I’ve been knee-deep in apple season already this year, eating them fresh and dehydrating some for snacking. Varieties come and go as the weather changes, and some are only available early on so you have to grab them while you can. (Like this petite Akane apples from eastern Washington.)
Preserving is a great way to extend the season and I’ve been teaching around Seattle this fall. This recipe is included in my recent book, APPLES – From Harvest to Table from St. Martin’s Press. It makes good use of hard and bitter cider apples, but any firm apple will do. My brother & his family just harvested Jonamac’s from an orchard in upstate NY and I think they’d be perfect, too.
spiced apple chutney, from APPLES – From Harvest to Table
Chutneys are savory fruit-based spreads often used in Indian cuisine. Here, apples are perfumed with commanding winter spices. This fragrant chutney has a bit of a heat from red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper. Cider apples make the best chutney, as they are tart and firm and hold their shape after cooking.
Suggested varieties: If you can’t find cider apples, substitute another firm apple like Granny Smith or the English variety Bramley’s Seedling.
Makes about 6 half-pint jars
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds cider apples, cored and cut into small dice
12 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon mustard seeds, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1⁄2 cup raisins 1 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and sauté until the onion starts to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the apples and sauté until they start to brown, another 10 to 12 minutes. Add all of the spices, ginger, and raisins, stirring for 2 minutes to incorporate. Add the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is thick and the apples are very soft but still hold their shape, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Fill clean, sterilized jars with chutney, leaving ½ inch head space. Using a damp, clean towel, wipe the rims of the jars, and top them with lids and rings, being sure not to tighten the rings all the way. Leave a bit of torque so air bubbles can escape. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars with tongs and let them all cool on the counter. Once the jars are cool, make sure the seals are secure. Sealed jars may be stored in a cool dark cupboard for up to 1 year.