Preserving Recipes/ Spring

Clear Out the Freezer Chutney

Chutney Recipe

It’s been a strange non-winter to be sure. I noticed my daffodils and hyacinths up by at least two inches! The only thing I can say is that this warm weather has got the spring-cleaning bug stirring in me. Last season, my rhubarb seemed to continue forever! I had frozen a lot of it. The spring-cleaning bug got me thinking about how to use the rhubarb now.

I searched my preserving books and found a Bernardin recipe for Orange-Rhubarb Chutney. I made the chutney yesterday. My husband exclaimed “that smells so good” and the taste test went equally well. It’s interesting how a culinary tradition, in this case chutney throughout east Asia, found it’s way to many cultures around the world, each customizing it to local flavours. The origin of the term chutney is attributed to the Hindi language to the word “chatni” meaning a complex mixture of spices and flavours. The Bernardin recipe delivers on complex flavours and a tang that is brought forward from the vinegar and citrus. It would be excellent with meat, but I paired it with goat cheese. The tangy condiment beside creamy got cheese was divine.

As spring approaches, it’s time to use up the fruits and vegetables you froze for winter. If you are like me, you still have rhubarb in the freezer, and this is an excellent way to use it.

For more information:

Orange-Rhubarb Chutney

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Yield: 6 250ml Jars


  • Spice bag made with cheesecloth: 10 whole peppercorns, 1 TBSP mustard seed, 1 TBSP pickling spice. Set aside.
  • 4 TBSP orange zest and 2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 cups rhubarb, fresh or frozen
  • 5 cups lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3.5 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1.5 cups raisins
  • 2 TBSP finely chopped or grated garlic
  • 2 TBSP grated ginger root
  • 1 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice



In a large Dutch oven, combine orange zest, juice, rhubarb, brown sugar, vinegar, onions, raisins, garlic, and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring regularly. Reduce heat and gently boil, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Add curry powder, allspice and spice bag to the mix and cook an additional 30 minutes. Note: I had to increase the cooking time by 40 minutes to evaporate the liquid enough to get a consistency that mounds on a spoon.


Remove spice bag. Ladle into hot jars. Remove air bubbles. Ensure a ½ inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean. Adhere lids and rings so that screw-bands are tightened to “finger-tip tight”.


Process in a water bath or atmospheric steam canner for 10 minutes adjusting for altitude. Rest jars for 5 additional minutes before removing to a heat-proof surface to cool.


This chutney will be enhanced by a couple of weeks to allow all the flavours to marry. But if you can’t wait, go for it. It is excellent straight out of the pot!



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