Apple and Red Onion Chutney
For Christmas this year I have decided to make some homemade food hampers for a few unsuspecting special family members. I’ve not attempted anything like this before, but it makes perfect sense for me. First and foremost it is a great opportunity for me to be creative not only by making the items but also packaging them all up to look really special. Our garage is currently full with lots of different sized boxes that I have been collecting, but it feels good to be able to reuse them! This little project is also a way for me to give gifts that will hopefully mean something to the people receiving them. I just could not bring myself to buy another pair of socks! However, if the thought of creating a hamper fills you with terror along with all the other Christmas preparations, maybe consider just giving one homemade item along with another gift. I’m sure this would be thankfully received, especially if you make them something scrummy!
Red onion and apple chutney
I will be putting this red onion and apple chutney in my hampers. There are two main reasons why I have been inspired to include it and I hope some of you may identify with these. They are:
- My love of cheese at Christmas time – I’m thinking now of roquefort and chutney on a nice crisp cracker and trying eat it in one piece without dropping crumbs down the sofa whilst watching the Christmas day evening film!
- The pot of similar shop brought chutney in my fridge which I just knew I could make a better version of and for much less cost.
Alternatively, you could just make it to have at Christmas time with your family and friends. How wonderful to be able to offer homemade chutney with your after dinner cheeseboard! Then after Christmas you can try using this chutney on pizza. Spread it on top of your tomato base, sprinkle mozzerella and goats cheese over it, cook and serve with fresh rocket.
The ingredients list looks long, but most of it should be things that you have already got. They may be hidden at the back of the cupboard but I bet some of them will be there. So make sure you have a good hunt before you write your shopping list. I actually found my apples when I parked next to an apple tree at my local gym. Freshly fallen but perfectly ripe and otherwise going to waste I’m sure. However, the best bit about this recipe is that once you have chopped and measured everything you just leave your saucepan full of ingredients to work its magic over the hour and a half it takes to cook. It just needs a stir every time you walk past.
What you will need
- 1 kg apples – peeled, cored and chopped
- 250g white onions – peeled and chopped
- 250g red onions – peeled and chopped
- 25g fresh grated ginger
- 1.5 tsp ground ginger
- 200g seedless raisins
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 3 tsp mustard seeds
- 1.5 tsp ground cloves
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 250ml balsamic vinegar
- 50ml cider vinegar
- 300g cane sugar
- 100g preserving sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- Good grinding of pepper
- A large saucepan
- 6 250ml jars with lids
- Put all the ingredients into the saucepan, and mix together. Cook over a low heat for 1 hour with the lid on and half an hour with the lid off
- Whilst cooking stir regularly to stop the chutney from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan
- Sterilize your jars by either putting them through a hot cycle in the dishwasher or washing them in hot soapy water by hand and then putting them in a low oven for 30 mins or so until hot and dry
- Once cooked fill the jars with the chutney. Use a long thin implement like a chop stick to push the chutney down and push away any gaps of air
- Place somewhere cool and leave for at least a month to mature and improve. Just in time for Christmas!