During both the cherry and apricot food appreciation weekends this year, I prepared savoury and spicy fruit sauces (a form of chutneys) for guests to enjoy. These style of sauces are extremely easy to make, full of flavour and a handy item to store in your larder for later use.
I generally make them in bulk, stored them in small freezer containers and take one out whenever I need to. The sauces can be used as the base of a dip, as a marinade for meat or vegetable or as a condiment for a meal.
Although during the weekends I highlighted cherry and apricot sauces, the recipe and technique can be adapted for use with most fruit and even the occasional vegetable (pumpkin, potato, capsicum, tomato eggplant).
Makes 500 ml approximately
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 small thumb ginger (finely chopped)
1 chilli (finely chopped) – optional
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg
500 grams fruit (chopped roughly)
1 cup of fresh herbs (it is best to use a blend parsley, basil, coriander, sage etc)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin, dry sherry or dry white wine
1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
salt and pepper
1. Place oil in a heavy based pan and add onion, garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add the dried herbs and spices and mix through, cooking for a further 2 minutes.
3. Add the fruit and cook for 5 minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally. Then add the fresh herbs, soy sauce, mirin, honey/sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
4. Mix and stir the mixture repeatedly and allow it to cook for 5 – 10 minutes depending on the fruit. You want the fruit to soften completely and the mixture to commence to caramelise and brown. Do not let it burn.
5. Once cooked allow to cool and store.
- You can leave the sauce as is chunky style or alternatively, place it in a food processor and blitz it to a smooth consistency.
- The fresh sauce can be stored in a fridge for about 1 month.
- Alternatively, pack it into small individual freezer containers and place excess in the freezer until needed, it has a freeze life of 6 months.