I was lucky enough to be given a huge bag of home grown apples straight out of my next door neighbour’s garden and decided to get some chutney cooked as way to make sure the apples last through the winter.
Last time I made chutney was before I was diagnosed as coeliac and I used to make onion and apple chutney with a malt vinegar but I’ve found a delicious way around this and made a much tastier chutney than I had ever thought about before. As I’m unable to use malt vinegar I substituted with red wine vinegar which got me thinking of one of my festive favourites… mulled wine….
So here goes, my never made before, made up as I cook mulled wine chutney!
I start by peeling and then cubing approx 15 medium and large sized cooking apples, straight into a huge pan. I would love to have my own jam pan and one day I will invest but for now I’m just using a normal big pan, if you have a jam pan do get the use out of it though. Then coat the apple in 500g of brown sugar (I know, but I never said it was a healthy recipe!) stir the sugar through the apple.
Then zest a lemon and a Clementine, I don’t have a proper zester so I use a teeny cheese grater and grate peel into the apple mix. Give the lemon a good squeeze to get some of the juice in there and then segment the Clementine you have zested, as well as a second Clementine and add all the segments in. This will give the chutney a delicious, slightly citrus note which will go really well with the other flavours.
Raisins are a controversial chutney ingredient, some people love raisins in chutney and other people are much less keen. I’m in the first camp so I’m going to pop in 250g raisins in as I love the squishy, tasty mouthful when you hit a raisin.
Pour over 750ml of red wine vinegar which should cover the mixture in the pan and stir thoroughly, pop in 2 whole cinnamon sticks and it is time to get cooking.
Start by turning the heat up to a high setting as to break down the fruit and get a good thick consistency you will need the mixture to bubble. After about 20 minutes when the mixture has begun to bubble turn the hob to down to a low setting (I used setting 2 of 9) and then allow to simmer with the lid on. My chutney then took another 3 and a half hours to cook on the low heat until it hit the right texture for me. You should notice the apple begin to break down and it will become a rich, thick, warm red chutney, make sure you taste the mixture about 2 hours in so you can check it isn’t too sour.
When cooked it’s important to transfer into jars and seal pretty quickly as the heat will create a vacuum which will allow the chutney to store through the winter. I’ve tucked into mine already with some delicious gluten free crackers and I am one happy coeliac with a tummy full of yum.