Wednesday, August 5, 2015

An excellent sweet 'mango' chutney - sans mangos

No photos today, just a quick recipe before I forget how to make this amazing condiment.

A couple of weeks ago, a branch from an apple tree broke because the apples on it were too heavy.  Unfortunately, the apples weren't ripe yet.  Then I remembered about this Victorian recipe I read for mango chutney, only it didn't have a single mango in it.  Instead, it had unripe apples.  Perfect!

Based loosely on recipe 392 of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, I had to make a few changes.  I have a tender place in my heart for anyone who applies garlic by the quarter pound, I must admit that some of the other ingredient quantities were a bit unusual to the modern taste.  So changes were made to method and quantities but without Mrs B's little book, I wouldn't have thought to make such a scrummy chutney.

Here's a little note that Mrs Beeton gives regarding her version of the recipe:

This recipe was given by a native to an English Lady, who had long been a resident in India, and who, since her return to her native country, has become quite celebrated amongst her friends for the excellence of this Eastern relish.

Sweet "Mango" Chutney

All ingredients are approximate

3 large onions
drizzle olive oil
2 Tbs mustard seed
1 Tbs powdered ginger
4 dry chilies lightly crushed (seeds included)
a large handful of garlic
At least 6 unripe apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks less than 1 inch cubed.
1 cup raisins
2 cups apple cider vinegar or equivalent
1 to 2 cups of sugar
boiling water
2 Tbs salt

  • Chop the onions into about 1/2 inch chunks, in a large heavy bottom pot, fry onions on medium-low with olive oil until transparent
  • add mustard seed, ginger, chili and garlic to the onions, stir well, cook about one min
  • add apples, raisons and vinegar to the onion mix, bring to boil and then turn off heat
  • Mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of boiling water to make a syrup.  Mix until sugar is dissolved
  • Add syrup and salt to the apples.  Mix well and bring back to a boil.  Taste and add more sugar as necessary.  Boil on high for about 5 to 15 min or until enough liquid has evaporated.  Mixture will thicken as it cools.
  • Place into washed (and if you like, sterilized) jars, seal with lid as per normal.  Because of the spices, salt and sugar, I didn't heat process these jars.  Mrs B never did, she just tightly wrapped the mouth of the jars with sheep bladders.  But as sheep bladders are hard to come by these days, so it's up to you to know how to safely can your food.  If you have any doubt, keep it in the fridge.

Affordable: Apples would have gone to waste as they fell off the tree far too early to ripen on their own.  Onions are from the garden.  That leaves the spices, raisins and sugar - so... totally guessing, let's pretend it's about $2 for this.  It made 6 and a half 8 oz jars full, which makes it 30 cents per jar.  This tastes almost identical to an English apple chutney I bought from the store once upon a time, which cost $8 for the same size.  That's a savings of $7.70 cents.  NICE!

To make it Vegan Friendly, you need to replace the sugar with a vegan friendly sweetener, and to be careful not to harm any worms that are probably living in your apples, thus causing them to fall before they were fully ripe.  

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