A couple of days ago P. found some gigantic quinces at our local organic grocery store. I was happy and exited as every year when we find the first quinces. I know you’ve heard it all before on this blog. Quinces are my favourite fruits. Although you cannot eat them raw. Although they are a pain to prepare. Last year I almost killed a very good knife while trying to slice a quince in half. Although they seem a bit hostile at first glance, they are quite lovable when you get to know them better. I enjoy their smell and taste so much that I am willing to sacrifice some kitchen utensils.
Usually I use quinces for compotes, pies, cobblers, etc, but this year I wanted to try something different. Especially because P. had bought a box of kumquats, too. He likes to bring stuff home and then I have to figure out what to do with it. Which is totally fine, because it usually results in a new blog recipe.
So, Chutney. I never really liked it. Not the kind I am used to: mango chutney in a jar. For P. it’s like crack but I seriously couldn’t care less. Sweet and sour is not my thing. But then there was an incident that made me change my opinion about chutney: Celine’s banana chutney recipe, which will be in one of her upcoming books. I made it for P. because I thought he’d like it. And boy, he did. But the really strange thing was, I liked it too. So when I had quince and kumquats around and thought about pairing them, chutney came to my mind. And here I am with a chutney recipe. The taste of quinces remind me of honey, or better the honeycomb, which is underlined by spices like cloves and allspice. They form a little contrast to the curry flavour and the heat of the chilis.
This chutney is more on the sour side than on the sweet and if you’d like to add more sugar, feel free to do so. It’s also rather hot. Adjust the heat to your taste.
1 tablespoon oil
2 bird’s eye chili, chopped (use less or milder chilis, if you are sensitive to heat)
1 1.5 cm/1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
450 g (1 lb) quince (one large), chopped into small cubes
200 g (7 oz) kumquats, sliced into thin rings
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maracuja juice (apple or orange juice is fine too)
1/4 cup water (more if necessary)
50 g (1/4 cup) muscovado/mascobado sugar
6 cloves, whole
2 allspice corns
10 saffron threads
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, heat oil and add chili, ginger, and garlic. Fry over medium heat for five minutes. Add quince, kumquats, vinegar, juice, and water. Stir and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and cook over medium to low heat for 30 minutes, until the quinces are soft and the liquid is absorbed. Let cool and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the fridge.