We have an extra refrigerator in our garage. It’s where I keep my “bee tea”- a sugar/herb solution I’ve been making in large quantities and feeding to my bees for the past few months as their forage opportunities have dwindled- as well as anything else that doesn’t fit in my refrigerator inside the house. Occasionally I stick something in there, then completely forget about it. That’s what happened with a bag of local apples recently.
When I came upon the apples and saw that they were way past their prime for snacking on, I tried something new and different with them: I turned them into a chutney.
I love chutneys: they’re easy to make, and a delicious way to dress up many dishes. Another reason I love them is because they allow me to play with interesting flavor combinations; this particular one is sweet yet savory, plus a bit acidic and spicy all at once.
I like this chutney on its own- it’s like a grown-up, chunky applesauce of sorts- but it was also really tasty in tacos I made with leftover slow-cooked pulled pork (which I spiced up with just a bit of natural barbeque sauce).
I am going to make another batch of this chutney for Thanksgiving- I think it will be fantastic as a cranberry sauce alternative alongside our turkey.
Recipe for Apple Chutney
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
*about 7 cups chopped apples (I used 5 local Gala apples)
*3 tablespoons raw/organic sugar (I like the Fair Trade Certified cane sugar from Malawi sold by Wholesome Sweeteners
*1 tablespoon mustard seeds
*1 cup dried cherries (I used unsweetened, unsulphured cherries I purchased from Trader Joe's)
*1 shallot, minced
*1 cup champagne vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
*1 cup dry white wine
*1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
*1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
*1 teaspoon ground coriander
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*2 pinches of red pepper flakes, or to taste
*2 pinches of coarse sea salt, or to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-large pot on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce flame to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
2. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until there's no more visible liquid, and the fruits are quite tender, but not broken down. Taste and adjust seasonings. You can eat this right away, but it's best to allow the flavors to meld in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Refrigerated, this chutney will keep for 1-2 weeks.