Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fall Special: Apple Pear Chutney

Thumb-sucking good.
I've been on a sort of bar cookie rampage recently, but the last ones I made were not as good as I remembered (a recipe from my old culinary school's student bakery/cafe). To comfort myself I made this chutney, and it turned out to be fall in a bottle. So wonderful, and almost better than a gingersnap.

I used organic heirloom Pippins and red Bartletts for this (rounded out with a couple of Granny Smiths), but you can experiment with other apple and pear varieties. I think adding the sherry vinegar is a good flavor component, but if you don't have it just use all cider vinegar. The important thing is to achieve a sort of almost too sweet/too sour balance - that's totally the right note for autumn. You can also mess with the spices if you want, adding or leaving them out as you see fit. This chutney would be fabulous on roasted root vegetables (or meat if you eat it, I guess), or chopped a bit and added to a rice salad, or just piled high on a piece of good bread.

Apple Pear Chutney, with Golden Raisins

Makes about 4 cups

5 or 6 large tart apples, peeled and cut in largish chunks

2-3 large firm pears, peeled and cut in largish chunks

2 to 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar (start with 2 cups)

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 orange

1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar (start with 1/2 cup)

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or more cider vinegar)

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground cloves, ground allspice

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds (optional)

2 tablespoons brandy

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

In a large shallow pan, combine all ingredients BUT the golden raisins. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes or until fruit has released lots of juice. Add golden raisins and cook for 10 minutes more. Now taste - if it needs more sugar, more vinegar, more spice, add them now. Remember: this should be very sweet and sour. The fruit should be swimming in juice - if so, drain the hot fruit into a sieve set over a medium bowl. Set the drained fruit aside and return the juice to the pan. Reduce juice over medium high heat until it is syrupy and reduced at least by half (the syrup should coat a spoon). Return drained fruit to the bowl and add the reduced syrup. Note: if the apples and pears are dry, you may not have to do the reducing-syrup step - use your own judgement. The end result should look like the chutney in the photo.

Let the chutney cool for a few minutes, remove the cinnamon sticks, then pour into a clean glass jar or a heatproof plastic container. Cover and chill. This chutney will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

© 2008 Sandy Soto Teich
All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced anywhere without the author's express permission.


Toni said...

Oh...this looks like a MUST make. Thanks, Sandy!

DJ Lorraine said...

OMG! You are still as priceless as ever! No Brainer Desserts! Sandy Soto Teich is one of those rare individuals that time will fly bye yet her humor is timeless! Daffy Duck would be despicably proud! Bravo maestro in the chef hat!