Mother’s Garden Apple Chutney

Mother’s Garden Apple Chutney

By Ella Kirby

Mother’s Garden Apple Chutney

Hi everyone, this is Maggie.

I aim to post regular Mother’s Garden recipes. When Martin has finished building my desk (!) I hope to make occasional excursions from the kitchen and the garden to the computer to share some of my ideas with you.

This one, for apple chutney, is a great favourite in the family and among friends, and has been passed down passed down from my mum, Beryl Whitman, like many gems of wisdom and practical knowledge.

Mother’s Garden Apple Chutney

Ingredients:
4lbs (1.8kg) apples, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks.  Any apple can be used, including windfalls. We try not to waste anything
2lbs (0.9kg) sultanas
3lbs (1.36kg) demerara sugar
2lbs (0.9kg) shallots or onions, peeled and chopped
2oz (60g) mustard seed
4oz (12g) or less, of salt
quarter of teaspoon cayenne pepper, again more or less depending on individual taste
3 pints (1.7 litres) malt vinegar. I use red wine or apple cider vinegar because we make them on the farm.

Method:
Chop apples and shallots and combine with all the other ingredients in preserving pan or large saucepan.
Bring it to rapid boil then reduce heat by about half, stirring occasionally (to prevent sticking) for about two hours until it is thick.
We recycle jars, so wash them well in hot soapy water, removing labels if necessary. Rinse in hot water and stand upside down to drain. Place in warm oven just before you are ready to bottle the chutney. We often try to coincide this with when we have been using the oven to cook, turning the oven off once the jars are in. The heat within the oven will be enough to sterilise them. You can use waxed paper with cellophane lids secured with a rubber band, or, as we do, carefully clean and use the original jar lids, preferably ones with the dimple security seal, which pop as they cool down.
Let the mixture cool slightly, then pour into the warm jars, leaving minimal space between the chutney and the lid. I have just acquired a jam funnel which helps a great deal to avoid making a mess of the outside of the jars. If you do spill down the side of the jars you must wipe them down thoroughly, of course.
Finally, it is important to label and date, with product details, ideally making them yourself, or getting children involved. Have fun.
The chutney can be eaten immediately, but is best matured for a minimum of three months – just in time for Christmas. It always makes a welcome present.
Get chopping (or use a processor).
Maggie

PS We love to eat this chutney with bread and mature cheese, cold meats and curries.