Wednesday, 16 November 2011


As I set off for a walk the other afternoon I noticed that a neighbour, the farmer who's cows are in the fields surrounding us, was out in his orchard collecting apples with his young family.
Imagine my delight when I got back home to find a bucket of apples by the front gate.

After picking them over and washing off the leaves and grass I seperated them out, some for eating and some for cooking.
Chutney is something that I enjoy making especially at this time of year, so I gathered the rest of the ingredients together and got peeling!

The French word confit can mean any type of food that is preserved.
A tomato confit goes well with chicken and an onion confit is great served with goats cheese, a balsamic vinegar will deepen the sweet/sour flavour of both.
The English word chutney, derived from the Indian word chatni,  has become one of the UK's favourite condiments and is never far away when a curry is on the menu.
Here's my quick and easy recipe for a spicy apple chutney, equally good with English cheeses such as cheddar, cheshire and white stilton or a French cheese like camembert or brie.
It also goes well with ham/gammon, pork, cold roast chicken/turkey, ideal for Christmas leftovers.

Here's what to do..............
8oz onions, chopped
2lb apples, cored & chopped but not peeled
4oz sultanas, raisins or dates, chopped
half a teaspoon each of ground coriander, mixed spice, paprika and salt
12oz granulated sugar (I used half white, half golden)
three quarters pint (or one and a half cups) of vinegar.
(I used a special pickling vinegar this time but you can use malt vinegar in this recipe also).

all the ingredients into a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (if you have a preserving pan all the better!) slowly bring to the boil and cook until the sugar has melted.
Then simmer for two hours on a low heat (keep an eye on it from time to time, so it doesn't burn on the bottom) until it is thick and sticky.
To test if a chutney is ready, I always follow Delia's advice.
a wooden spoon and draw it quickly along the bottom of the pan if it leaves behind a channel that doesn't fill up immediately with liquid then it's ready!

If you like your chutney a little less spicy you can amend the quantities of each spice but don't leave out any one spice completely or it will upset the balance.
Decant the chutney into sterilized jars, seal and store in a dark, cool place for 2/3 months before eating.

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  1. Thanks for the reciepe! I love chutney!

  2. Mmm. Sounds delicious. What is in mixed spice?

  3. Oh, that chutney sure sounds good.
    I bet your house smells yummy too!

  4. Sounds delightful. What a lovely kind neighbour you have.

  5. That looks and sounds delicious Maggie. LOve everything with apples

  6. That sounds like a great recipe, as we have lots of apples. Looks like we have the same Emma Bridgewater dishes!

  7. I've never had chutney so it was very interesting to read how you make it! It sounds delicious! What a sweet and kindhearted neighbor you have!


  8. Having an apple orchard , I have thousands of apples and make lots of recipes using apples. I too, make this recipe to give to friends. I also take a large bowl of this to friends when I know that they will be serving, pork or poultry. It is always a big hit and I know that people will enjoy your recipe.

  9. My sister in law makes great chutney but I confess that I have never tried.

  10. Lovely neighbors you got there. I'll try the recipe, it sounds delicious. Cheers for Madrid

  11. Chutneys are part of our daily meals in India. I love chutney especially green mango and lemon and date and the yummy amla or Indian gooseberry chutney..... and the daily simple coriander chutney accompaniment..... all of them YUM..... Have to raid my kitchen now!!!

  12. I still have two big sacs of apples from our tree - gave two sacs away and made five pies. My daughter has dibs on one sac for apple butter and I really want to make chutney with the last. I've been collecting recipes and I'll add yours to the collection.

  13. Your chutney recipe sounds like a must try! Over the years I have discovered that I really like chutney and am sorry that it had been avoided for so long! It really enhances the meat it accompanies.

    Thank you for sharing...and you have such a lovely blog!

  14. WoW, this sounds delicious. I've never tasted Chutney before. Geek Son has a backyard filled with apple trees and we're always lookin' for more ways to use 'em.

    Woohoo sweetie....thanks!!!

    Good neighbors are hard to come are blessed!

    Enjoy this wonderful day my friend! :o)

  15. That mailbox is the cutest thing ever.

    And I could almost smell the apples, to say nothing of the chutney!


  16. Maggie, I always appreciate seeing something I haven't attempted being made. I'll have to consider doing this with my apples next year. The apple tree we have produces apples earlier in the year...

  17. Sounds really delicious. Our apples are done and gone here. Nice of of your neighbor to leave you some.

  18. What a wonderful gift! I have made chutney before but not a kind that you cook for long or seal and store. I'm assuming that with your recipe you don't have to process the jars in a hot water bath.

  19. I've always enjoyed good chutney but never knew anything about the background. Lovely photos!!

  20. I like the way you explained things regarding chutney, and this helped. Thank-you for leaving such an interesting and kind comment on my blog awhile ago, I was intrigued and had to check out your delightful blog. I just might have to make some chutney too.I like the idea of having it with cheeses !

  21. Maggie - in all the years i was surrounded by apple trees I never made chutney. It was one of the things my mother-in-law made expertly. Perhaps i'll give it a try one day. Thanks for the recipe. I love your mailbox!

  22. You have the kindest neighbors! :D Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with us. Yum!!!

  23. I've never made chutney. It is interesting to see the ingredients. I would never have thought of cooking onions and apples together. xo Jenny

  24. When I lived in Pennsylvania, neighbors were always leaving seasonal edibles at my door!

    I love a VERY spicy chutney.

  25. That sounds so good Maggie. How nice to come home to a bucket of freshly picked apples. laurie

  26. This looks great! Those presents are the best! And I love your mailbox :)

  27. I love your mailbox too- and your neighbours- how fantastic are they? Your chutney sounds delicious. I'm not sure I've ever had an apple chutney- rhubarb chutney was one of my favourites- but the shop stopped making it and I've been too lazy to make my own.

  28. What nice neighbors to leave you apples. Looks delicious, great flavors! Such a pretty mailbox.

  29. Fantastic neighbor! And you are so right that I'd love this recipe. I have apples here just waiting to be cooked up and I love chutney. Even better, I have all the ingredients in the house.

  30. spicy apple chutney...sounds delicious.

    we don't have "mixed spice" here in the US..but I remember buying some in Ireland to make my Christmas pudding. IT is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice...usually with some cloves, ginger, sometimes coriander..even cayenne.
    Sort of a spicy mix of "pumpkin pie spice" we often see here.

  31. I've had a couple of enquiries about mixed spice which I din't realise wasn't very well known in the US.
    Ground mixed spice can be found with all the other spices in the supermarkets in the UK.
    It is a mix of cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, pimento & ginger.
    It is a "go to" spice choice for me, especialy for chutneys, apple pies and fruit cakes.
    I'd like to say thank you also for all the nice comments about my mail box cover. The apples cover seems to fit the in between time after Halloween and Christmas nicely!

  32. What a nice gift from your neighbors, and I love both your mailbox and the little chair.

  33. What a super recipe for a chutney, Maggie! Rich and thick with great flavors.
    (I've been to Savannah many times but have never eaten at Paula's restaurant. I have eaten at the Pink House though. I'm really not a huge fan of Deen's, but I do give her great credit for her success. She must be one determined woman!)

  34. What nice neighbors you have! I've never made a chutney, but would love to try this recipe. What is 'mixed spice'?

  35. Yummy! Sounds very good!
    And your neighbours are very nice people!
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful shots. And thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment!

    Happy weekend****

  36. This recipe sounds really delightful, Maggie...thank you for sharing how you do it. I hope to try making it someday.

    I especially enjoyed reading your post about Remembrance Sunday in Normandy. (My DH is a WWII survivor & it was very touching)

    Add me to the list of those who ♥ your mailbox jacket. Too cute!


  37. I would be thrilled to find a bucket of apples on my doorstep!!! What wonderful neighbors you have!!!

  38. I don't know that I have every tried this type of chutney. But it looks like something I should.

  39. This would make a wonderful gift for my niece. Thanks

  40. I'm thinking this would make a lovely gift for my neighbors. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  41. What a nice surprise. Just reading the words, " the farmer who's cows are in the fields surrounding us" brought back a flood of delightful memories. Maggie, you live in the most wonderful spot. ;-)
    How nice to have these apples waiting for you. Yum!

  42. Hi Maggie,
    This is my first time visiting your blog through the Weekend Cooking link up. Your blog is lovely. I think I want to come to Normandy just to visit you! :)

    I love chutney and am always drawn to the recipes in my home preserving cookbooks but never follow through with making them because I think I'm the only one in my family who would eat it. I need to find some friends who like chutney so I can give some to them. :)

  43. Hi Maggie! I love apples and this sounds so good! How nice to have such a wonderful neighbor!
    Thanks so much for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  44. Hi Maggie, Your recipe for chutney sounds absolutely delicious. What a nice neighbor you have to leave the bounty of apples at the front gate. I'll bet he knows what you plan to do with them in hopes of getting a little jar of chutney.
    Hope your have a great week.

    The French Hutch

  45. It is wonderful how people in Normandy share the bounty of their land. I blogged about this recently - in our case it was walnuts rather than apples.

  46. Hi Maggie,

    This looks very tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I love anything with apples. :) I'm familiar with chutney, but I've never been sure what confit is. Have a great week!


  47. Catching up now the olive harvest is complete, so much reading to do means I am not making many comments here at the moment Maggie, but be assured I am reading your posts! I just had to tell you that I am somewhat envious of your fantasticly decorated mailbox. :)

  48. Perfectly seasonal.

    - The Tablescaper

  49. Oh yum!

    I've never thought of making chutney but it would absolutely make a lovely gift!

    The picture with the mailbox and the apples is so perfect!

    It made me feel like fall!

    Thanks so much for sharing this cute post for the letter "C".



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