Thursday 25 November 2010

Apple and Cranberry Chutney

I wanted to bake something tonight but just didn’t have enough eggs or choc chips or energy. Anyway I really wanted to make choc chip cookies but I baked them on the weekend. Finally I decided I felt like some chutney and cheese on bread.

I love having chutney around the house but often find the bought kind is either too sweet, too curried, too spicy or too expensive. Experience has taught me that the answer is to make my own. With the season of nut roasts and barbecues fast approaching, I decided we had gone without chutney too long.

A recipe for apple and cranberry chutney took my fancy. Though unseasonal, the fruit seemed appropriate for the forthcoming festive season. Besides, I had old apples. I had frozen cranberries. In Australia fresh cranberries are rare as hen’s teeth - these frozen ones were brought at Clifton Hill Foodworks and a product of Warren and Hutch, for those wondering where to get frozen cranberries in Melbourne.

The recipe looked like it needed spicing up. Another recipe gave me a few ideas but I underestimated just how sweet it would be. I am still unfamiliar with how tart fresh cranberries are and wasn’t sure if the sugar was needed for them. As it was, the sugar made the apples very sweet but this was partly offset by the sourness of the cranberries.

My mum enjoyed a taste so much that she went home with a jar of chutney. Now that is proof that it is not unbearably sweet. Like most chutneys it goes well with cheese in a sandwich. But next time I make it (if I am ever lucky enough to have frozen cranberries again) I will add more spices and less sugar. I am just thankful I forgot to halve the pepper when I halved the recipe.

I am happy to report that my pantry now has a good supply of chutney. Not only do I have the apple and cranberry chutney but I found a jar of tomato and currant relish that had been missing and I made a batch of apricot chutney this week. I feel more prepared for the festive season! Now if you will excuse me I might just have another nibble of bread with cheese and chutney.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: Edinburgh - arrival and M&S Cafe
This time two years ago: Accolades and some random facts
This time three years ago: Swinging Pancakes

Apple and Cranberry Chutney
Adapted from BBC Good Food
makes about 3 small jars (I used 3 x 290g promite jars)
  • 4 medium cooking apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium eating apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 25g of fresh ginger, finely grated (about 3 thumb sized pieces)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns, ground
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 cloves, ground
  • 1 cup sugar (about 220g - I would reduce this next time)
  • ½ cup (125ml) cider vinegar
  • 200-250g fresh cranberries (I only had 200g but would use more)
Place all ingredients except the cranberries in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for about 50 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Add cranberries (mine weren’t quite defrosted when I did mine) and cook for about 10 minutes or until cranberries soften.

When cranberries go in the chutney, prepare your jars. I just pour hot water over mine but if you are more rigorous you could sterilise them in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes.

Spoon hot chutney into hot jars and screw lids on tightly to seal. The recipe says it keeps up to 6 months. I have eaten through almost a jar of the stuff in a week so mine wont keep that long.

On the Stereo:
Peaceful Snow: Death in June


  1. I am lving this chutney - it would be great in pretty jars as Xmas gifts.

  2. I love a good chutney. I've been thinking about making some too, with holiday season coming up, good foodie presents to give.

    I've tried making things with cranberries and I struggle with sweet sour thing. I'm thinking cranberries are best in a cosmopolitan, drowned alcohol!

  3. It's been so long since I've made chutney! I agree with you that the storebought ones are often too "something" (for me, usually they're too sweet. I currently have a storebought chilli jam that's more jam that chilli. Boo!)

    Also, love the line about "not enough choc chips" :D

  4. Chutney is definitely one of my favorite condiments to have on hand, especially if it involves cranberries! I love this version and could totally use a piece of toast smothered in it right now!

  5. Thanks Cakelaw - I keep thinking I should make chutney for presents but I worry that the jars are sterilised well enough

    Thanks Deb - I think the best use of cranberries I have found is as sauce in the middle of a nut roast - wish they were easier to find so I could experiment with them more in chutney

    Thanks Hannah - yes I have given up buying chutney from the supermarket but occasionally buy the gourmet kind - still haven't opened the tomato and currant and hope that one will be good

    Thanks Joanne - I wish I was as familiar as you when it comes to cranberries in chutney - my favourite chutneys seem to have stone fruit but I would love to experiment with stone fruit and cranberries in chutney

  6. Lovely to see your jars of chutney.

    I think Homemade chutney is the best!!!! But I can its okay to treat yourself to a gourmet flavour one now and again.

    I love the shine of the cranberries colour coming through. Good to read your Mum took one home with her :)

  7. Looks great Johanna. I haven't made one with cranberries before. Something to think about :)

  8. Your chutney looks delicious! I'll definitely give this one a go as I've spied some fresh cranberries in a number of shops here in London. I make chutney every year and some are still in storage from 1.5 years ago!

  9. I never really eat chutney, just because I guess I didn't grow up with it but I'm completely loving the idea of eating it with cheese on bread!


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