Monday, January 16, 2012

Just peachy....

We are blessed to have the most amazing freestone peach tree in our backyard.
Blessed because it came up wild in our yard from a seed which I transplanted about 15 years ago. I also attempted to espalier it....but didn't know what I was doing at the time and cut off several important branches in attempt to shape it. WRONG as it turned out. So, having said all of that, it's lucky to be alive!
The tree receives a good watering during winter from a diverted down pipe which makes for wonderful blossom in spring and stunning peaches in summer. But it also produces a plethora of branches which stops our clothes line rotating for about 6 moths of the year!
There are members of this clan however, that are not big fans of the peach and I generally end up giving bags of them away when they are juicy ripe. It's such a shame to see them fall and get pecked by the birds (and other creatures!) and scoured by ants. And several times I've seen the neighbour duck in embarrassment as she leans in and over the fence to pluck a treat....and I've yelled, "take it, take another, help yourself....anytime!"
So this year, I thought I'd get in early, use up some fruit before it over-ripens and make some chutney. Peach chutney is a great solution as it works well with slightly under-ripe fruit.
So this morning I was up the ladder picking a bucket of night cooled fruit. Twice as much as I needed as it turned out, so after a quick trip back to the supermarket for some ingredients, I doubled the recipe. The recipe is Stephanie Alexander's Peach Chutney from 'The Cook's Companion' (AKA Bible!).
I have to say, I'm on leave at the moment so time wasn't an issue but it took me the best part of the day. I haven't made chutney for years and never the preparation took some time.
But look at this wonderful, colourful chopped bounty.Now bubbling in all it's syrupy, foaming gorgeousness.And from the backyard!It's pretty yummy too....not sure how many will last the month before it's really ready to eat!


  1. Oh your making me hungry. Its winter time here in Utah and my 2 peach tree's have snow on them. But boy do I love peaches. You can never have too many or too much. I do have a question though I have no clue what "Peach Chutney" is. My wife bottles our peaches and she makes some Jam out of them but I am not sure if that is a jam or something else.

    1. Hi Richard, it's weird being on the other side of the world isn't it. I'm often envious of the recipes I'm reading on US blogs knowing I'm months away before I can try it! This recipe was a chutney that included chilli, apples, apple cider vinegar, cloves and ginger and brown sugar so it's quite spicy. I'll be using it in sandwiches and on meats. It would be awesome on sausages. I'm researching jam recipes today!