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Wow friends and family with this twist on a traditional chutney recipe. Full of rich, warming flavours, this edible gift is a great way to keep present costs down this Christmas. See method
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Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the onions, salt and bay leaves and cook for 20 mins until softened enough to break with a spoon.
Stir in the sugar, vinegars and allspice. Wrap the whole spices in a small square of muslin cloth (or put the cinnamon in loose and use a loose-leaf tea infuser for the star anise and cloves) and add to the pan.
Stir well, then reduce the heat to very low and bubble for 35-45 mins, stirring occasionally, until dark, sticky and reduced (a spoon drawn across the bottom of the pan should leave a trail).
Remove the bay leaves and spice bag, then spoon into hot sterilised* jars. Screw on the lids and leave to cool completely.
Tip: You can also make this in a slow-cooker: cook the onions, salt and bay on high for 2-3 hrs, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for another 2-3 hrs until sticky and reduced. The recipe can also be doubled up as needed.
The flavour will develop over time: if you can, make the chutney a few weeks before you plan to gift. It will keep for up to 1 year in a cool, dark place. Once opened, store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
*To sterilise glass jars, wash in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Dry in the oven for 15-20 mins at gas 1, 140°C, fan 120°C until hot and completely dry. Boil metal lids and rubber seals for 10 mins, then leave to dry.
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