Spicy Husk Cherry Chutney

2809040225_31d0c5170dEvery Tuesday I venture over to our friends farm, Stout Oak Farms, a certified organic farm in Brentwood New Hampshire. We belong to their CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture). This week I picked up the last bounty of the season and discovered a pint of husk cherries. I had never had one before, I didn’t even know what they were called. I had seen them in the various farm stores but never bothered to ask about them.

They are smaller than the size of cherry tomatoes and resemble a tomatillo.  The ripe ones are a pale golden yellow. They have a hint (just a hint) of tomato, but are much sweeter. They smell like fresh strawberries, have the sweetness of grapes, and have a vaguely pineapple flavor. And a little vanilla, too. A little strange, in the way the flavor catches you off guard, but so good! Also called ground cherries or strawberry tomatoes.   After doing my research on various recipes that these little gems would taste good in I decided to make them into a chutney. Although a recipe on a husk cherry pastry caught my eye, maybe next time!

What You Need:

  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • one small onion, minced
  • half jalapeno, minced (I kept the seeds for the spice, if you don’t want it too spicy discard them before mincing)
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup husk cherries

What You Do:

Bring sugar and water to boil in a saucepan. Allow to boil for a few minutes until it caramelizes, gets bubbly and golden brown. Add the minced onion, jalapeno and vinegar. Be careful it will bubble up at this point. Stir a little until the mixture settles, add the husk cherries. Return to a boil and allow to bubble away for 7 minutes, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely and thicken up.  You can can it at this point if you’d like or store in the refrigerator. Chilling it will allow it to thicken even more, this chutney is a tad looser than your traditional mango chutney.

You can use this the way you would a mango chutney, or use it as an accompaniment to goat cheese on a hearty cracker, or you can even mix it with cream cheese and use as a spread or dip. Yummy!!

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