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French pear chutney

Chutney is synonymous with Indian cuisine, but this is not always true. chutneys have traveled the world through trade and in some cases through occupation across the world. The most classic cases are the abundant use of mint sauce and red currant jelly that travelled back to Britain with the East India Company and became large markets in their own right. Because of the close trade, and multiple wars and marriages between England and France, chutneys arrived in France but as variations. The French chutneys tend to be sweeter and generally fruit-forward to compliment the heavy meat, duck and pork dishes in French cuisine. Here is a superb example of a pear chutney.

This chutney is sweet with hints of spice and saffron. It is a luxurious chutney and complex, all the ingredients come together beautifully in a symphony of flavour. Sweet, spicy and notes of spices make it delightful. This chutney can be served with cheese as part of a platter, but also with roasted heavy meats like steaks or duck. The sweetness cuts through the fats and salt beautifully. This chutney does take a little bit of effort, but is is well worth the effort.

Le Gavroche is a collection of 200 of the most popular recipes from the eponymous restaurant in London. It is a cookbook of traditional French cuisine and sensibilities. The recipes are complex as can be expected from this chef, each one a masterpiece in French style and technique. this is a book for the advanced cook who wants to take beautifully plated French elegance plated to their table.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


2 1/2 cups caster sugar

1/4 lb peeled and grated green apple

1/2 lb onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ginger paste

Zest of 1/2 orange

Juice of 2 oranges

1-inch piece of cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

A pinch of saffron threads

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar

1 1/2 lb pears, peeled and cubed

1/2 lb tomatoes

1/2 cup golden raisins

To a small pot add the sugar first followed by the apple, onion, ginger, orange zest and juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli, saffron, salt, and vinegar. Heat on medium flame till the sugar melts and simmer gently for 30 minutes till you have a thick syrup.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil. Blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds, remove and cool under running water. The skinks will slip off easily. Cut and remove the inner seeds retaining the outer tomato flesh.

When the syrup has thickened considerably add the pears, tomatoes and raisins and cook for 3-4 minutes till the pears are just cooked through but still retain a firm bite. Take off the heat.

The chutney can be stored in the fridge for 1 month, but it will never last that long!

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