If there is one fruit that epitomizes the glowing orange orb of summer for me it is the peach. This is as heady a hit of summer’s sweet heat as you might ever want to for an autumnal accompaniment to everything from grilled chops to roasted fowl. Makes a great chicken salad base or just spread it on toast.
The scotch small wonders and brings this chutney together from start to finish, but is entirely optional upon temperance. You might similarly steep the peaches in Earl Grey and make it your own as it the Earl of Ginger Peach Chutney. Really, you just might.
I prefer the scotch, especially as a friend just delivered to my door and it is a favourite in the kitchen and glass alike. The first dram be dedicated to him and the second to another a friend of mine who takes Indian food to heart and has shared his table and malt with me in equal spirit. This is a dude-dedicated chutney for certain, yet should appeal equally to the ladies…so long as they like it hot and salty, a wee bit sour and a as sweet as they come at heart.
7 cups ripe local peaches, peeled*, slice 1/2”
1 1/2 tsp Smoked Sea Salt
2 oz. Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or (or balanced Speyside)
* Tip: Peeling the Peach: Don’t dicker with the paring knife to peel a peach. Get a medium-large pot of water on the boil. Make a small X incision at the base of each peach and pop into the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove the peaches with tongs and gently place them in the cold water bath to cool. Remove from bath, peel back from incision and voila – perfectly peeled peaches with the mess and waste.
Combine peaches, sea salt and scotch in a bowl to marinate covered for about an hour in the fridge. Drain and reserve a 1/2 cup of the ‘marinade’ before chilling the remainder of the peachy ambrosia for later or sharing on the spot. Though it seems a blasphemous to some, the reserved spirit/juice mix makes for the perfect splash of summer in a wintery scotch cocktail.
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar (or white vinegar for milder flavour/colour)
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
1/2 cup reserved Scotch peach marinade
1 cup raisins
4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, thin strips
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 limes, zest and juice
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper chili flakes (or chipotle flakes)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup crystallized ginger (or dried peach/mango/apricot)
Bring the cider vinegar, sugar, the reserved marinade, raisins, garlic and fresh ginger to a boil before adding the drained peaches. Return to a boil before reducing to simmer for 15 minutes. At this point you can add in everything else to cook through for anywhere from another 30 to 45 minutes depending on the consistency of the chutney you are after. Allow for some thickening to occur in the cooling process, but think thickly coated spoon versus peach soup for optimum results.
Seal in jars as clean as you can get ‘em (hot soapy water and a pop in the oven for the neat freaks) and share with friends for using immediately or freezing for up to three months.
Recipe tried and tested by Jason McRobbie