Monday, 24 October 2011

Spiced apple chutney

You might have a great pile of apples and are wondering what to do with them. Well, you could do a lot worse than stockpile some jars of this delicious spiced chutney. Home-made chutney is a great staple for the larder and is more useful than you might think. This spiced apple chutney goes brilliantly with sharp, mature cheddar and other hard cheeses. It's also a bold accompaniment to coarse, rustic pâté, sausage and mash, hearty pies. Alternatively, try stirring it into casseroles for a bit of extra oomph. This recipe is based on one that appears in Nigella Lawson's How to be a Domestic Goddess.

Spiced apple chutney (this quantity makes about a litre)
500g apples
1 medium onion
2 bird's-eye chillies
250g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice (or a mixture of nutmeg and cinnamon)
1 teaspoon ground cloves
half a teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tablespoon chopped or grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
350ml cider vinegar

Peel and roughly chop the apples – you might need to pick them over first to remove any badly bruised flesh (ours came from my parents' garden in Hertfordshire). Chop the onion. Seed the chillies and chop finely. Put all the ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil.

Cook over a medium heat for 40 minutes or so, until the mixture thickens. Spoon into sterilised jars. Try to wait a few weeks before using as it needs time to mellow, otherwise, it will taste too acidic and vinegary.

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