Would like to know what consistency is best for the Christmas Chutney at the end of the simmering time? Many thanks.
Nigella's Christmas Chutney (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS is made with apples and cranberries, hence the name, but it is good at any time of year and can be made with frozen and thawed cranberries. Chutney is easier to make than jam as you don't have to worry about reaching a specific temperature for setting, but it does require a long simmer to get the correct consistency.
When the chutney has cooked for long enough it should have reduced a bit in volume and be quite thick. The simmering time will depend a little on the size of the pan, the chutney will cook a bit more quickly in a wider pan. If you draw your spoon through the base of the pan then the chutney should not run back immediately but you should see the line in the bottom of the pan hold for a second or two before the chutney lazily flows back. If your pan is deep and less wide then it may be more tricky to do this, in which case put 3-4 heaping tablespoons of the chutney into a heatproof bowl and try the test in the bowl. If the chutney seems too runny, cook it for another 5-10 minutes and test again. You may also like to give the chutney the odd stir as you cook it, to prevent the mixture at the edges of the pan from catching.