Sunday, August 31, 2014

Apple Chutney

This weekend, I am making chutney, which is one of those things I picked up on our travels in England. It is essential for Ploughman´s Lunch, and for me, works so much better with cheese than sweet jams. A few weeks ago, I tried this recipe for "Spicy-Sweet Tomato Jam" (I absolutely recommend that blog, by the way), which is basically also a chutney, at least within our frame of reference. We have re-christened it "the American Tomato Chutney" and I am being softly nudged to make more. But today, I am doing my standard recipe for apple chutney.

Not that there really is such a thing as standard with me, I tend to bend the rules a bit most of the time - at least in the kitchen. The recipe goes like this (it´s an English recipe, so I stay with English measurements, if you can bare it):
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
½ cup of chopped onion
1/4 cup of vinegar (malt is what I use, to avoid sulphite)
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange grind
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
This is what I ended up putting in my pan:
3 Granny Smith apples (they seemed a bit on the small side, and they always arrive to the store all banged up from the long journey from wherever they grow, which means you need to cut a lot out)
1 cup of chopped onion
a bit more than 1/4 cup of vinegar
1/4 cup of brown sugar and an added tablespoon of white
1 red pepper
about 15 leaves of basil, chopped
1 teaspoon allspice
a squirt of lemon juice
(I considered cardamom, but decided not to)
Bring to boil, let it simmer for 50 minutes, a bit longer without the lid if it is too watery, and then jar it and cool. It keeps for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. It rarely lasts longer than a week and a half. I have it with almost everything, on pretty much any sandwich.

In Sweden, the traditional sweet accompaniment to a meat dish would be lingonberry jam or rowanberry jelly. I personally like both on my pancakes, but with meatballs or meat stew? Not so much. On the other hand, I put syrup on my palt (which is a meatfilled dumpling and a post for another day) so it´s not about the sweetness. I like chutney because it is fresh-tasting and seems more related to sallad, perhaps.

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