Though delicious, pineapple has found itself part of some rather unsavoury culinary combinations over the years. First, came the somewhat strange pineapple and cheese cocktail stick affair. Hardly the high point of the party buffet. Then, as if to add insult to tropical injury, the Hawaiian pizza crept up when no one was looking. My recipe for pineapple chutney, however, belongs to the brighter side of this unfortunate fruit’s repertoire.
Juiced or simply cut up and enjoyed, pineapple is one of the very sweetest and most enjoyable fruits in existence. That said – as with most fruit – there is a fine line between a ripe pineapple and one a little past its best. Of course, a perfectly ripe specimen can be employed to great effect, but chutney also provides a tremendous gastronomical retirement for your partially fermented fruit.
Unlike the shop bought stuff, this pineapple chutney is best described as strong and full-bodied. With plenty of whole spices, a decent hint of chilli and a range of textures, this recipe distances itself somewhat from its overly-sweet, smooth and bland mass-produced cousin. I like my chutney rough and ready (to enjoy), let’s hope you do too. Oh, and it’s delicious with a good, strong cheddar – just don’t come armed with a cocktail stick.
Makes 3-4 jars
- 2 pineapples, peeled and diced with core (around 1kg)
- 2 red onions, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 200ml cider vinegar
- 275g light brown sugar
- 3 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods, bashed
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat the olive oil in a large thick-based saucepan and cook the onions until translucent. Add the spices and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Tip in all of the remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour or until thick and dark. Meanwhile, sterilise three jars by filling them with boiling water and drying them in the oven.
- Tip the chutney into the jars and seal immediately. Leave for at least a week to mature.
Cost: Chutney is never particularly expensive to make, especially when you can buy two pineapples for £1! Such an incredible saving means that you should be able to recreate this for around £1.50.