This is the time of year that the mister hates the most.  Nearly every weekend, I’m chopping, grating and simmering and putting up chutney for Christmas presents.  To him, that just means that nearly every weekend the house has a lovely vinegary aroma.

For folks who like to give homemade presents, this is a great one.  Not only is it the perfect beginner’s chutney (only six ingredients!), it’s also great for procrastinators – unlike most chutneys, it doesn’t need a month to season.  And if you have a food processor with a grating blade, prep will take no time at all.  So, you can make it in the afternoon and take it as a hostess gift that evening.  This recipe makes a good 8-10 jars, so make a big batch then stash them in the pantry or a storage closet for when you need a quick gift – particularly if you take some nice crackers and a good buttery brie to go with it.

Beet Chutney

  • 2 lbs beets, peeled and grated
  • 1 lb onions, trimmed, peeled and cut to a small dice
  • 1 1/2 lbs tart apples, peeled and grated
  • 1 lb raisins (I like a mix of raisins and currants)
  • 4 cups malt vinegar
  • 2 lbs sugar
  • 2 heaping tsp ground ginger

Put the lot of it into a large pot, bring to the boil and reduce to a good simmer for 90 minutes – 2 hours.  The final product should be thick, but still a bit juicy.  Put the hot chutney into warm, sterlized jars, then enjoy the pinging sound as the jars cool and seal.