There are certain chutneys that I get asked for over and over again. These include onion chutney, piccalilli and mango chutney.
Of these, I have been making piccalilli for the longest as in the height of summer I just happen to have to hand the obvious ingredients to make repeated batches of piccalilli.
Despite onion chutney being the most popular chutney that I make, I did for years shy away from making repeated batches of it because, 1) it required peeling and chopping kilograms of onions, which isn't the most pleasant of tasks, and 2) it also required standing at the hob, stirring frying onions for 20 minutes or more. However, when I discovered an equally as delightful result could be obtained by roasting the onions instead of frying them, I found myself more inclined to make it and it became a regular item of stock.
Mango chutney is clearly more of a problem for the simple reason that I don't grow mangoes. However, it struck me a few years ago that there really isn't an awful lot of difference between a mango and a pumpkin - at least, not by the time it has been cooked down in a cocktail of spices and vinegar. And so, I decided to try a mango chutney recipe, substituting in pumpkin for the mangoes.
I guess overall there is less "fruitiness" in pumpkin compared to mango but I found that the use of Bramley apples helped to redress that issue. It is also possible to buy dried green mango powder (also known as amchoor) online and adding a couple of teaspoons of that can add some genuine mango to the chutney but this isn't essential.
One of the issues I always face when selling chutneys is knowing what to call them. It isn't possible to have all my chutneys available to taste at any one event so the name on the label has to appeal to the buyer. It also has to inform the buyer. Trading Standards stipulates that the name must inform the buyer about what the main ingredients are (although I often see big brands getting away with breaking this rule). In my view, mainly it should conjure up an idea in the buyer's head as to how it might taste and how they might like to eat it. As everyone knows what mango chutney is and how to eat it, that really was the name I wanted to give my chutney but without mangoes in it that wouldn't be allowed.
My thoughts turned to the rationing period of World War II when housewives were forced to make do with what they had and inventive cooks came up with a variety of "mock" dishes. Mock goose at Christmas, a mock marmalade made mainly from carrot... and so on. So that seemed to be the answer: Mock Mango Chutney - like mango chutney, just without the mangoes!
Mock Mango Chutney (makes 3 jars)
450g fresh pumpkin
600g Bramley apples
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
5g grated root ginger
1 tsp salt
200g granulated sugar
255ml cider vinegar
Prepare the pumpkin to make small cubes. Peel, core and chop the apples. Put all the ingredients into a large preserving pan or stock pot and cook until the pumpkin is soft and the apples have gone mushy. Continue to cook, without a lid on, until thick enough that you can draw a spoon across the bottom of the pan to leave a trail. Ladle into warmed, sterilised jars and seal immediately then leave to cool. Store for 4-6 weeks to mature before eating.