Spiced Apple Chutney

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This Spiced Apple Chutney recipe is perfect with Indian, Mexican or just about any grilled meats. It has the most amazing combination of sweet and tangy flavors. I made this apple chutney a few weeks ago with one of my friends and we both loved it. I’ve always been a fan of homemade goods and whenever I get a chance to indulge, I do. This recipe is not only easy to make but also quite delicious.

Spiced Apple Chutney: Easy, Delicious & Simply The Best

Spiced Apple Chutney
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A fabulous autumn spiced apple chutney. It’s easy to make and ready to eat just in time for Christmas. Neither too sweet, nor too sour, it’s just delicious. Makes a great gift and will keep well for at least a year. It’s a great way to use up autumnal cookers and windfall apples.

Apples have to be the best autumn treasure. They are versatile, delicious and can keep well. This year, they are also abundant. If you have more apples than you know what to do with, or even if you don’t, I urge you to make a batch of this spiced apple chutney.

Spiced Apple Chutney

I’ve made  quite a few chutneys in my time, but this spiced apple chutney is the one I keep coming back to. I make at least one batch of it every year. The jars go into the back of the cupboard and stay there until the chutney has matured. It’s a good recipe to make for Christmas as the chutney is just about ready to eat by then.

It’s an essential accompaniment to a good cheeseboard, but also makes a lovely addition to a Christmas hamper or a gift to cheer up the neighbours.

Spiced Apple Chutney.
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The chutney is best made with cooking apples, though it’s a useful recipe to make the most of windfalls too. It’s simple to prepare, even if there is a fair amount of peeling, coring and chopping involved.

If using windfalls, do make sure any brown or rotten bits are removed as these could affect the chutney’s keeping qualities. Otherwise, just bung everything into a large pan and let it simmer away until the mixture is thick and the liquid has disappeared. This usually takes about 20 minutes.

We’ve found this spiced apple chutney is at its absolute best about six months to a year after being made. The rawness of the vinegar has long since mellowed and the flavours have coalesced into a pleasing whole. It’s fruity, but not too sweet nor too sour and it has a pleasing autumnal colour. It has a slight kick from the ginger and chilli, but not enough to put anyone off. In fact, it’s quite delicious. Please give it a go.

If you really can’t wait that long, leave it at least a month before opening. It will still be delicious, just not at its very best.

Spiced Apple Chutney Step-by-Step

When I say just bung all of the ingredients into a pan, you can indeed do that. But if you’d prefer your apples not to oxidise and brown as you’re cutting them, I do have an order for putting those ingredients into the pan.

Chutney ingredients in a pan.
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First pour the vinegar into the pan and follow this with the sugar. Stir to mix. This step not only bulks up the vinegar but has the added benefit of dissolving the sugar whilst you peel and core those apples. Then add the apples to the pan as you prepare them. The vinegar will stop them going brown. If you add the other ingredients first, there won’t be enough vinegar solution to cover the apples. After that, add the onion and spices.

Apple chutney cooking in a pan.
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Bring the pan to the boil, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about twenty minutes or until the apples have more or less broken up and the mixture is thick. You’ll know it’s done when you drag a wooden spoon along the bottom and the chutney stays where you’ve pushed it for a few seconds at least. You can see more about this below.

Spiced Apple Chutney in jars.
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Remove the chutney from the heat and spoon into warm sterilised jars. Seal with a waxed disc and lid or use the method I’ve detailed further down the post.

Spices for Apple Chutney

Spices are the making of this chutney. I use turmeric for its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, but also for colour. A lot of apple chutneys are a rather unappealing brown, but turmeric gives this spicy apple chutney a lovely golden glow.

I use fresh grated ginger, which is fabulous for flavour and complements the chilli heat rather marvellously I find. It also has a lot of sterling properties which help to keep us healthy.

Finely chopped garlic goes into the mix. It adds a fine flavour, especially when it’s mellowed by cooking, vinegar and time.

Our chillies also go into the mix. We use our own homegrown Alberto’s Locoto chillies, but chilli heat is a very personal thing so it’s good to use ones that you’re familiar and happy with. Whether you add the seeds or not is entirely up to you as is the amount you put in. Manzano seeds are quite tough and CT wants them all for his breeding project anyway, so I only add the flesh.

Finally, I add a teaspoon of garam masala, purely for flavour purposes.

What Vinegar To Use For Chutney

Vinegar is an essential component of chutney. It not only acts as a preservative, but it gives flavour too. My go to vinegar for chutney making is apple cider vinegar. It has fruity which generally enhance the chutney ingredients. It’s especially good when making this spiced apple chutney. Malt vinegar is often used, but I find it too harsh for chutneys.

Spiced Apple Chutney
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This year, however, I used my homemade kombucha vinegar for the first time. It has quite an apply flavour so I was pretty sure it would work well. It was just as good as the usual apple cider vinegar so I’m feeling rather pleased with myself.

How Do You Know When Chutney is Ready?

You’ll know your chutney is nearly done when the apples have disintegrated and the mixture has thickened. This usually takes about twenty minutes. If you scrape a wooden spoon along the bottom and the chutney stays almost where it is with no sign of liquid pooling then the chutney is ready for potting.

Chutney ready for potting.
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This recipe makes four to five small 250ml jars, but you can easily double the quantity to make more. I often make two or even three batches during apple season.

Sadly this year, my empty jars were all back in Cornwall, so I had to make one large jar which isn’t nearly as satisfying nor as useful. I shall just have to make another batch when I get my jars.

Sterilise The Jars

It’s important to sterilise jars before pouring in the spiced apple chutney. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Run the jars and lids through a dishwasher cycle.
  2. Wash the jars with hot soapy water and rinse well. Place in an oven and heat it to 125℃. Once the oven has reached full temperature, leave them there for 15 minutes. The lids will need to be boiled in a pan of water for a couple of minutes as the oven will destroy any plastic coating.

Ladle the warm chutney into the jars whilst they’re hot. This will prevent the jars from cracking.

An alternative way of sterilising the lids I learned from Pam Corbin, is to seal the jars immediately after filling and turn them upside down for a few minutes so the hot contents can do the job for you. This is the method I used this time as I had no wax discs available.

Spicy Apple Chutney

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 50 min
  • Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients

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4 green apples

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pureed garlic

1 to 2 serrano chiles, diced with seeds

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 cup raisins

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup waterAdd to Shopping List

Directions

  1. Peel apples and cut into quarters. Remove cores, roughly chop, and reserve.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover and cook until popping stops. Reduce heat and add onion, red bell pepper, and salt. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Stir in garlic, serrano chile, ginger, and allspice, and cook an additional minute.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, including reserved apples. Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, until mixture is soft and aromatic, about 40 minutes. Chill before serving.

Spiced Apple Chutney Recipe: 3 Tips for Making Apple Chutney

Spiced apple chutney showcases a different side to the average Granny Smith or Pink Lady—at once mellower and more distinctive, with a sharp, savory edge from whole spices and vinegar.

What Is Apple Chutney?

Apple chutney is a gluten-free condiment consisting of diced apples cooked with spices, sugar, butter, and vinegar or citrus juice. Apple chutney is a spin on traditional chutney, a savory condiment that originated on the Indian subcontinent. Like its fellow chutneys, mango chutney, tamarind chutney, and tomato chutney, apple chutney often accompanies savory dishes, where it adds a sweet, textural contrast.

4 Ways to Use Apple Chutney

Apple chutney has a chunky, slightly sticky texture that adds textural contrast to many dishes and shines when paired with savory preparations. Here are a few ways to use the condiment in your cooking:

  1. 1. Add it to baked goods: To add dimension to classical pies and galettes, add a layer of apple chutney along the bottom of the dough before loading it up with fruit. Try this in an apple pie, or complement with other ingredients like pear or rhubarb.
  2. 2. Pair it with cheeses: Use apple chutney as a topping for a grilled cheese sandwich or bagel and cream cheese, bake it into puff pastry filled with brie, or serve it alongside a cheese platter.
  3. 3. Topping for grilled or roasted meats: The sweetness of chutney is a perfect foil for smoky, savory barbecue dishes or roasted pork chops, where the tanginess of the fruit brings a bit of levity to the richness of the meat.
  4. 4. Pair it with Indian breads and snacks: The easiest way to enjoy chutney is with classic Indian dishes: Use it as a dip for fried samosas or vadas, flatbreads like dosa, roti, or naan, or as an essential condiment or side dish alongside a meal.

3 Tips for Making Apple Chutney

Chutney is an excellent way to extend the lifespan of particularly good apples and will keep for a few months in a cool, dry spot. Here’s what to know about building your own:

  1. 1. Choosing the best apples: The best apples for chutney have relatively firm flesh and a bright, juicy flavor. Tart apples like Granny Smith, McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Pink Lady are ideal for this reason. Conversely, Golden Delicious apples will soften too much in the cooking liquid.
  2. 2. Finding the right spice blend: Spices set chutney apart from other apple-based ingredients like apple butter, jam, applesauce, and compote. Experiment with different profiles depending on your preferences: Try aromatic seeds like whole coriander, cumin, or fennel, warm spices like allspice, nutmeg, clove, and star anise, or add a touch of heat with red pepper flakes. Toast the spices in oil, butter, or ghee to draw out the fullest expression of their flavor before adding the apple, sugar, and vinegar.
  3. 3. Incorporating other fruits and vegetables: While other chutneys feature a dominant main ingredient, like tomato or tamarind, apple chutney is uniquely open to complementary flavors. Try onion, fresh cranberry, or golden raisins.

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