Apple Chutney

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I love making all kinds of jarred stuff, like chutney, cranberry sauce, foriana sauce, pumpkin butter… It’s just fun – especially because you can really create as you go. And chutney is one of those things that you can completely make your own.

I have one apple tree on my property. It grows little green apples. They’re not great. They’re dry, and not that flavorful. But I feel compelled to cook with them because I’m in competition with the raccoons. Overnight, they can rid the tree clean of every apple. It’s like they have their whole families come with apple picking bags.

We know it’s the raccoons because we finally have proof. This July, before we left town, my husband set up his wildlife camera on our peach tree. The raccoons have always beat me to my peaches. On one year, I notated on my calendar that they disappeared on July 17th. So, we were ready in July.

And there they came, along with their teenagers. No bags across their shoulders, but they’re certainly smart. In the photos, you can see the larger raccoons in the tree, and the children gathering them up down on the ground.

We figured out from the span of the dates on the photos (those aren’t the real dates because my husband is electronically challenged) that they really don’t scour the whole tree overnight, like it seems, but they take a few days to do it. So you really don’t notice until it’s too late. Plus, by then, most all of the branches have been broken by their sturdy bodies, which makes this phenomenon doubly frustrating.

But back to the apples. On most years, I let the animals, including my dog, Louie, enjoy the apples.
photo
But this year, I really wanted to take advantage of some of the apples. Plus some crabapples, that I know nothing about, but that’s another post.

I picked half of a grocery bag of apples and crabapples, and it was heavy. And don’t worry, there are about a million apples still on the tree.

Now to put on my thinking cap. Crappy-tasting apples. What in the world to do?
app
So chutney came to mind. Because there are so many other flavors in chutney, like the savory ingredients, the sweet ingredients, the spices, and the vinegar. The apples would just add substance. Perfect.

I wrote a post ages ago about creating your own chutney, and I actually referred to it to make this chutney. Just so I didn’t forget anything important.

So here’s what I did, and, as usual, I’m only listing ingredients as a guide, because you can use what you like in your own chutney. But I can tell you that you cannot taste bland, non-juicy apples in this chutney! In fact, it’s one of the best ones I’ve made!

Curried Apple Fig Apricot Chutney

Olive oil
White onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Apples, cored, finely chopped
Chopped dried apricots
Chopped dried figs
Brown sugar
Curry powder or individual spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon
Cinnamon stick, if you’re not adding ground cinnamon
Salt
Apple juice or some white wine

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. I used some orange-infused olive oil just for a little added flavor.
chuts1

Add the onions and sauté them for a few minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and stir it in.
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Immediately add the apples, dried fruit, sugar, seasoning, and about 1/4 cup or so of liquid. The liquid is just to start the steaming and cooking/softening process of the fruits.


Bring to a soft boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat way down, and let the chutney cook for about 45 minutes.

Occasionally check to see how much liquid is on the bottom of the pot. You want the fruits to keep some semblance of their shapes, not for the chutney to turn to mush.
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Remove the lid of the pot and let the chutney cook if any excess liquid remaining needs to evaporate. Don’t stir.

For the last step, add a little bit of apple cider vinegar to the chutney, and let cook for about one minute. Remove the pot from the heat, then gently stir in the juice of half of a lemon.

Remove the cinnamon stick, and let the chutney cool completely.

The one thing that’s really nice about chutney is that is freezes well. Unless you want to make a dozen jars of chutney and are willing to can them, just make a small amount and stick them in the freezer. It’s so handy and easy. And that way you can make different varieties of chutney!
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And I finally have a labeler!!!

Today I served the chutney with pork loin, and corn on the cob. The curry flavors are striking, especially with the apple, fig, and apricot.

For two actual chutney recipes, check out my Cranberry Apple Chutney for the holidays, and my spring chutney – Strawberry Onion Chutney.

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Just if you’re interested, I paired this meal with an Albariño. Fabulous!!!

This chutney is also good with roasted chicken. I know – it was my lunch today!

note: Typically, I place all of the chutney ingredients, except the final vinegar and lemon juice step, in a pot and cook everything together, an example shown below. This time, just for fun, I decided to sauté the aromatics first. It added a little oiliness to the chutney, which worked fine. But make sure, if you sauté the aromatics first, that you serve the chutney warm or at room temperature.

all of the chutney ingredients ready to cook

all of the chutney ingredients ready to cook

49 thoughts on “Apple Chutney

    • Thank you. Funny about the bird seed. Raccoons found their way to the 2nd story of our house where I put out bird seeds, and they were tearing off the shingles to get to individual seeds that had fallen in between the shingles! We had to severely prune a tree to keep them from climbing up!

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  1. This is such a great post. Thanks for sharing the story about your racoons (they look huge on the pictures!), and the chutney sounds delicious. I love chutneys too, and my parents have two racoon-free apple trees in their house, with apples that don’t taste great, but are perfect for sauces, cakes, and chutneys! I’ll try to get some for myself if they are willing to share!

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  2. Excellent post, mouth watering, and it gave me ideas to for some of our fruits & vegetables.
    I really know what you mean about the raccoon climbing those trees, and we also have the deer to contend with! OH….and Louie looks so cute with that apple in his mouth :)

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  3. I love your story telling style of writing. I am lately in love with an olive chutney I buy at a wine farm. It is just to die for and of course I eat it in and on everything in sight. Great post thanks.

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  4. love apples – I made some green tomato and apple chutney last year, cannot remember how or with what, do still have some in the basement and the family loves it with cheese. your chutney looks divine and the raccoons are cute and on the bright side they are only eating the bad apples :)

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    • hahahaha! When we’ve had too much wine, we go outside and hand feed the raccoons. We don’t do it when they have their babies with them, which is every spring. But they’re so cute. One day there will be a youtube video of me getting my hand chewed off by a rabid raccoon…

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  5. Ahh.. Hahaha!! My husband is at war with the raccoons at our cabin this summer! They’ve been eating the suet we put out for the birds. He comes up with a feeder…one that the thinks the raccoons won’t be able to penetrate… And every morning the telltale footprints on the fence and the empty feeders get him so fired up! Lol… So I had to laugh at your raccoon apple tree problem.. And can’t wait to tell him about it!

    Your chutney is beautiful.. And the combination of ingredients are perfect! I am totally making this. Along with pork and corn, because that just looks so delicious!

    Awesome post.. ❤️

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  6. We have a bag of apples in the fridge and two trips coming up, I was wondering if there was anything I could do with them – not in the mood for pies, too heavy. This could be it

    now I need a day with 36 hours ;-)

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  7. Amazing night pictures of huge raccoons! Bet you felt like a real detective! Thanks for sharing the chutney – I have never tried chutney but I definitely love creating things I can can like spreads, jams, sauces. Chutney is next then!

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    • I don’t can it, because I like making a few different kinds, so I just freeze it. Of course, I could can three jars, but I just don’t. Freezing has no negative effects on chutney in my experience!

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  8. Maybe you should learn to sous-vide raccoons–and serve them with the apple chutney! :-) Sounds great! Just curious, but why do want to serve chutneys with sautéed aromatics warm? Thanks. Ken

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    • If the chutney is cold, and there’s oil in them, there would be blobs of hardened oil in them. That’s why the suggestion of warm or at least room temp! You’re right about the raccoon sous vide…

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  9. Love this little chutney recipe. It has all the flavors of autumn. Now for those pesky but cute little raccoons. BTW just bringing them across the river does not work if you are going to try to offer them a relocation plan as they swim better than fish. I learned that lesson the hard way. Have a super week. Take Care, BAM

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  10. OMG this is hilarious. I used to have crab apple trees, but not a real apple tree. My parents said you couldnt eat the crab apples. I always suspected you could. I love that you have surveillance on your tree. Raccoons really don’t mess around. They’ll eat anything. I love apples and apple season Your photos are beautiful. This chutney recipe is so up my alley. I’m bookmarking it. I can’t wait to make it. The perfect blend of sweet and savory.

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