints. If using pint jays, leave 1/2 inch. Removed trapped air by sticking a bubble freer or chopstick straight into jar. Do not stir. Wipe sealing rim; cap. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (180F) Remove and cool upright.

The lemon will seem bold and bitter right now, but the chutney improves greatly after storing for a few months. Alternately, put into a clean glass or ceramic jar while still hot and allow to cool. Cover tightly with a non-corrosive lid. Keep refrigerated. The chutney mellows as it sits.

Yield: Makes enough to fill 18 half pints; 9 pints

American Peach Chutney

American Peach Chutney


10 thoughts on “Canning Peach Chutney

  1. Hi Lucy
    thanks for all the tiny details on making the chutney. And the photos are really beautiful. My husband is about to make his famous pickled golden beets with habaneros. He’s been tweeking this every year with different spices so to get the liquid the most beautiful clear yellow. Making edible art. Have a good week!

    • And by the way, thank you for the note. I was surprised how well the plated ingredients pic turned out- very fancy. On the recipe itself, I don’t think I would use the whole lemon again- maybe just the peel and juice. It was more bitter than I like, but it’s supposed to mellow with age. I hope it mellows a lot! Seemed overkill with all of that cider vinegar, too.

  2. Bruce is out on the boat right now, tugboat captain, for two weeks. I will ask him to email the recipe. And I will take a picture of last summers batch. This has been the most amazing and satisfying summer for an endless parade of color, flavor, and new ideas just pouring out of the garden. My sister and I are going to can, little half pint jars, of Italian Plums this week, just the size to open and eat with a spoon. This was something my mom did, canning the plums, when we were kids. I have such vivid memories of this for breakfast in the winter….she passed away in May.

    Sigh….talk to you soon… Thanks for being here.

  3. I am getting ready to make this for the first time, but I have one question. Will the jars store safely on the shelf, or do the have to be refrigerated? I have lots ot pantry space but not so much cool storage. Thanks,

    • Sorry about the delay. I suggest playing around with the recipe- simplify the ingredients to your tastes- use dates or dried cranberries in place of raisins if you like, use less spice- it’s pretty forgiving. Regarding storing the jars safely, If you process the jars correctly in a hot water bath canner (according to directions) and your lids are sealed tight, then it is shelf stable and safe to eat without refrigeration. If you would rather skip the hot water canner and freeze the chutney that’s an option in freezer bags or freezer friendly containers. You can also store unprocessed jars in the refrigerator and they will keep safe for a while. Hope that helps. Good luck!

      Remember this is an American style chutney. It is not an Indian-style recipe.

  4. Yum. this recipe is really nice. I have been looking for days for the right recipe and chose this one. Maybe even too sweet with all of my additions, so i added some hot pepper sauce and more garlic. I added curry powder, fresh ginger, allspice, vanilla and nutmeg. Hope it will taste even better after its done cooking down.

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