Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Secret Recipe Apple Chutney



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, and which I've written up according to what I did, rather than the somewhat shorter original instructions.)

I used apples which are sweet enough to eat from the tree; for cooking apples, you'd probably want to add a little extra sugar.

Note: the resulting chutney is very well preserved, and I'm still safely eating 2009-vintage chutney in 2013. I'm providing this information as a representation of my own experience, only; obviously I can make no guarantees for anyone else's results.


Chutney

Apple Chutney (fills 5 large jam-jars)

3lb (1360g) eating apples
1lb (454g) onions
1pt (570ml) spiced vinegar
6oz (170g) sultanas
pinch of salt
¾lb (340g) sugar (half white, half brown)
  1. Use a bigger pan than you think you could possibly need (I barely fitted all the apples in my 26cm casserole dish).
  2. First, dice the apples. This recipe calls for a lot of apples, so chop them first; a little browning won't hurt. I didn't peel them, as I like the added texture of the softened apple skin (and also because I'm lazy).
  3. 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.
  4. Chop onions and simmer in vinegar until soft.
  5. Once onions are soft, add the apples to the pan and cook on a low heat until the apples are tender but not mushy. The vinegar probably won't cover the apples, so put the lid on the pan for this stage to retain the moisture.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly, and simmer for at least two hours with the pan uncovered.
  7. Decant into sterilised jars (warmed with boiling water), and seal while still warm. I tend to use old jam jars, and put a sheet of waxed paper between the jar and the lid.
Visit my recipe index page for more recipes.

Rachel Cotterill on Punk Domestics


19 comments:

Chef E said...

I love chutney! I make a blueberry one that I put on brownies and chocolate cake...I will share the recipe with you...I won a hug from people, so it must be good!

Shai Coggins said...

I never really 'got' chutney. Not sure why. Maybe one of these days, I'll give them a go again. :-)

Strange Mamma said...

I love chutney. I'm bookmarking this recipe so I can make it this fall. But I'm curious, and please don't hold this against me, I'm new here...what is chutney for. We always get a teensy little plastic container of amazing chutney from the Indian place we get take-away from, but I have no idea what it goes with. I usually just end up eating it on its own (did I mention I love chutney) or dipping my nan bread in it. I love it but have no idea what is the 'proper' way to eat it.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Sounds good. I like chutney but tend to forget about it until presented with a jar. Nice with some crusty bread and a fiercely mature Cheddar.

Johanna said...

I love making chutney and have never seen the idea of making the vinegar spiced rather than adding spices to the mix - will have to try it - wonder if I can squeeze in another apple in chutney before they are all well out of season

Anonymous said...

Just made it, very easy and tastes good too

emma said...

I FINALLY got round to making a batch of this this week. Can't wait to open it and see if it's as good as it smells!

Poddle said...

Mmm. I just made a batch with our first crop of apples. It only took about 90 minutes to be the right consistency to jar and it smells divine. Can't wait to get it on some good bread and cheese! Thanks for sharing. :)

El Velcro said...

Skin on the apples, or skin off? Looks like you have skin on but I can't tell if the apples are red on the outside to begin with (chuckle)!

El Velcro said...

I just added 3 small, green chillies and did my second batch. I put 3.5lbs away in a dark place for a 6 month period. I can't wait!

rosaria williams said...

I just copied this recipe to use when my apples are ready to pick, in a month or so. It does look quite delicious.

Beverley Wheeler said...

Thank you very much, this is the perfect recipe use in the cafe I manage!

Beverley Wheeler said...

Thank you, a perfect recipe!

Anonymous said...

What type of vinegar do you use?

Anonymous said...

your Apple Chutney recipe says 3/4 lb sugar, is this ¾ (12oz) or, 3 to 4 lb? You used ounces for Sultanas, so it is confusing if you change to fractions of a pound for Sugar. Maybe this is obvious to experiened chutney makers, but not much help to an amateur.

Rachel Cotterill said...

Sorry for any confusion, it's ¾lb. I'm afraid I wrote it out exactly as it was given to me, and at the time I was very new to blogging and didn't know about html fractions! I've updated the recipe now, and you also gave me the idea to include the measurements in metric, too, so thanks for that :)

Marci Emery said...

I'm in the process of making a batch now and it smells wonderful! So it looks like you don't process it in a water bath. It will still hold well without being sealed? I do like the idea a lot, just want to make sure I'm not missing something here! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I'm planning to use this recipe on this autumn's apples and to make my own spiced vinegar too, which I've never done before. What kind of quantities of whole spices would you use for 1pt vinegar?

Mary

Rachel Cotterill said...

Hi Mary. When I made mine, I used a small piece of cinnamon, a star anise, 1tsp whole coriander seed, 1tsp black peppercorns, and a couple of cloves. But you can vary the spices according to your taste, really.

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