Friday, January 19, 2007

Spiced Apple Chutney

The remainder of the apples were looking more and more ornery with each passing day and their dissatisfaction was beginning to show around the edges. I had to use them fast, before they turned into toothless apple-mush right on my dining room table. They weren’t looking quite as perky as they did when they first arrived. A dilemma. How to use up the vestiges of the apple-bounty in a way that wouldn’t call attention to their, um, less than stellar state? My mom had the answer (she has all the answers): “Make a chutney!

And because mother knows best, that’s what I did.

I already had bookmarked a small pile of chutney and relish recipes in the past, so I eagerly went through them to find the perfect one for our apples. I decided on Spiced Apple Chutney from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess because: Nigella can be very convincing when she lays on the “intense, hot flavors” spiel, it was one of the recipes that used only apples, and it really did sound delicious.

I had to make a few adjustments to accommodate what I had in my pantry. I increased the recipe so I could use up all the remaining apples. Also, Nigella uses cider vinegar but I had none, so I used a small bottle of pure honey vinegar (it sounded like it would go wonderfully with this chutney), added all the red wine vinegar I had left, and when that was done topped it up with white cane vinegar to reach the required amount. The original recipe also called for turmeric, but I didn’t have that either, so I left that out and hoped for the best. I didn’t have bird’s-eye red chilies, so I used some dried red chilies I got on my trip to Egypt.

Spiced Apple Chutney
(adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess)

  • 800 grams peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 big onion
  • 3 dried red chilies
  • 400 grams brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon freshly ground cloves
  • 1 ½ teaspoon freshly ground allspice
  • 560 ml vinegar (The original recipe called for cider vinegar, but I didn’t have any. I used 250 ml pure honey vinegar, 250 ml red wine vinegar, 60 ml white cane vinegar.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

- Peel the apples and roughly chop. Nigella’s indicated weight was before chopping, but my indicated weight (of the apples, above) was after.
- Finely chop the onion and the ginger. Grind spices (I ground them together).
- Toss all your ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot or pan and bring to a boil.
- Cook until mixture thickens (mine took 1 ½ hours). Keep watch and stir occasionally (later in the cooking I smashed some of the apple chunks and left some whole).
- Spoon the hot chutney into cleaned jars, leaving a little space on top, and close the lid. Turn jar upside down and let cool. Once completely cool turn jar right side up again.

A note on cleaning jars: I clean my jars and lids in very hot (the hottest my heater can crank it up to…which is pretty piping) soapy water. I let them dry upside down on a clean tea towel. This being said, I don’t make large batches (that goes for jam too) to store for the winter (as we have none), and anything I make is usually opened right away, stored thereafter in the ref, and finished quite quickly. So, as far as real sterilization goes, it’s best to follow the professionals.

The chutney came out a beautiful burgundy, instead of the light golden color of Nigella’s, and it was delicious! Surprisingly delicious for something made to use up a pile of old apples, and considering I had to substitute (and leave out) certain things from the original recipe. The flavor of the vinegar is a big part of a chutney’s taste and Nigella and I used completely different types. Despite that, this chutney stayed true to Nigella’s promise of “intense, hot flavors”.

This will be excellent with your favorite curries, as well as all kinds of roast meats. I love it spooned on a slice of brie, or spread on grilled gruyere on toast. It is also great in cold ham sandwiches with some mustard and greens. For a quick (and economical) appetizer pile it on a brick of cream cheese and serve with crackers. If you have a little more time, make bruschetta and top with some watercress, a small wedge of brie, and a generous smidgen of the chutney. A jar of this would make a lovely gift. And (as these suggestions wouldn’t be complete without her input), Nigella "cannot eat a Cornish Pasty without it".

I will definitely try this with the original ingredients and see how it differs. I foresee this becoming some sort of staple here. I am still discovering all sorts of wonderful pairings…and I love its sour-sweetness, punctuated by the robust flavor of the spices. Our half empty bottle is now in the ref, where it sits snugly waiting for its next use. And because mothers know best, we gave a bottle each to ours!

(My two previous apple posts)


christine said...

Mmmm I can almost smell it! I'm saving this recipe, thanks! You have to make me try, leave me even just a spoonful pls! :D I am making mango chutney for a potluck dinner next weekend, I'll let you know how it comes out.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love the sound of it over brie! Think over cream cheese would be equally good. When I started reading this, I was thinking I want to make some apple butter, now I'm thinkin I need to make some spiced apple chutney!

Veron said...

great idea to use those apples! Haven't had apple chutney yet. Will keep this recipe in mind, after all 'tis the season of apples.

Kristen said...

This is such a great idea for using apples. It looks delicious!

I had to laugh about your Kirk Cameron comment on my blog. I know I wasn't the only one out there with an insane obsession with him :)

The pizza crust I made last night was sooooo good! If you are looking for a new crust recipe, you'd love this one. It was perfect!

d. chedwick bryant said...

I am in trouble now, finding this blog--I'm a total apple freak--Dare I keep looking?

Socky said...

Your apple adventures remind me of one of my favorite movies, Baby Boom. Who knows, like Diane Keaton in the movie, you might just - unexpectedly - build a business empire with your apple recipes. :-)

in-JeN-iosiTy said...

Hello dear Joey! Lovely chutney--I've never really tried chutney of any sort, can you believe? I'm sure it taste great =)

This maybe out of context, but I was browising through your archives and came across your Pineapple Upside Down cake. I tried the recipe last night but something when wrong...all the butter-sugar topping slid off my cake when I turned it upside down and the cake tasted a bit "eggy". Can you help me please!!! I felt really awful failing your wonderful recipe. I can't seem to find an e-mail link on your page, that is why I just posted my SOS here. I hope you don't mind.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nens! I will leave you's supposed to get better with age anyway :) Yes, please let me know how the mango chutney turns out! Happy potluck!

Hi Tanna! It's really good with the cheese! Apple butter is another thing I want to try...fruit butters are really mainstream here...

Hi Veron! I have my mom to thank for the idea :) It's great because do not have to be at their total shiny-newness plus you can easily make a lot and store it.

Hi Kristen! Haha! I laughed too when I read your post! My goodness...what was it about him? Hehe :) Will check out the pizza crust recipe now!

Hi d. chedwick bryant! Thanks for dropping by :) Well, I have used up the last of my apples but I'm sure something else will come up soon :)

Hi Socky! Hmmm...who knows indeed! An apple empire to equal the other Apple empire wouldn't be too bad I think...hehehe :)

Hi Jen! Chutney is really sweet-sour in taste and is a great condiment. Super pampagana! Ok, for the PAUD cake: The first thing I can thing of it the topping. I upped the amount of butter needed because my family really likes it soaked, perhaps that is why your slid of? Too much topping? As for the eggy taste, I can't figure it out...but in the original recipe she doesn't separate the whites from the yolks, although I don't know if this would have any bearing. This is what I'll do: I will send you the original recipe (just have to get it at my mom's house) and we can try to trace from there :) Please email me at eighty_breakfasts(AT)yahoo(DOT)com so I can reply :)

Mae said...

Hi Joey, i can just imagine the delicious smell in your kitchen while cooking this. I've never made chutney but coincidentally, i was watching a cooking program today and they were showing how to make apple chutney! Oh and onions and berries jam. Your post makes me want to buy me some apples.

Garrett said...

Oh wow, yum. That sounds too delicious to not make!

Anonymous said...

I love it when apples or super ripe bananas can be made into something delicious! This chutney sounds great, I especially loved your serving suggestions, they made my mouth water. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

peabody said...

I bet that is fabulous with cheese.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mae! So happy to have you back! :) I've actually been thinking of trying some onion jam too :) The chutney is fast decreasing and I may need to buy more apples myself!

Hi Garrett! It was good...and the best part is that it makes other stuff taste even better! :)

Hi Ari! Thanks! I too love "saving" these fruits from getting tossed by turning them into something yummy :) Glad you like the serving suggestions...they are delicious!

Hi Peabody! It IS great with cheese! I keep trying it with all the cheeses we have here...YUM!

sha said...

coming spare a bit I will bring the cornish pasties

in-JeN-iosiTy said...

Thanks Joey! I'll definitely email you! =)

stef said...

that looks really yummy, joey! lucky i have some apples that are great candidates for this!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sha! Come on over! :) Truth be told, I have never even tasted cornish pasties...

Hi Jen! Ok, will wait for it :) Although the recipe is at my mom's house and I'm not sure when I'll be going there next...but I will definitely get this to you!

Hi Stef! Thanks! :) Lucky you! I made this to use up all of mine and now I feel like making more...haha :)

Honeybee said...

I wouldn't mind a jar of that - I love chutney!

Btw, I've tagged you for my vegetable meme, join in if you like to!

rowena said...

Yum! Chutney and brie...two of my favorite things that go together like peanut butter and jelly (for lack of a better example).

Mila Tan said...

I kept trying to open the comment box to your blog, but blogger doesn't want to open it for me! Sigh. Anyhoo, just wanted to say that I've never made chutney, but I have a pretty simple apple butter recipe that goes great with pork, or as a topping for ice cream. I even made it in the boonies of Bukidnon, with barely any decent cooking implements.

Ivonne said...

Ah! Joey I've always wanted to try this chutney and you did it for me. Love Nigella! Love her! And the chutney looks amazing!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Honeybee! Thanks :) I'll be checking out that veggie meme shortly :)

Hi Rowena! Don't they really go fabulously together? Very hard to stop at one slice! :)

Hi Mila! Sigh...I have been having the same problem, with posting as well as commenting! Oh bother! Anyways, I'll get that apple butter recipe from you ok? Anything that goes great with pork goes great with me :)

Hi Ivonne! Thanks! I agree about Nigella :) And I am going to be trying some of that pepper relish you posted about!

Marsha said...

I love chutneys. :)
I specialise in Mango and Tamarind although I tried apple and orange chutneys as well.
I am still afraid of Jam ...afraid they won't gel!
Chtney with rice, chtney with feta cheese...All kinds of YUM

ChichaJo said...

Hi Marsha! Mango and tamarind chutney sounds delicious! A friend of mine (Chistine, first commenter on this post) made a mango chutney and posted about it. Have you shared your recipes? :) Ornage chutney also sounds interesting! Don't be afraid of is as simple as standing over a pot with a spoon :)

Anonymous said...

What a nice nice sounding chutney. I absolutely have to try it!! I just fell again in love with rhubarb chutney that was served on a thin bruchetta and some chevroux.. Thank You!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Anonymous! Rhubarb chutney sounds delicious!

Ruth said...

Great it turned out so well. Thanks for chutney recipe. I'm going to create something - am looking for a sugar free recipe but I think I'm going to make my own creation using apples and sultanas as the sweeteners and this recipe as a base. It seems very straightforward.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ruth! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :) I love this chutney...hope the recipe helps you!

Lynnette said...

hi i was wondering how much this recipe makes? (: Cheers

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lynnette! This will make around 5 small jars :)