Barrel Cactus Chutney
By N.R. Jenzen-Jones
1.5 lbs (about 40) barrel cactus fruit, cut into small chunks
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1.5 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
A handful of golden raisins, quartered
6 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup raw sugar (more to taste)
6 cloves (or 1 scant tsp clove powder)
2 cinnamon sticks (or 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder)
2 tsp red chile flakes
1 tsp paprika (sweet, not smoked)
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepperSalt
1. Sauté onion and peppers in a little oil in a pan until just becoming translucent. Remove from heat, add crushed garlic, minced ginger, and spices and stir well.
2. Place barrel cactus fruit, sautéed mixture and other ingredients (except hot sauce, salt, and vinegar) in a saucepan and add water until nearly covered. Bring to boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 90 mins, adding water if necessary. After 60-70 minutes, the mixture should be only a little more watery than your desired consistency. Taste mixture for sweetness and add sugar if desired.
4. When all fruit is tender, remove from the heat stir in apple cider vinegar, salt, and hot sauce to taste. Pour hot chutney into jars and screw lids on. I like to add a few good splashes of hot sauce on the top of the chutney too.
The chutney will keep as described, but for safety you should boil in a hot water bath as appropriate for pantry storage.