I have been given a lot of apples recently and we have been very studiously working our way through crumbles and apple cake.
I have very limited freezer space or I would chop more up to keep in the freezer for the crumbles. Chutneys are the ideal way to preserve fruits and vegetables: you just need to remember to get them out a few months later when they are ready!
I made some Hot Mango Chutney and some Mango and Apple Chutney in the spring and making this Apple Chutney has just reminded me to get them out and give them a proper taste. Luckily they are both good and I think chutney makes a great homemade gift, either as part of a hamper, or just as a little hostess gift. And what better idea than to give a pot of chutney to the person who gave you the ingredients?
There are so many different recipes out there for every imaginable chutney. This is a very simple one for using up your extra Bramley cooking apples that I found in Carol Tennant’s “Book of Preserves”. There is a little spice, a little heat and a touch of sweetness from the raisins: perfect with cheese or cold meats.
1 kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
250g chopped onions
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon salt
350g granulated sugar
700ml malt vinegar
Put all the ingredients into a large pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring often until the sugar has dissolved.
Simmer for around one and a half to two hours, stirring from time to time.
To check if the chutney is ready, drag a channel through the mixture with a wooden spoon so that the bottom of the pan is visible. If the channel fills immediately with liquid it is not ready. When the channel doesn’t fill and the chutney is really thick it is ready.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to stand briefly. Carefully pour into hot sterilised jars and seal.
Allow to cool completely before labelling and storing. It needs to be kept for at least 2 months before eating. Although the vinegar needs to mellow, it tastes pretty good now so I am really looking forward to this one. It should just about be ready for Christmas; even better!