Thursday, 22 September 2011

Apple and Ginger Chutney

Home grown seems to be catching on in our neighbourhood, with our household fast becoming the place to deliver any overflow. A couple of days ago my friend Jen brought over a bag of cooking apples. They weren’t from her tree, she’s got pears, but from a photographer named John, whom Jen was working with on a shoot.

I gratefully accepted the fruit and got to thinking about making a robust and tangy apple chutney. In our house, on nights we don’t cook, or eat out, we often enjoy a Ploughman’s. Our version includes a chunk of mature cheddar, some home grown lettuce, tomatoes and beetroot, and perhaps some hummus and whole wheat pitta bread. If we have any in the house, we’ll add chutney. We serve it on one big board, as opposed to individual plates, and dive in.

For an extra kick, I infused the apples and onions with freshly grated ginger. The spicy, peppery, slightly sweet, but pungent taste plays well against the apples. Instead of using sugar, as called for in most chutney recipes, I sweetened this one with a local apple juice.

5 cooking apples (preferably from a friend, or a friend of a friend), peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 table spoons fresh chopped ginger
1 lemon
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice
4 cloves
2 sterilized jars

Sautee the onions and ginger for a few minutes. In a bowl, squeeze the lemon over the apple cubes. Then add the apple to the onions and ginger. Stir occasionally on a medium heat, until the apples soften. Then add the apple cider vinegar and the apple juice. Drop in the cloves.

Simmer until the liquid has significantly reduced. This will likely take around 25mins. Check the chutney is at the correct consistency by dragging a wooden spoon through the mixture. If it runs back together, the chutney requires more reduction, if not, it’s done.

Remove from heat and cool. Once cooled, remove the cloves, and place the mixture in the jars and seal.

Try and leave for two weeks before consuming. And remember, chutney's and preserves make excellent homemade gifts. Given this recipe makes two jars - go on, share the love!

I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and recipes. Do you have a favourite chutney recipe? If so, I’d love to read it.


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