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10.21.15 Sweet and Spicy Apple Chutney

10.21.15 Sweet and Spicy Apple Chutney

Dear apple chutney,

Can we talk about how I can’t seem to get enough of you? Come this time of year, I always find myself cooking up a batch, and with good reason. When it comes to fall condiment awesomeness, in my book, you’re a clear winner. Allow me to elaborate:

First of all, you’re absolutely packed with flavor - tart apples, tangy vinegar, savory shallots, sweet raisins, and warm spices. When you combine all of those things, you end up with the ultimate sweet/savory concoction. Perfection, really.

Something this complex sounds like it might be hard to make, but not you apple chutney. A little chopping, a little sauteeing, and a healthy dose of simmering, and before you know it, you’re done. It’s hardly more difficult than making applesauce, except that plain old applesauce has nothing on you. You’re more like applesauce’s cool cousin - spicier, more complicated, and a lot more fun.

Also, let’s not forget about all of the wonderful ways one might enjoy you. With all of those flavors you’re packing, it’s hard to imagine what you wouldn’t be good on. You’re somehow supremely satisfying straight out of the jar, terrific on toast, perfect with pork, and honestly, I can’t imagine a fall cheese plate that didn’t include you. But, in my humble opinion, the best way to enjoy your wonderfulness is in a grilled cheese sandwich. Paired with a nice, sharp Wisconsin cheddar and crispy, buttery bread -  I didn’t think it would be possible to improve on the utter perfection that is the grilled cheese, but you’ve somehow managed it. Apple chutney, you’re the best.

Sweet and Spicy Apple Chutney

makes about 2 cups

  • 1 Tbsp canola or other neutral oil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 4 medium apples (I used fuji), peeled, cored, and sliced (about 3 ½ - 4 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallot, garlic, and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.

2. Add the garam masala, salt, and turmeric, and cook for an additional 1 minute, then add the apple cider vinegar and raisins and cook for 1 minute more.

3. Add the apples and brown sugar, stirring to mix well. Heat until liquid in the bottom of the pot starts to boil, then reduce heat to low and cover (it will seem like there is hardly any liquid, but resist the temptation to add more here as the apples will release a lot of liquid as they cook down).

4. Continue to cook, covered, over low heat for about 20 minutes, giving the chutney a good stir every 5 minutes or so.

5. Remove cover from pot and use a fork or potato masher to mash cooked apples to a chunky consistency. Continue to cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8-10 minutes. Eat immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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