Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Loosely Defined

Today I braved the 96˚F heat to pick up the farm share. I did NOT pick flowers today, they were practically already wilting before they were even picked. I did, however, get enough hot peppers that it was time to make a sauce.

This is a recipe I've been desperately wanting to enter into the fair. The first hurdle was canning it correctly, using Clear Jel instead of flour as a thickener. I think I managed that today, using up my last 1/2 cup of Clear Jel. It's thick enough, I believe.

The other hurdle has been figuring out what category this fits in. After spending a little time pondering the situation, the only category that works is "Chutney." Technically, a chutney is: "a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar, originating in India." Is this a condiment? Yes. Is it spicy? Yes. Is it made of vegetables with vinegar, sugar and spices? Yes (if you include the spices in the mustard, or the mustard itself). Therefore, I think it qualifies. Hopefully the judges agree.

This one is very, very spicy. Not inedible, but HOT.

Smooth Hot Pepper Chutney

27 hot peppers (⅔ Hungarian Hot Wax and ⅓ Fresno Chili)
20 oz. white vinegar
20 oz. prepared yellow mustard
4 cups sugar
2 tsp. Kosher salt
½ cup ClearJel powder
½ cup water

Whisk the ClearJel and water into a slurry and set aside. Cut the stem ends off the peppers and grind them in a blender, seeds and all, with the vinegar until mostly smooth. Boil the peppers, vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt. Drizzle in the ClearJel slurry and cook for 5 minutes. Ladle into jars leaving a ½ inch headspace. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Makes about 10 cups.


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