How To Make Chutney
A marriage made in heaven is a Vale of Mowbray pork pie served with a good chunk of cheese and a deliciously savoury apple chutney. Lunchtimes don’t get much better than that. But tracking down the best chutney to earn its place in your heart can be a tall order. Whilst shop-bought varieties are great for ease, they don’t always cut the mustard when it comes to taste. Read on for our top Apple Chutney Recipe and some hints and tips to get you chutney making with ease.
Vale of Mowbray’s Pork-Pie-Worthy Apple Chutney
1.5 kg good quality cooking apples – peeled, cored and diced
750g light Muscovado sugar
500g raisins and/or sultanas
2 finely chopped onions
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp dried sage
700ml apple cider vinegar
Combine all of the ingredients in a preserving pan (or large heavy based saucepan). Over a medium heat gradually bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once at simmering point, simmer for approximately 40 minutes remembering to stir the pan frequently. You are looking for a thick mixture where the apples have broken down but the raisins/sultanas are still intact. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool before putting the chutney in to sterilised jars.
Chutney-Making Hints and Tips
Whatever anyone tells you, chutney-making isn’t rocket-science. An hour or two making chutney is well worth the effort for a season of delicious home-made pork pie accompaniment. Nonetheless, a few pointers can help you along the way to Chutney-Making Success:
- Sterile, dry jars make your chutney last longer. Sterilise jars by placing them in an oven that is over 100˚C for five minutes. Place the lids in a bowl and poor over boiling water before drying with a clean tea towel.
- Buying filled jars may be a cheaper way of getting the jars you need for your chutney session than buying jam jars new. Even better, save up jars throughout the year, or go knocking on neighbours’ doors.
- Do not place a lid on your chutney pan whilst it is cooking – the steam needs to escape.
- Timing is important, but chutney intuition should be your guide. The good thing about chutney is that it is a relatively forgiving method compared to jam. Everyone has their favourite consistency, so boil down the mixture to the right consistency for you.
- Pick a cool evening for chutney making. It’s not much fun standing over a steaming pan when it’s hot. Fortunately, this ties in perfectly with the best time of year for getting the best apple harvest.
- For better taste, let the chutney sit – for months! If you’ve sterilised well, then your chutney should not only be fine a few months down the line, but in fact improved.
Once you’re confident with your chutney-making ability, feel free to adapt the quantity and types of spices to suit your taste. And once you’ve handed out a few jars as gifts, and your friends and family are begging for more, don’t forget to say where you found the recipe!