fire (or not) apple chutney

September 27, 2011

there are so many things i can say about this chutney. first, i was sitting (not literally) on a 1/2 bushel of 5 different types of perfect-specimen apples for the last week. brought to me by my fruit-growing friend and neighbor (don’t ya love those?) and just waiting for me to get my paws on them. i could say that each time i had cause to walk by those apples, perched to the brim of my wooden harvest basket, they would puff up, knowing they were destined for greatness.

i could also say that i almost called this chutney father-in-law chutney. that i planned to call it father-in-law chutney. that all week i was thinking about how my father-in-law loves chutney, and that he would be over the autumn moon when he received a couple of fat pint jars of a chutney made just for him. you see, my in-laws live in SC, and although one can buy chutney in SC, it’s not the chutney made by his favorite tigress-in-law. i have a chutney-lovin’ father-in-law, born and raised on the good stuff, but despite his indian decent, he cannot stomach too-hot chutney.

and here’s where the story darkens.

let me preface this part by clarifying that ‘too-hot’ from someone of indian decent isn’t necessarily the same ‘too-hot’ as some of y’all.

that being said.

yes, OK, i made the [first] amateur move of using dried habanero for my ‘chile’ powder and i also had just a wee little bit more than i first intended all crushed up nice in my mortar, and [second] flung it all in my chutney pot in a fit of “it’s 15 apples worth of chutney in there, what’s a little more heat?” no, i apparently did not realize that just a wee little bit more of crushed up habanero powder is the difference between numbing your upper lip and igniting your entire face-tongue-brain.

i realize that now.

despite the unfortunate series of mishaps that rendered this chutney edible only by fire-breathing dragons (M, and me, thankfully) and will have me back at the chutney pot for another go at father-in-law chutney, this chutney is all that i hoped it would be.

you see, before and beyond the clamp of heat that wraps around the throat with each and every swallow, there lies a perfect fall chutney. big and apple-y, filled with cold weather spices. reason, it’s true, for those pre-chutney beauties to hold their stems high. their puff-ups having not been in vain.

Comments Closed

  • Linda - Germantown NY says:

    2Q: Where to obtain gaskets for wire bale jars & re: photo – do you WB process these jars as with Weck jars?

  • tigress says:

    linda – i use the small weck gaskets which work well on the vintage jars. i use the vintage jars all the time and have had only a couple not seal – no more than with the regular screw caps. you can get the small weck gaskets either on or on where they call them 'european' jars not weck, but they are weck. i also noticed in the new lehmans catalog they have a gasket that they are saying is for use with the vintage wire bail jars. but i will stick with the small wecks because i have very good luck with them.

    yes, i use the vintage jars to water bath can all the time, and tho i must tell you that the USDA doesn't recommend it, the only reason i can find they give is because they are old and they might break. i have never had one break and the seal is always strong. you would test it just like you would the glass lidded weck jars. once the filled jar cools completely (12-24 hrs) gently take off the clasp and pick up by the glass top to check seal. do put you other hand underneath just in case it didn't seal! you can then leave the wire bail off for storage or gently put it back on until use.

  • AmyJ says:

    OOoooo- I'm gonna give this one a go! will get back to you with how it went! awesome blog btw!

  • rcakewalk says:

    I have to say that you are the one who inspired me to can my first little Weck jelly jars this year – I had them as a gift from a friend and used them for special salt and other pretty things. I only did 4 little jars, but I hope I'll get more, since I feel so good they're all glass. (Do you reuse the seals? I've read you "aren't supposed to", and that Europeans use them 10 years…)

    And. Spicy Apple Chutney? Looks right up my alley :)

  • tigress says:

    amyj – do it! and yes, come back here and roar about it!

    rcakewalk – yes, i love weck jars! i am all about trying to use glass tops wherever i can. you know, funny you should ask about reusing. i haven't reused the gaskets yet, but just asked myself why i don't. because i cannot see any good reason not to if they are in good condition. so i just started saving some to reuse.

  • Dea-chan says:

    Tigress, if you like spice and apples, you might like this cooking mishap of mine from last year. its the second recipe listed, garam masala apple dumplings which only my fiance liked, cause we cant take the heat in boston!

  • Olga says:

    Ha ha ha… I just did the same thing with peach salsa (well in August) I got too excited about the hot peppers and at the time of canning it was definitely inedible by most people. I hear that it gets more mellow the longer it is in storage, so I am waiting as long as I can to start opening them.

  • anngeleyes says:

    …my favourit chutney…awesome blog!…kiss from croatia… :) ( … ….. … )

  • Jammy Chick says:

    If you are awash in green tomatoes (unripe, not the ones that stay green), which seems to happen at this time every year, they are also great to make into chutney. That's my go-to condiment for sandwiches.

  • Aproned Animal says:

    I LOVE turbinado sugar, I use it in grahm cracker crusts and cover scones in it prior to baking. When you substitute it for brown sugar in this recipe does it alter the texture of this chutney or just the flavor? …or neither?

  • SuperM says:

    Made this chutney on Friday — my first ever venture into chutney. I used a couple of hot peppers out of the fridge because they were handy.

    It's been pronounced a success! And almost a substitute for the beloved tamarind chutney we can't seem to find or recreate.

    Thanks for sharing this at exactly the right time.

  • Annie says:

    This looks wonderful. One complaint, though, that I hope you will address in future posts: if you are giving recipe amounts please avoid vague terms like "medium apples" and "juice of 3 lemons". How many cups of prepared apples did you end up with? How many tablespoons of lemon juice? That's what I need to know! Sure it's easier for you not to measure, but if I'm going to get the same happy results I need you to do it.

  • tigress says:

    annie – the fun thing about a chutney like this one is there is no need for exact measurements. you get to play! I assure you you'll get the same happy results! :)

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