This Meyer lemon chutney was inspired by Laurie Colwin, one of my favorite food writers. I read “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking” again and again, devouring her books like favorite comfort food.
I have experimented with many of her recipes, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. I had been tempted to try her “Lemon Chutney” for years and recently set out to make it – with disappointing results.
I loved the idea, though, and wanted to use some of the windfall of Meyer lemons from our tree in the garden. Meyer lemons are thin-skinned and much sweeter than other lemons, perfect for recipes that call for consuming the fruit, as well as the juice. Chutney with Meyer lemons still seemed like a potential winner to me.
I ended up adapting my mother’s superb recipe for mango chutney. Laurie’s recipe uses cardamom and coriander, as well as fresh ginger, so I also added these ingredients . Dried cherries added a touch of sweetness to this intensely flavored lemon chutney.
- 8 large Meyer lemons
- 4 cups organic brown sugar
- 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup golden raisins
- ½ cup dried cherries
- ¼ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- Peel enough zest from the lemons and chop finely until you have 1 cup of chopped zest. Remove the white pith and discard. Cut between the membrane of the lemons to remove sections of fruit. Set aside.
- Using a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the sugar, vinegar and lemon juice until it boils.
- Add the zest and lemon sections, onion, raisins, dried cherries, crystallized and fresh ginger, garlic, cardamom and coriander. Bring back to a boil, then lower heat to low.
- Cook chutney for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Store in sterile glass jars according to safe canning procedures. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Option: chutney can be stored in a covered container in fridge for several weeks.