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.
Joining Mrs Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday
where you will find lots more C words
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