It was a wet and windy afternoon and I saw that the lawn was littered with a few mature-looking windfalls. Not wanting to venture out, I scoured my cupboards and put together this recipe, based on several different chutneys I found online. I wanted mine to be a bit hotter than most, so upped the chilli content; plus I found a couple of sachets of pickling spice I had been given as freebies, so in they went. Some old dates need using up, and the ends of four different types of sugar – granulated, jaggary, and two types of brown! Very satisfying to get rid of all the odds and ends in the cupboard.
Makes 6 largish jars
225g/8oz onions chopped
900g/2lb apples, cored and chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 hottish chillis, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 inches grated ginger
110g/4oz sultanas, raisins or chopped dates
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp mixed spice or a sachet of pickling spice
340g/12oz granulated or brown sugar
425ml/¾ pint malt vinegar
If using the picking spice, infuse in the vinegar in a small pan, and simmer for a few minutes.
Once you have chopped all the other ingredients, put them in a large saucepan and slowly bring up to a simmer. Let them soften on a gentle bubble for 1.30 hours or until all the ingredients are broken down into a gloopy brown mass, but not so that you can’t see any texture. The liquid should have boiled away by then and you will be left with a mixture that a spoon leaves an indentation in when you test it.
Spoon into sterilised jars (I do mine in the dishwasher) and seal immediately. Put on some fancy labels. Then give to your friends who will be very impressed. It wont be ready for three months though – the flavours need time to mature, especially that chilli!