Ale Chutney

One of the things I have on my list when we go home to England is getting a ploughman’s lunch at the Red Lion in Swanage.  It’s a pub that is still an English pub with the old beams, back garden, and amazing ciders on tap.  And they are willing to do their best at making a black velvet for me.  They also do a fabulous ploughman’s with ale chutney.  It’s one of my favourites.

As we’re getting into the season to make chutneys I thought I’d give it a go.  There really isn’t a lot of choice for ale chutney recipes but I figured I could make up my own.  It didn’t come out like the Red Lion’s but it came out really well with a bit more heat to mine.

Ale chutney 1 2014

Chop about 350 grams of onion and 300 grams of apples.  This equals about 3 apples.

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Next chop 3 cloves of garlic, 60 g of dates, and 60 g of dried apricots.  In a large pot add the chopped ingredients with a 1/3-1/2 cup of malt vinegar and bring to a simmer.  As it begins to simmer add 1 heaped tbsp of mustard powder, 3 tsp of ground nutmeg, 1-2 tsp of sea salt, and pepper to taste.  Add 350-400g of demerara sugar or brown sugar and stir well.

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As it simmers add the zest of one lemon as well as the juice.  For me I found it to be a bit sweet so I added 2 tsp of red pepper flakes to balance the sweetness.

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Simmer until the apples have broken down and the chutney starts to thicken.  Remove from the heat and add 12 oz of ale or stout.  I used our oatmeal stout.  Bring it back up to a simmer to thicken. I found it wouldn’t thicken as much as I wanted so I added pectin rather than sugar which would make it sweeter.  The next time I make it I’ll back off a bit on the sugar and add more pectin.

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The great things about chutneys is you make it your own.  Adjust as needed to your tastes.  Perfect!  Now I just need to make a ploughman’s.  🙂

PS, there must have been enough people disgruntled with the new wordpress site when writing posts as they are now giving people a choice to revert.  Excellent!  🙂

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Apricot Chutney

My husband and I joke about hoping the mould was broken when Murphy was born.  I mean he’s a wacky dog.  It looks like the mould wasn’t broken!  I have started volunteering at the local humane society by walking dogs and playing with them.  There is one puppy, a very large puppy, that is just all over the place. Reminded me of how Murphy was when we first got him.

It is fun volunteering there as I get my fix for the dogs and cats without actually bringing them home.  Our house is full enough! 

It’s apricot season!  So it’s time to make our apricot chutney.  It was a shorter season than normal this year, I think because of the harsh winter.  There are rumblings that we are facing another harsh winter.  My tolerance for this is getting less and less!

This is done over two days, nothing too difficult but it is time consuming on some of the steps.  I have no idea where we got our recipe.  We have a print out but it doesn’t say who’s it is.  This is our version of it.

Apricot chutney1 2014

Dice 3 1/2 pounds of apricots, 3 small onions, 5-6 garlic cloves, and 4 ounces of dates.

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Place these ingredients into a big pot.  Add 3 inches of fresh ginger grated, 1 1/2 teaspoons of whole cloves, 1 teaspoon of whole allspice, 1 1/2 teaspoons of black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons of tumeric, and 2 teaspoons of mustard powder.

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Add two cinnamon sticks and 1 chopped hot pepper.  We used Ring O Fire from our garden.  Also add 2 teaspoons of sea salt.

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Add 4-6 oz of malt vinegar and bring the heat up to medium.  Once it gets to a roiling simmer lower the heat to medium low.  You want to stir frequently because you don’t want it to stick on the bottom.  If it is dry add a bit more vinegar.  Once the apricots have broken down a bit and softened add 7 oz of raisins along with the zest of 3 lemons and their juice.  Our chutney got to this point at about 45 minutes but it can take up to an hour. 

Apricot chutney 6 2014

If the apricots are pulpy enough add 8 oz of brown sugar.  Stir well and bring back up to a simmer.  Once it thickens like a jam cover and remove from the heat.  Allow to sit overnight.  The next day add 4-6 oz of brown sugar and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.  If the chutney is too stiff add a bit more vinegar.  Sterilise the jars you need and then spoon in the chutney.

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After hand tightening the lids on, process the jars for 10 minutes.  Allow the chutney to be stored in a cool dry place for a couple of months to allow for the best flavour. 

This is great on naan, over rice, or with a cheese plate. 

Mangoes and Memories – A Lovely Chutney

There are times I would love to live in other climes.  If they got rid of the excessive heat and humidity.  My mum used to head down to Florida as a child in the early 50’s.  I can’t imagine the heat in the car all the way down the east coast without A/C.  But when she got there Grammy Kevin had mango trees.  What a treat that must have been fresh off the tree with the juice dripping.  I love the sweetness of the mangoes but they go well with spice.  It’s a great ingredient to work with. 

As I mentioned in the last post for hot pepper jelly my husband and I indulged in a kitchen day.  We take the day to just create and enjoy being with each other.  I love those days.  🙂  Our next treat was mango chutney.  We got the recipe from the “Best Ever Curry Cookbook” by Mridula Baljekar.  We’ve had some great meals from that cookbook.  As with the hot pepper jelly it wasn’t difficult to make but the flavours are wonderful.

To begin with you want as many fresh ingredients as you can find.  We doubled the recipe so that is what I’ll tell you for this post.  It made about 5 half pint jars worth.  We found some really nice mangoes and fresh ginger yesterday at the co-op.

Mango chutney 1 2013 Mango chutney 2 2013

Cut 6 mangoes into chunks.  If they are a bit firm that is ok.  Heat in a large pot with 1 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. 

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In the mean time prep the other ingredients.  Finely chop 2-3 cloves of garlic, grate about 2″ of ginger, and finely chop two small hot peppers.  We used jalapenos from our garden.  My fingers burned for several hours with the pepper juice after all our recipes!  Also, bruise 5 cardamom pods.  The recipe also calls for 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds crushed but we didn’t have that so we used a bit of ground coriander.  And you will need 1 bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 1/3 brown sugar.  After the 10 minutes add all the ingredients to the mangoes and apple cider vinegar.

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Slowly bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

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Follow the standard jarring techniques.  It did say to leave for a week before eating but we tasted it and it was amazing so it would be hard to wait a week!

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I’ll need to make some naan now.  🙂