We are definitely in ‘glut’ territory with late summer/Autumn fruits on the farm at the moment. There are apples everywhere! Yesterday a very kind, well meaning relative arrived at the kitchen door bearing gifts of…yet more apples! I smiled politely and took them, not wanting to offend, whilst thinking ‘what on earth am I going to do with all of these?’ Of course, there is plenty to be done. For a start, chutney. The recipe I used was loosely based on that of the original Queen of cooking, Mrs Beeton. I made a few substitutions, and cut the quantities down. My version made 2 large jam jars worth.
500ml apple cider or pickling vinegar.
1kg peeled and cored apples
1 small white onion
150g caster sugar (can use granulated)
150g soft brown sugar
Preferred spices – I used 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp spice mix.
Other things to remember: Stainless steel pan, jars, wax lids, labels
Start by cleaning and sterilising the jars. I have a mix of ‘special’ preserving jars, and bog standard recycled jam jars. Wash in warm soapy water, rinse then place on a tray in the oven at 120C.
Next dice the apples and peel and chop the onion.
Place the apples, onions and sultanas into the pan.
Add the sugar and spice, along with the vinegar. Stir well and bring to the boil.
Allow to simmer on a medium heat for approx. 1 hour until reduced.
At this point you need to make sure you stir continuously to ensure the chutney doesn’t catch and burn.
Pour into the prepared jars.
If you are using wax sheets over the chutney, you can use more than one, overlapping to give a neat appearance.
Wipe around the inside of the jar with a damp cloth. This will remove any stray chutney and prevent the vinegar from reacting with the metal lid.
Stand back and admire your handywork!
Unfortunately, the chutney takes about a month to mature for around a month. You can eat it sooner if you really can’t wait, but it will taste much ‘mellower’ if it is left for a bit! Use within 6 months, but I doubt it will hang around much once you open the jar!