Spicy Pear and Dried Cherry Chutney

We are thrilled that writer, chef, and cookbook author Greg Atkinson has shared the following recipe with us.

SPICY PEAR AND DRIED CHERRY CHUTNEY
We had a bumper crop of pears this year and since I can’t stand to see them go to waste, I put some up into chutney. In years past, my pear chutney has been only fair; this year I determined to make it irresistible. Bright tart cherries and a good spike of red chilies definitely did the trick. This is the best chutney I have ever had.

(Makes 5 pints)
2 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
5 pounds hard, under-ripe pears
2 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
2 cups dried tart cherries
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, rubbed through a microplane grater
1 tablespoon dried red chili flakes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger

1.) Sterilize six pint-size canning jars in a boiling water bath over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot and allow the jars to stand in the simmering water while you make the chutney.

2.) Pour the vinegar into a large mixing bowl. Peel and core the pears and cut them into 1-inch dice. As the pears are cut, drop them into the vinegar; this will keep them from browning.

3.) When all the pears have been cut, drain off the vinegar into a large preserving kettle or Dutch oven and stir in the sugar, the dried cherries, onion, garlic, chili flakes, salt and ginger. Bring the liquid to a full rolling boil and add the pears.

4.) Stir the chutney uncovered over high heat for 15 minutes then reduce heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the chutney for another 15 minutes.

5.) Transfer the chutney to the sterilized jars, cover them with new lids and return them to the boiling water bath and process for 10 minutes.

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