I’m here today with a recipe that should definitely be the newest addition to all your future cheese boards – Spiced Nectarine Chilli Chutney! Jam is my jam, but I also love trying other kinds of preserving.
This recipe was born out of an abundance of homegrown chillies and my well-established love of summer stone fruit. I’ve been wanting to make chutney for a while now, and nectarine and chilli sounded like the perfect flavour combination to try. I love that sweet-tart chutney can take a boring sandwich or simple ham and cheese toastie to a whole other level.
So, what’s the difference between a jam and a chutney?
Honestly it gets a little tricky here and I’ve spent the last 30 minutes trying to work it out.
Very basically, jam is a sweet preserve and chutney is more savoury. It’s sometimes spicy, and often (but not always) contains vegetables, plus vinegar and spices. I’ve seen chutney made with so many different ingredients – from mint, coriander, dates, coconut, onion and chillies to things like tart apple, rhubarb, quince, mango, eggplant, tomato, dried fruit and so many more.
Chutney originated in India but soon spread around the world. It is a condiment used to complement a meal like a little flavour bomb. Some chutneys are traditionally made to pair with curries, but others go perfectly on sandwiches, or with cheese and cold meats.
This may be controversial, but when I think about the flavour profiles of a jam vs a fruit or vegetable based chutney, the difference is white sugar vs brown sugar. If I was making a nectarine jam vs a nectarine chutney, I would approach them quite differently. Even thought the base ingredient is the same, the supporting players would change and the end result would be very different.
Even though my Tomato and Chilli Jam contains vinegar, the white sugar gives it an overall sweeter flavour profile. This nectarine chilli chutney has sweetness from the brown sugar, but to me feels more savoury with cider vinegar, onion and a lot of spices. Luckily, I don’t think there is such thing as the Chutney Police, and both are great with cheese!
I like making small batches of jams and chutneys, using roughly a kilo of fruit at a time. This gives me around 2-3 jars of finished jam. To me this is much more manageable than having to spend a whole day canning and then sterilising and storing dozens of jars! And even better, each batch takes under an hour to cook! Making small batches also means I can try different flavour combinations more often. In-season fruit is usually very affordable, and lately I have been preserving the vegetables I am growing in my small backyard garden.
This chutney recipe is really easy to make and perfect for beginners. All the ingredients go into a saucepan and are stirred occasionally while they cook and thicken. That’s it! As always, I love a versatile recipe and this is definitely one of those. You can play around with the spices used, or add more or less chilli to your own personal taste. Just a quick note that the chilli was definitely more pronounced and spicy when it was hot and I was tasting for flavour than a few days later after it had been chilled.
I think this Nectarine Chilli Chutney is absolutely perfect with a crumbly sharp cheddar and some fancy crackers. I’ve bought plenty of chutney in the past but now that I’ve tried home-made, I’m never going back! It’s going to be my new cheese board staple going into autumn, a delicious way to preserve one of my favourite summer fruits.
Related Post: Roasted Spiced Plum Jam
Spiced Nectarine Chilli Chutney
I think this Spiced Nectarine Chilli Chutney is absolutely perfect with a crumbly sharp cheddar and some fancy crackers. It's going to be my new cheese board staple going into autumn, a delicious way to preserve one of my favourite summer fruits.
- 900 g nectarines, stone removed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 onion, finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, very finely sliced
- 2 hot chillies, finely sliced (add more or less to your taste)
- Salt, to taste
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. When it’s ready, the mixture will be thickened. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime, sterilise 2-3 glass jars by washing the jars and lids in boiling water and then placing in a low oven (120°C/250°F) until completely dry. Place the warm jam into the jars and seal. Cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge.