Autumn · Foraging · Preserves · Zero Waste-friendly

Chronicles of the Apple Part 2: Super Simple Apple Chutney

Chronicles of the Apple 2_

This is the second part in my series exploring the versatile uses of my favourite autumnal fruit! If you missed my recipe for Apple Crumble Muffins, featured in part 1, you can read it here.

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I love a good chutney. Traditionally served with meat and cheese dishes, it is also delicious as an accompaniment to a vegan roast dinner (wonderful with roasted root veg!), alongside curry, or in a simple sandwich with baked tofu and fresh greens.

This year, my nearest and dearest will be treated to zero waste Christmas gifts, which will include several homemade offerings. I absolutely love the ritual of present gathering leading up to the festive season, and this year I’m determined to make the most of the abundance of ripe fruits on offer in September and October, by turning them into seasonal, delicious creations.

I’ve tried many a fancy chutney recipe in the past, but this year I’ve decided to keep it simple with this classic apple chutney. Chutney needs at least a month to mature to its full flavour, so hopefully by Christmas-time, this batch will be absolutely scrumptious!

First, a note on one of the key ingredients in chutney: the vinegar. I love saving money when I can, but it is really not worth going for cheap vinegar if you want your chutney to actually taste nice! I have made this mistake in the past, and ended up with a massive batch of foul tasting chutney. Even good quality vinegar is still a fairly cheap ingredient – and seeing as the main ingredient here, the apples, are free from your nearest tree at this time of year, I don’t mind spending a bit more on good quality vinegar to preserve them properly!

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Ingredients (makes 3 medium sized jars of chutney):

10-15 small apples (or 5-8 medium sized apples), peeled, cored and chopped

400 ml apple cider vinegar

330 g (1.5 cups) packed light brown muscavado sugar (this is my favourite to use in chutneys, but another type of sugar will do!)

2 medium red onions, diced

1 small handful raisins

1.5 tsp ground ginger

1.5 tsp mustard seeds

Method:

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until pulpy and reduced, but before the apples have completely broken down! Meanwhile, wash out the glass jars you will use for storage with warm, soapy water, then place in a warm oven (~100 degrees celsius) until completely dry. Pack the chutney hot into the sterilised glass jars and seal. Store in a cool, dry place to mature for a month or so before serving!

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