Cathi Dicocco’s Fruit Chutney
Chutney is a wonderful way to use and preserve fruit when it’s plentiful and in season. This recipe shows you how easy to make and how truly delicious homemade chutney can be. You’ll love the mouth watering aromas and the special complement this chutney is to just about anything you serve all year.
8 fresh organic apples (any type of crisp apple works)
3 1/2 c. whole organic cranberries (frozen is fine)
2 oz. fresh ginger, chopped fairly small
1 c. plus 2 T. brown sugar
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
¼ t. cayenne pepper
Core and chop apples into rough quarter to half inch pieces. Peel and chop the ginger. Remember if the ginger is very firm and fresh you can skip peeling it.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and red wine vinegar and stir. Add the ginger and simmer everything for a 5 minutes or so. Next, add the apples, stir to combine them with the liquids and cook, stirring occasionally, just until the apples are fork tender. Be careful not to let them get too soft – we don’t want applesauce.
Strain the apples over a wide bowl to reserve the juice, then add the juice back into sauce pan and put the cooked apples into another bowl. Allow the apple juice to reduce for a minute or two, then add the cranberries and continue to cook just until the skin on the cranberries begin to pop.
After the berries have broken open, strain them over still another bowl and add that juice back into the sauce pan, just as you did with the apple juice. Simmer the juice mixture until it’s reduced to a thick-ish syrup. This should reduce to about a half a cup in volume.
Now combine the apples and cranberries and pour the syrupy juice over the fruit, fold together to combine well and you have chutney.
This chutney can be used immediately, stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or frozen for up to six months. If you’re going to freeze it, spoon chutney into serving size containers, then defrost any time of the year and enjoy the fresh burst of fruity flavor.
Use the chutney as an addition to muffins or scones, as a dessert or dessert topping, piled onto sandwiches, or as an accompaniment to any savory dinner. It’s absolutely wonderful with curries or served with cheese and crackers. We love it as a holiday accompaniment to Tofu Pot Pie. You can also substitute pears for apples, add raisins or nuts or other fruits. This is a great basic and buildable recipe destined to become a family favorite.
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