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Creating an Apple Chutney

Exploring Ireland's iconic flavours would not be complete without a look at apples. The power of language and its influence is recognised well in Irish culture, and generations throughout history have passed on stories through poetry, prose, and song. Apples have not been immune to this, with the apple tree feature heavily in myths and legends - stories of Kings being seduced by fairy maidens offering apples and magical fruity powers of everlasting youth when eaten. Nowadays, there are over 70 distinct Irish varieties of apple trees that have been identified across Ireland with colourful names like the Bloody Butcher and Greasy Pippin, and we can thank them for moreish apple pies, sparkling cider and this sweet chutney.

Time: 20 mins (prep), 30mins - 1hr (cook)

Equipment: 2x saucepans, 1x chef knife, 3x mixing bowls, 1x chopping board, 1x wooden spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 handful sultanas
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 apples
  • 50ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1tsp ginger powder

Method:

Step 1

Roughly dice an onion and a clove of garlic and then into a hot, dry pan add your onions.

Step 2

Get the onions sweating off and then add a couple of handfuls of sultanas. Get that cooking before adding some brown sugar.

Step 3

Get the sugar moving in the pan before dicing your apples. Add the apples to the pan, and give them a good stir before adding the vinegar.

Step 4

Add some powdered ginger and then leave the apples to stew on a low heat until you get a dark and thick chutney. Bottle in sterilised jars and keep in the fridge.

Kevin's Notes

Step 1

I love the versatility of chutneys - you can use a variety of different fruits, and chutneys are a great way of preserving food as well as bringing a bit of creativity to your dishes.

Apples

There are 35 species of apple trees, which are hardy plant that has spread across the world. The main eating variety is thought to have originated in a mountain in Kazakhstan. There are several thousand eating varieties in the modern world which are divided into 4 general groups.

  • Cider apples
  • Dessert or eating apples
  • Cooking apples
  • Dual-purpose

Step 2

We don’t want to add any fat to our chutney, it simply isn’t needed in this recipe.

Try not to spill sugar on your work top like me, but its all part of the fun if you do!

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is sucrose crystals that are covered or coated with a layer of dark syrup.

Step 3

Leave the skin on your apples, it adds loads of flavour and reduces our waste.

If you pre-cut your apples like me, make sure you keep them in a bowl of acidulated water to stop them browning.

We want to keep re-enforcing the flavours which is why we are using the apple cider vinegar.

Step 4

You want to leave it cooking until its deeply caramelised and has a shine to it.

I like serving my chutney with some brown bread and a good quality slice of cheddar.

Get creative

  • Fruits - Use different fruits depending on what's in season and what you can get your hands on.
  • Vinegars - Try different vinegars to complement the flavours of the fruit.
  • Spices - Add your favourite spices to flavour the dish.
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Kevin Dundon
I'm the chef and owner of Dunbrody Country House located in Ireland's sunny South East and love using the produce from my own garden.