I took a trip to Yorkshire last week and was given a massive bag of these giant cooking apples by my aunt, so they made the journey back to Herefordshire. Although rather like taking coals to Newcastle they were welcome as the tree in the garden has yet to produce anything like these.
Sometimes with chutney the temptation is to through a bit of everything in just to use up as many vegetables as possible. This courgette / marrow / green tomato / apple chutney being a good example.
This time I've decided to keep it simple and concentrate on just apples with a hefty helping of spices.
See here for the apple chutney recipe in more detail.
£3.69 2.75kg cooking apples (mine were free)
£0.74 1kg onions
£0.00 300ml water
£0.40 40g salt
£0.80 40g ground ginger
£0.27 15g ground cinnamon
£0.02 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
£0.86 1.15 litres vinegar
£0.82 1kg sugar
£0.50 450g golden syrup
£2.13per kg of chutney (£1.16 if you can grow the apples - a quarter of the of the cost of buying it )
The apples are peeled, cored and chopped, you could mince them if you wanted to speed up the cooking.
Onions are finely chopped and then simmered with the apples and water for 20 minutes in a preserving pan, this starts them breaking down.
Next half the vinegar is added to the pan, I'm using cider vinegar but malt would do just as well.
Also add the spices and salt, this is a lot of ground ginger and the resulting chutney will taste strongly of it, by all means cut it down if you wish.
Cook until the apples and onions are soft, then add the golden syrup...
...and sugar, along with the remaining vinegar
Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, at first you can give it a stir every ten to fifteen minutes, but as time goes on and the liquid evaporates it is most important to stir every five minutes or more. As the chutney thickens it is very easy to let it stick and burn on the base of the pan.
I had to simmer this for several hours to get it thick enough, this may have been due to not boiling it fast enough earlier on, as I had just left it ticking over while I did something else.
The chutney is ready to pot when you can see the base of the pan after drawing a wooden spoon through, see this blog post for a picture.
This did turn out to be a very smooth chutney, all the apples and onions had softened to the point of falling apart.
Pot in sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for around 3 months to mature, the jars should keep for up to two years.
40 minutes Chopping
50 minutes First Simmering
3 hours Second Simmering
20 minutes Potting