Celebrating the end of summer has never been more delicious. Grab some local, Northern Michigan peaches from a roadside stand or the nearest farmer’s market.
While seasonal crowds may be starting to slow down, summer isn’t over just yet—and there are peaches to prove it. The last stone fruit to ripen in our area, peaches can be found at roadside stands and farmers markets throughout Northern Michigan right now. There is nothing better than sinking your teeth into a Benzie County peach that’s so ripe the juice drips down your chin. But did you know that there is also a great use for their firmer under-ripe siblings? That’s right, even peaches that were picked too soon or are otherwise still firm can be put to good use in the kitchen by making chutney.
Chutney, the British spelling for the Hindi word chațnī, has been an important condiment in Indian cuisine for generations. Recipes for a variety of chutneys can be found at Indian restaurants throughout Northern Michigan. For example, don’t skip Rosie Chugh’s tamarind chutney next time you grab dinner from NJ’s Grocery in Lake Leelanau or the mint and mango chutneys from Yavraj Basel’s Aamchi Mumbai in Petoskey.
Photo by Tim Hussey
Related Read: View our entire collection of ‘On The Table’ Recipes.
Makes 2 1⁄2 cups
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1⁄2 lbs. still-firm peaches, peeled (about 6 peaches)
- 1 small, 1-inch knob of ginger—about the size of two thumbnails—peeled and grated scant
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
- freshly ground seeds from 6 cardamom pods
- juice from 1⁄2 lemon, seeds discarded
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 6 leaves fresh mint, julienned
Photo by Tim Hussey
2. Add water and sugar to a saucepan and warm over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the peaches, ginger and cayenne to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time to prevent the bubbling mixture from sticking.
3. Once the excess liquid is gone and the mixture is thickening and sticky—about 30 minutes—reduce to low heat and add the cardamom, lemon juice and salt and stir to combine, cooking an additional 2 minutes while pressing the soft peaches against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and fold in the julienned mint. Allow the mixture to cool and store, refrigerated, for a few weeks.