Too many peaches…

Over Christmas (when everyone took a couple of days off and the picking got slightly behind) a few white peaches got overripe and sadly ended up on the ground. One of the basic principles of keeping your organic fruit trees healthy is picking up all of the fruit that falls on the ground, so they all had to come up!

On our farm we’ve always had a commitment to using every piece of fruit for its highest purpose, so any fruit picked up off the ground is used first for people food. If it’s not good enough for human consumption it goes to the pigs and ducks, or into the compost or worm farm.

Oops … some white peaches hit the deck!

So, having just had to deal with quite a glut of white peaches, this week we want to share with you one of our favourite peach chutney recipes, passed on to us by one of our lovely customers, via the Australian Women’s Weekly “The Book of Preserves” (thanks Robbie).

We modified the recipe slightly when we made it, so we bring you the Mt Alexander Fruit Gardens version here (based on what we had in the pantry and the fridge, which is how so many good recipes evolve!). It’s a terrific way of using white peaches, which are in abundance at this time of year.

Mt Alexander Peach and Lemon Chutney
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or 4 small dried red chillies)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 kg organic white peaches (you could use yellow peaches)
3 medium organic brown onions, chopped finely
2 cups organic brown sugar
2 cups organic apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sultanas or currants
1/4 cup dried peel
3 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice

If using clingstone white peaches, first simmer the peaches in just enough water to prevent them sticking for 10-15 minutes or until the flesh will easily come off the stones. Cool, and remove flesh from stones by hand, discard peach stones. There’s no need to peel the peaches, just wash them and remove any bad bits before you boil them.

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir over heat without boiling until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 1.5 hours or until the mixture is thick. Pour into hot sterilised jars, and seal immediately with sterilised lids.

Goes perfectly with leftover Christmas ham, or give away as a meaningful Christmas present next year.

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