We stayed with friends back in February, who fed us some absolutely amazing homemade apple chutney for lunch. Even though I don't get through a lot of chutney, this one was so delicious that I asked for the recipe.
What I got was a story.
One of my friend's friends always won the chutney competition at her local W.I., but refused to share her recipe with anyone over the years. My friend pointed out repeatedly (and hopefully tactfully!) over a period of time that she wasn't getting any younger, and it would be a shame if no-one else was ever able to make the chutney after she died... and eventually the lady caved in and wrote out the recipe for her!
So without further ado, here is a prize-winning, secret recipe for apple chutney for which I claim absolutely no credit at all. (But which I did make at the weekend.)
I used eating apples; for cooking apples, you may want to add a little extra sugar.
Apple Chutney (fills 5 large jam-jars)
1pt spiced vinegar
pinch of salt
3/4lb sugar (half white, half brown)
- Use a bigger pan than you think you could possibly need (I barely fitted all the apples in my 26cm casserole dish).
- If your vinegar isn't spiced to start with, heat vinegar gently with a selection of whole spices (I used black pepper, star anise, cinnamon, coriander seed, cumin seed, and nutmeg), then strain before adding the onions.
- Chop onions and simmer in vinegar until soft.
- Meanwhile, dice the apples. Once onions are soft, add apples to the pan and cook on a low heat until the apples are tender but not mushy. (I put the lid on the pan for this stage as there is not enough vinegar to cover the apples, but the instructions didn't explicitly say to do this.)
- Add the remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly, and simmer for at least two hours with the pan uncovered.