Apple Chutney

I love the long days of summer, but not as much as autumn transitioning to winter as this signals for me not only a visual change but a culinary one as well.  I delight at the thought of getting out all the clay pots and expanding the repertoire of yummy delights: tagines, soups especially bean, curries (the changing colours of our vines remind me of all the Indian spices!)- the list is endless as is the aroma!  But, let us not forget the apple which to me is the indicator of fall!  I love apples.

Several years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Frank Browning author of Apples.  The book was a Julia Child Cookbook Award winner and is essentially the history of the apple.  I was fascinated and I don’t think I have ever eaten a Delicious apple since and apples have become an even more integral part of my diet.   Sonoma County has a rich apple heritage being home to the juicy, tart Gravenstein apple which is struggling and hoping for a comeback.  The orchards of west county have, unfortunately, been replaced with the more lucrative grape vines.

I was fortunate enough to be gifted several bags of apples this year.  I made the requisite apple sauce and since Lucy is visiting, we decided to make chutney today.  I have used this recipe for years and have made many adjustments along the way.  I am not a huge fan of raisins so the only dried fruit is apricots and I add lots of fresh ginger.  I do process these in a traditional water bath in a canning pot.  If you don’t know the process I suggest reading about it; this is a good source.  I also love this apple chutney recipe from Savory Simple – she uses dried cherries, her spices different from mine and doesn’t process her finished product. I made two batches using a bit of lemon zest in the second one.  Both were very, very yummy! 

Let me know your favourite fall food – post it here or send me an email….

APPLE CHUTNEY 

8 C chopped apples
2 C chopped dried apricots
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. brown sugar
1 pint apple cider vinegar
1T  finely chopped ginger
3T fresh mint
2t powdered allspice
2 t salt
1T yellow mustard seed
1/2- 1 t cayenne pepper

Peel and core apples.  Coarsely chop apples and apricots and combine with remaining ingredients.  Simmer 1 hour or until thickened.  Fill clear hot canning jars, leaving ¼ inch head space.  Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath.   Store in a cool, dark place for a couple of weeks.  Enjoy!

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