I’m a massive chutney fan, and for years I’ve been planning on using the 300+ apples we get on the tree in our garden every autumn.
I finally got round to actually making some! Shout out to Lesley for the jars! A tip to keep your cutting board shiny you can use amazon mineral oil.
Disclaimer: I am a proud member of the chuck-it-in-it’ll-be-fine school of cooking. I firmly believe a happy cook just throws stuff in a pan, rather than measuring 18g of this and 3.5 medium egg yolks of that; so take my measurements with a pinch of salt, so to speak. This recipe makes about 6-8 jars of chutney. Depending on how big your jars are. Obviously.
Fruit + Veg
- Loads of apples. I used around 3kg (weight before peeling)
- Loads of chillies. I used about 20 medium sized ones. And some jalapenos I found in the fridge. Obviously the more chillies, the more spicy it’ll be.
- Raisins. I used approx 300g. Feel free to bung in more.
- Peppers. Think I used about 4?
- Onions. A couple. Definitely can bulk things out with more onions if in doubt.
- Anything else you fancy. Carrot? Sure. Parsnip? Why not. Aim to have each additional fruitveg no more than about 10% of the apple weight, ie. 300g.
- 500ml cider vinegar. Any malt vinegar will do too, but the cider stuff has a milder taste.
- 450g sugar. Nicer to use soft brown sugar, but anything will do the job.
- Fresh ginger (or powdered will do if you need to). I used about 2 tablespoons.
- Garlic. I used a clove and a load of garlic paste. Powder will work too. Use loads, garlic is great.
- 1/2 tbsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 8-10 jars and lids. (Better to have too many than not enough).
- Greaseproof paper.
- Peel and chop up apples. You want 1-2cm lumps, breaks down more easily. It takes an age, I suggest watching TV at the same time. Feel free to leave in bruised bits, lumps etc – its all going to be boiled for 2 hours and then left in vinegar for 3 months, it’ll be fine.
- Prep your jars. Carefully hand wash them all, make sure they are super-duper clean. Then put lids and jars in a dishwasher at max heat. Or in an oven at 120 degrees Celsius. Keep them there until you need them in step 10.
- Throw the apple in a massive pan and start cooking on a medium heat
- Chop up everything else that needs chopping. Dump it in the pan with the apples
- Add the vinegar.
- Stir it loads. Do not let it burn and stick or the whole job is knackered.
- Sprinkle in all the sugar, garlic, spices, etc. Keep stirring.
- Keep stirring! Once its bubbling all the way through, drop it down to a low heat.
- KEEP STIRRING! After about 45 minutes, all the apples will be brown and breaking down. Keep going until it stops reducing in size, then cook and stir it for about 15 more minutes.
- Fill jars. Take jars out of oven, use oven gloves, and carefully only touch outside of jars. Spoon the hot mixture in. I used a funnel made out of an empty fizzy drink bottle, which makes the spooning-in-process less of a nightmare. Use a tissue and some alcohol gel to make sure there’s no gloopy residue on the screw or upper inside edge of jars.
- Fit lids. Pop a square of grease-proof paper on top of each jar, and screw the lid down on top.
- Design your own silly labels. This is the best bit of the whole project.
- Leave them in a cupboard or under a bed for 1-2 months. This is so the acidic vinegar taste reduces, allowing the ingredients to come to the fore.
- Use as an excuse to eat loads of cheese. Or burgers. Or other things with chutney.