Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Spiced Apricot and Apple Chutney

I thought this chutney would be the last one to go on the blog this year, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a small batch of green tomato chutney is also on the cards. We’ve had masses of gorgeous toms from the garden but there are a few which are stubbornly resisting turning red. I've been outside and threatened them….if they won’t behave themselves it’ll be the chutney pot for ‘em!

This particular one was made to use up a lot of bits and pieces that were looking for a home. I had the last couple of cooking apples from the bagful my sister gave me, a Tupperware box of frozen apricots, some very small red onions from the garden that weren’t much use for anything else and half a bag of dried dates which were leftover from something but I can’t remember what!

Twenty minutes of chopping and an hour or so of simmering gave me four jars of a rich, spicy chutney that I suspect will go well with cheese and crackers. My window cleaner said the house smelled, be fair, you can't get a better recommendation than that!

I used odds and sods that I had to hand for this but, if you want to substitute plums for apricots or maybe use sultanas instead of dates, just remember to keep the proportions roughly the same and you’ll be fine. Chutney is very forgiving.

225g red onions, chopped
300g bramley apples, peeled and chopped
350g apricots, stoned and chopped
60g dried dates, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1½ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp dry mustard
300g soft brown sugar
300ml red wine vinegar

Put the garlic, salt, spice and mustard into a blender with a couple of tablespoons of the measured vinegar and blitz until slushy.

Put the fruits, onions and sugar into a large wide pan, add the garlic and spice mix followed by the vinegar; give everything a good stir and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer steadily for about an hour until thick and no liquid remains when a channel is drawn across the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Pot up into sterilised jars whilst the chutney is still hot and allow to mature for 4-6 weeks before eating.

Makes 4 190g jars.

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