Rhubarb and Dried Cherry Chutney

2 pounds fresh rhubarb
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
1 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, seeds and veins removed (note: 4 jalapenos will produce a very hot chutney)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced or grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons brown or yellow mustard seed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon each: paprika, ground coriander
2 cups cider vinegar
1/4 cup corn syrup

Wash 7 half-pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

Prepare the rhubarb by washing, trimming and cutting into 1/2-inch dice to measure 6 to 7 cups. In large, non aluminum pot, combine the rhubarb with the onion, apple, cherries, brown sugar, jalapeno peppers, garlic, fresh ginger, mustard seed, salt, paprika and ground coriander. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to mix well. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent and very tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the vinegar and corn syrup, return the mixture to a simmer, and continue cooking, uncovered, over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the chutney becomes thick enough to mound slightly in a spoon (about another 20 to 30 minutes). Remove from heat and adjust the seasoning, adding additional salt if necessary. Ladle the preserves into individual containers for storage in the refrigerator or freezer.

For long-term storage at room temperature: have 7 half-pint canning jars washed and ready for filling when the chutney is through cooking. Prepare canning lids as manufacturer directs. While it is still hot, ladle into 1 clean and hot canning jar at a time, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (at 1,000 to 3,000 feet, process for 15 minutes; 3,000 to 6,000 feet, for 20 minutes; above 6,000 feet, for 25 minutes).

Makes about 7 half-pints


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