You might not think it, but there is a considerable amount of responsibility associated with a fall fruit share. Every week I am gifted with apples and it is my responsibility not to let them shrivel in the fridge. The first week I didn't make anything with them, just ate them out of the bag and I think there is still one Sansa left. The next week I made a tarte Tatin with the Ginger Golds. Last week we got Galas. The note from the farm said that the Gala is good for just about anything--it keeps well, it is a good eater, and a good cooking apple. I briefly considered making applesauce, and I'm sure I will before the season ends, but the Galas became chutney.
This is supposed to be quite a spicy chutney. Mine came out on the milder side because, unfortunately, I couldn't find any small, red chiles and used jalapeños instead. In an attempt to give it a bit more heat I added most of a teaspoon of dried, crushed red pepper. I worked with what I had, and it turned out just fine. Although the recipe didn't call for it, I added several small handfuls of currants to my chutney. Just, because, well, yum.
I am used to a thick, almost jam-like chutney, but am learning to appreciate its runnier cousin. A more pourable chutney is great with pocket-y foods, like pasties or samosas. Instead of the chutney lasting only one bite, the juices seep in to the filling and meld with the other flavors, and you do still have the chunks of fruit for texture.
adapted from Jan Berry's Art of Preserving
- 2 pounds cooking apples
- 2 large onions
- 2 small, red chiles
- 3 cups brown sugar
- 2 tsp. ground allspice
- 2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tbs. ginger, chopped
- 3 cups cider vinegar
- Peel, core, and chop apples. Finely chop onions and chiles. Place in a nonreactive pan along with the rest of the ingredients and bring the lot to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 30-40 minutes or until mixture thickens, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and ladle into warm, sterilized jars. Seal jars by boiling for 25 minutes in water that covers them by at least an inch. Cool on racks and hear the lids pop.
A good accompaniment to samosas or pasties.
Chutney turned out to be the right choice. Y. and I are making an Indian feast for some friends on the weekend and applesauce just wouldn't have gone nearly as well.