There's nothing more grounding than picking apples straight from the tree to put you back in touch with nature. That simple twist that tells you they're ripe as they happily fall into the palm of your hand.
Each one is a gift.
I spent a lovely afternoon picking apples in my parents' garden last weekend. The mellow Autumn sunshine kept us warm while we chatted away collecting our harvest.
Before long, I had a carrier bag full of apples. Some were riper and sweeter than others, so I decided to make a delicious chutney with the more tangy ones.
My Apple Harvest Chutney couldn't be easier to make. It's one of my "chuck-it-all-in" kind of recipes. You need an hour or so to make the chutney and a few hours for it to cool thoroughly before devouring.
Its sweet, savoury, spicy flavours make it the perfect accompaniment to cheese and biscuits or cold meats.
I have a lovely toasted open sandwich idea using it, so I'll write a post about that shortly.
For us lucky WeighWatchers,
my chutney is 0sp.
(The WHOLE jar works out to 1sp)
For calorie counters, this amount is approx.700kcal...but that's a generous jar with at least 50 portions at 14kcal each!
YOU WILL NEED
4 large eating apples
(if you use cooking apples, you will need to add substantially more sweetener)
4 red onions
2 white onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons low salt soy sauce
1 teaspoon cinnamon
large sprig fresh basil
2 tablespoons artificial granular sweetener
Dice all the onions quite chunky and pop into a large, deep pan (I used a wok) with a little Frylight oil.
Add the chopped garlic.
Fry for a few minutes to bring some colour and flavour to the onions before adding the torn basil leaves. Squeeze the juice from the tangerine and add to the pan. Save the tangerine carcass.
Chop the remaining pulp and peel from the squeezed tangerine and add to the pan. This gives a marmalade-like quality to the finished chutney and adds another dimension of fruitiness without smartpoint-laden raisins or sultanas.
Keeping the peel on the apples, core and chop them into medium chunks. Don't chop them too small as they will break down and turn into a pulp, losing their texture. I just love the vibrant colours at this stage.
Cook for a few minutes, then add the Balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener, water and seasonings. Play around with the flavours using your own herbs and spices.
Stir well then cover the pan with a lid or some tin foil. Allow to simmer gently for around 50 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent any of the mixture sticking to the pan.
The chutney will have thickened naturally as the fruit absorbs the water as it cooks. If you feel it's too thick, add a little more water.
If you are just making a batch to enjoy right now, allow to cool and pop into a jar.
It will keep in the fridge for a week or so.
If you want to make a large batch of chutney to last a few months, it must be stored in sterilised jars. As this was my first attempt, I had to google the most effective way of doing this!
It seems that if you have a dishwasher, this is a perfectly acceptable way to sterilise a jar as long as you fill it while still hot, straight from the hot cycle.
The other more traditional way is to remove the rubber seal and pop it in a bowl. Pour boiling water onto it and leave for a few minutes. Wash the jar and pop into an oven at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 15 minutes.
Only ever fill a hot sterilised jar with hot mixture, otherwise the jar may crack. Take extreme care at this stage.
Add the rubber seal and carefully close the lid and metal clip using oven gloves.
As the chutney cools in the jar, this will form a vacuum seal ensuring that your chutney should last a few months unopened. This means you could make batches now to sell at Christmas Fairs etc. and they will survive happily.
Once opened, the chutney will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Dollop onto cheese and biscuits for a lovely tangy flavour, adding no extra propoints!
This snack is 5sp for 6 melba toast and two slices of low fat cheese.
Make your own changes to my recipe by adding ingredients such as ginger, chilli, pineapple or mango to your chutneys. Experiment and have fun concocting your own combinations using 0pp fruits and vegetables.
Small jars make wonderful gifts too!
PRINT RECIPE HERE