Cookbook:Spicy Quince and Apple Chutney
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- 2 pounds quince, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 4 pounds tart cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used safflower)
- 4 tablespoons mustard seeds (I used a mix of brown and yellow, but still, this is a lot of mustard seeds; next time I might use half this amount)
- 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/2 bulb garlic, minced (that’s 1/2 head of garlic, not 1/2 clove)
- 3″ piece ginger, grated
- 2 small cayenne chili peppers, seeds removed, minced
- 1 or 2 large, mild red peppers, seeds removed, finely sliced (these are for beauty!)
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt (I used sel gris)
- 2 1/3 cups light brown sugar
- Peel, core, and chop your quince into chunks roughly 1-inch square. Put them in a pan and add the water. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the quince is soft. (The original recipe said “about 90 minutes.” Mine took 20 minutes, so look alive!) Strain and set aside the quince chunks. (You may want to keep the juice in the fridge for making jelly or something else quincey later on.)
- While your quince is cooking, begin to prep your other ingredients: chop the apples (I tossed mine in a little bit of lemon juice — which is optional — and set them aside), measure out the spices, grate the ginger, mince the garlic, slice the peppers. Also measure out your vinegar, salt, and sugar. This will make what’s coming much easier!
- Put the vegetable oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop. Then stir in the rest of the spices: black pepper, fenugreek seeds, cumin, and turmeric. Stir constantly for 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and chiles and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add the apples and stir well to combine with the spices. Then add the vinegar, salt, sugar, and quince cubes to the pot.
- Stir the chutney over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the mixture thickens (about 2 hours). Stir occasionally and add a little water if the mixture looks like it’s getting too thick.
- When the chutney is ready, ladle it into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. (Be sure to do a good job of “bubbling” your jars — get in there with a little silicone spatula and release those air bubbles.) Process 10 minutes in a water-bath canner.
Prepare your jars. Do this after the chutney has been cooking down for a while. If you start earlier, they’ll be too cool by the time you need them.
Yields at least 8 half-pint jars — see the note below.