We are smack in the midst of apple season now, and I’m loading up on them every week at our local markets. Nowadays, you can find excellent quality apples at almost any grocery store, reasonably priced. It’s also fun to experiment with heirloom varietals from Farmers Markets, but those apples can be pretty pricey here in San Diego. If I had to choose three top favorites, it would be Honey Crisp, Fuji and Gala, in that order. I like an apple that is firm to bite into and juicy enough to run down my chin.
Cooler fall weather reminds me to restock on autumn chutneys, so I developed one that spotlights apples. I used fresh, organic Honey Crisps for this batch. Adding dried apple rings intensified the flavors of the chutney, although the dried fruit absorbed so much of the orange juice that I added an extra half cup from my original recipe. Dates added richness and the pomegranate anils give the chutney a bit of a spark.
This first batch of my double apple chutney will be perfect for little hostess gifts and, later in the season, for stocking stuffers. Maybe I will surprise my writing group friends with a jar to sample at home…For a review of safe canning procedures, go to this link.
TIP: Lazy Liz does not seed pomegranates. Instead, I buy packages of the seeds, or “anils”, at places like Trader Joe’s, where they are a seasonal item. One package is just about a cup, perfect for this recipe.
TIP: If you don’t want to can the chutney, it will keep for at least four weeks in your fridge. I need to experiment with a future batch and try freezing some.
- 3 cups organic brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 cups unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar
- 2 pounds organic apples, cored and chopped
- 8 ounces dried apple rings, chopped
- 8 ounces dates, pitted and chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup pomegranate anils
- 1½ cups fresh orange juice
- zest and juice of one organic lemon
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Using a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven, combine the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Add remaining ingredients, return to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for two hours.
- Pour into sterile jars and process according to safe canning procedures.
- Keep in your pantry up to one year.