Caramelised chutney, fixes or suggestions for use
September 12, 2011 12:48 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday, I had a go at making a green tomato chutney, following the recipe here. Unfortunatly, I seem to have had the heat a little high and have caramelised the sugar, turning it into what can only be described as chutney toffee. Is there any way of turning it more viscous and chutney-like again or am I stuck?
posted by DonnChadh to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm a beginning canner / jam maker so I'm not sure of this, but why not add water? The recipe says it's supposed to become thick and dark brown, so some caramelization is probably supposed to happen. You probably just took it a bit too far, boiling off too much of the moisture. I'd gently bring the mixture back to a simmer, adjust the consistency with water, then process.
posted by jon1270 at 4:48 AM on September 12, 2011

Best answer: Yes, caramelized sugar dissolves remarkably easily in water. Add small amounts of water at a time (boiling water would be best), try to stir it up, and see what happens. If it works, you'll still have a stronger caramel flavour to the chutney than as designed, but I like caramel so I'd be cool with that. If the result is still a mess, you haven't lost anything.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:14 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately, you'll never be able to un-caramelize sugar. You can add water, but that will basically just thin out the chutney. If it tastes good, go with it. If not, you're going to have to start over.
posted by Gilbert at 9:15 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: After bringing it up almost to the boil again (it had set completely and needed to be unstuck) I've added about 1/2 of it's volume in water and let it simmer and mix up again for about 15 mins.
It's quite a bit thinner, but not too bad at all. Now waiting for it to cool and see how if it hardens again.
posted by DonnChadh at 10:48 AM on September 12, 2011

FYI, you don't need to let the whole pot full of stuff cool to tell how it will behave. Chill a plate in your freezer for 10 minutes or so, then drizzle a bit of the chutney on the cold plate. The sample will chill and thicken almost instantly. Doing it this way will save the time and fuel it would take to heat it all up again to can it.
posted by jon1270 at 11:03 AM on September 12, 2011

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