Thursday 4 December 2008

Apple Date & Raisin Chutney

This is a lovely winter chutney, sweet and fruity but with a gentle warming glow from chilies and fresh ginger. It’s the perfect accompaniment to cheese and some good crusty bread but would work equally well with ham or a wedge of pork pie. It’s extremely quick to make; in less than an hour you can have 4 jars of chutney cooling on the counter.

You can make it your own by replacing the raisins with dried apricots and one of the apple with a couple of pears. If you don’t like the idea of the chili, then just use one or remove it altogether and add some cloves or mixed spice instead. The only drawback to the chutney is that you will need a change of clothes and shower after making it as the steaming vinegar tends to permeate into your clothes, but that’s a small price to pay for such a yummy reward.

The chutney can be eaten after two weeks but the vinegar may still be quite sharp, the longer you leave it to mature the stickier and mellower it will become. Presented with a little spoon, it would make the perfect addition to a homemade hamper of Christmas goodies.

Apple Date & Raisin Chutney
(Recipe adapted from Tesco Food Club Magazine)
500g stoned dates
150g raisins
1 large onion (150g)
2 cooking apples
3 red chilies
50g chunk root ginger
3 cloves of garlic
300ml water
150g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
600ml (1pint) distilled vinegar

Place four large jars and their lids on a baking tray in the oven. Then turn on the oven to 100C and heat for 10 minutes once the oven has reached temperature. Then turn off the oven but the leave the jars inside to keep warm until required.
Chop the dates into small pieces and place in a large saucepan. Peel and finely dice the onion and apples and place in the pan along with the raisins.
Prick the chilies with a knife, but keep them whole and add to the pan.
Grate the ginger and garlic and add to the pan along with water.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and heat for 15 minutes until the onion and apple are starting to soften. Then stir in the sugar, salt and vinegar.
Bring up to the boil then reduce slightly and allow to bubble for 20 minutes, stirring almost constantly until everything is mushy and thickened.
Keep stirring until a spreadable consistency is achieved and there is no excess liquid.
Remove from the heat and fish out the chilies and discard.
Take the warm jars from the oven and carefully spoon the hot chutney between them.
Screw the lids on immediately, using rubber gloves, and leave to cool before applying a label and storing for at least 2 weeks (preferably a month) before opening.
Once opened, store in the fridge.
Makes 1.5kg (3lb) chutney

This is also my entry to Homemade Christmas Gifts event by My Kitchen Treasures. Click here to see the details and here to see the enteries as they get submitted.


Finla said...

Chutney looks delicious. And love the way you have packed them to give.
I have this wonderful i am hosting, if you like you can send this to me.

Beth (jamandcream) said...

I have made enough chutney in the last month to last a lifetime. I can't resist this one though

Finla said...

Yupiee i am so pleased that you send this for my event.

Nic said...

That is going to make someone very happy this Christmas - great idea!

Sam said...

I love receiving home made presents, this is a great idea for Christmas.

Gigi said...

Great idea for a homemade gift. the chutney sounds delicious!