A fabulous autumn spiced apple chutney. It’s easy to make and ready to eat just in time for Christmas. Neither too sweet, nor too sour, it’s just delicious. Makes a great gift and will keep well for at least a year. It’s a great way to use up autumnal cookers and windfall apples.
Apples have to be the best autumn treasure. They are versatile, delicious and can keep well. This year, they are also abundant. If you have more apples than you know what to do with, or even if you don’t, I urge you to make a batch of this spiced apple chutney.
Spiced Apple Chutney
I’ve made quite a few chutneys in my time, but this spiced apple chutney is the one I keep coming back to. I make at least one batch of it every year. The jars go into the back of the cupboard and stay there until the chutney has matured. It’s a good recipe to make for Christmas as the chutney is just about ready to eat by then.
It’s an essential accompaniment to a good cheeseboard, but also makes a lovely addition to a Christmas hamper or a gift to cheer up the neighbours.
The chutney is best made with cooking apples, though it’s a useful recipe to make the most of windfalls too. It’s simple to prepare, even if there is a fair amount of peeling, coring and chopping involved.
If using windfalls, do make sure any brown or rotten bits are removed as these could affect the chutney’s keeping qualities. Otherwise, just bung everything into a large pan and let it simmer away until the mixture is thick and the liquid has disappeared. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
We’ve found this spiced apple chutney is at its absolute best about six months to a year after being made. The rawness of the vinegar has long since mellowed and the flavours have coalesced into a pleasing whole. It’s fruity, but not too sweet nor too sour and it has a pleasing autumnal colour. It has a slight kick from the ginger and chilli, but not enough to put anyone off. In fact, it’s quite delicious. Please give it a go.
If you really can’t wait that long, leave it at least a month before opening. It will still be delicious, just not at its very best.
Spiced Apple Chutney Step-by-Step
When I say just bung all of the ingredients into a pan, you can indeed do that. But if you’d prefer your apples not to oxidise and brown as you’re cutting them, I do have an order for putting those ingredients into the pan.
First pour the vinegar into the pan and follow this with the sugar. Stir to mix. This step not only bulks up the vinegar but has the added benefit of dissolving the sugar whilst you peel and core those apples. Then add the apples to the pan as you prepare them. The vinegar will stop them going brown. If you add the other ingredients first, there won’t be enough vinegar solution to cover the apples. After that, add the onion and spices.
Bring the pan to the boil, stirring occasionally to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about twenty minutes or until the apples have more or less broken up and the mixture is thick. You’ll know it’s done when you drag a wooden spoon along the bottom and the chutney stays where you’ve pushed it for a few seconds at least. You can see more about this below.
Remove the chutney from the heat and spoon into warm sterilised jars. Seal with a waxed disc and lid or use the method I’ve detailed further down the post.
Spices for Apple Chutney
Spices are the making of this chutney. I use turmeric for its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, but also for colour. A lot of apple chutneys are a rather unappealing brown, but turmeric gives this spicy apple chutney a lovely golden glow.
I use fresh grated ginger, which is fabulous for flavour and complements the chilli heat rather marvellously I find. It also has a lot of sterling properties which help to keep us healthy.
Finely chopped garlic goes into the mix. It adds a fine flavour, especially when it’s mellowed by cooking, vinegar and time.
Our chillies also go into the mix. We use our own homegrown Alberto’s Locoto chillies, but chilli heat is a very personal thing so it’s good to use ones that you’re familiar and happy with. Whether you add the seeds or not is entirely up to you as is the amount you put in. Manzano seeds are quite tough and CT wants them all for his breeding project anyway, so I only add the flesh.
Finally, I add a teaspoon of garam masala, purely for flavour purposes.
What Vinegar To Use For Chutney
Vinegar is an essential component of chutney. It not only acts as a preservative, but it gives flavour too. My go to vinegar for chutney making is apple cider vinegar. It has fruity which generally enhance the chutney ingredients. It’s especially good when making this spiced apple chutney. Malt vinegar is often used, but I find it too harsh for chutneys.
This year, however, I used my homemade kombucha vinegar for the first time. It has quite an apply flavour so I was pretty sure it would work well. It was just as good as the usual apple cider vinegar so I’m feeling rather pleased with myself.
How Do You Know When Chutney is Ready?
You’ll know your chutney is nearly done when the apples have disintegrated and the mixture has thickened. This usually takes about twenty minutes. If you scrape a wooden spoon along the bottom and the chutney stays almost where it is with no sign of liquid pooling then the chutney is ready for potting.
This recipe makes four to five small 250ml jars, but you can easily double the quantity to make more. I often make two or even three batches during apple season.
Sadly this year, my empty jars were all back in Cornwall, so I had to make one large jar which isn’t nearly as satisfying nor as useful. I shall just have to make another batch when I get my jars.
Sterilise The Jars
It’s important to sterilise jars before pouring in the spiced apple chutney. You can do this in two ways:
- Run the jars and lids through a dishwasher cycle.
- Wash the jars with hot soapy water and rinse well. Place in an oven and heat it to 125℃. Once the oven has reached full temperature, leave them there for 15 minutes. The lids will need to be boiled in a pan of water for a couple of minutes as the oven will destroy any plastic coating.
Ladle the warm chutney into the jars whilst they’re hot. This will prevent the jars from cracking.
An alternative way of sterilising the lids I learned from Pam Corbin, is to seal the jars immediately after filling and turn them upside down for a few minutes so the hot contents can do the job for you. This is the method I used this time as I had no wax discs available.
Other Chutney Recipes You Might Like
- Apricot & apple chutney via Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Best beetroot chutney via Tin and Thyme
- Chunky plum & apricot chutney via Tinned Tomatoes
- Christmas chutney via Thinly Spread
- Green tomato & raisin chutney via Kavey Eats
- Rhubarb & ginger chutney via Tin and Thyme
- Spiced tomato & courgette chutney via Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this spiced apple chutney, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Have you any top tips? Do share a photo on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot it.
If you’d like more apple recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Spiced Apple Chutney. PIN IT.
Spiced Apple Chutney – The Recipe
Spiced Apple Chutney
- 700 g cooking apples or windfalls – peeled cored and roughly chopped
- 1 large onion – peeled and finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves – peeled and finely chopped
- 250 ml apple cider vinegar or kombucha vinegar
- 125 g demerara or golden granulated sugar
- 1 red chilli – finely chopped or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp root ginger – grated
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Place all the ingredients in a large pan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The chutney is ready when the apples have virtually disintegrated and the mixture has thickened.
- Pour into warm sterilised jars. Tap the jars to remove air pockets. Cover with waxed discs, then screw on the lids, label and store.
I’m sharing my spiced apple chutney with #CookBlogShare hosted, this week, by Hijacked by Twins.