Apple, Date and Walnut Chutney

When a friend at work offers cheap apples, you just can’t say no. My colleague is a member of a local CSA who then offers additional foodstuffs at times when there is a glut, and this week apples are in season and ripening quickly. With the offer of quarter bushel of apples at the similar price local supermarkets are charging per pound, I just couldn’t resist, so the weekend was about chutney and apple sauce.

Absolutely delicious with a hunk of mature cheddar.

mmm delicious with mature cheddar

This apple chutney is really simple. The recipe was adapted from an old copy of the reader’s digest farmhouse kitchen. I can’t recall if it was a present from years ago or one of those freebies you used to get to promote the book club. It’s full of recipes from around the world and it a constant source for when I fancy spending the day in the kitchen either baking or canning.

Recipe: (there are 454g to a pound) and this quantity makes around 5.5 pint jars

  • 1.5kg (around 3.5 lbs) Apples
  • 600g Onions
  • 600g Walnuts
  • 600g Dates
  • 225g Brown sugar
  • 5 tsp Ginger (ground or fresh)
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1 pint half Apple cider & half white Vinegar (tweak the ratio if you need to)

Although I’ve given set amounts of each of the apples dates and walnut, there is certainly wiggle room in the ratios of the three main ingredients. If you don’t have quite enough of one, then just make it up with the other. The beauty of chutneys is that the recipes can be tweaked to suit what you have.

This post isn’t full of photos as the recipe does not lend itself to glamorous shots… and did you really want to see my mounds of onions and apples? if you find yourself struggling, please drop me a line.

Start by prepping all your ingredients. Peel and core the apples then chop the dates, onions and walnuts around the same sort of size.

4 Main Ingredients

Hint about fresh ginger. Get it home from the shops, peel and then freeze. It will last longer and then you’ll just need to grate what you need when you need it.

Load everything into the pan at once.

Put everything in the pot

Bring to a boil on gentle heat and stir, this will take some time as the pan is quite full. Then turn down to a simmer. Unlike jam we’re not looking for a setting point, it’s just a case of allowing the liquid to boil off and the flavors to meld together

We’ve just to wait now – until it gets thick and the liquid has gone. To know when it’s ready, stir and make a shallow well in the center of the pot, if no liquid pools into the center in a few minutes then it’s ready. If liquid pools, stir again and allow keeping slowly boiling. This latest batch took round 2 hours to finally get ready. Yours may take less or more time.

The jars and lids were prepared as  in this post here . As mentioned, I don’t tend to do hot water canning. The purpose of the acid addition it to do the preserving bit.

Chutneys like a little time to sit before eating; this allows the flavor to develop and some of that acidity to decline. Start opening around 6 weeks, the flavors will keep getting milder.

This chutney is particularly delicious on strong cheddar cheese sandwiches or part of an English ploughman’s lunch. While it may not be pretty to look at, it captures the taste of fall in a jar. Sorry I couldn’t wait 6 weeks, but by-jove it tastes great!

not so pretty to look at, but deliciousfancy wrappings

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