I picked up some Lodi apples at the farmers market last weekend.
It’s an early season apple, tart, juicy, and usually ends up as apple sauce and I’ve never seen them in a grocery store. (My understanding is they don’t hold up well over time.)
I also had a pair of beautiful butterfly pork chops to fix for supper and, as much as I like applesauce, I thought an apple chutney would go with those even better.
Looking on the counter, I also had some red onion and garlic from the same market. You absolutely can use shallot instead of the red onion. And even rehydrated shallot would work. If you’re going to use a regular white or yellow onion, you’ll want to soak it in water after you cut it up — and then discard the water. You might want to use a bit less as well.
Now, I know, you’re saying garlic? Really? But this has a bold flavor, both sweet and peppery, and it’s just the one clove. It adds some nice depth.
Chutney, in our part of the world, is basically sweet and sour cooked fruit. (This particular technique for making it is more British than Indian.) Peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, about the size of a sugar cube, I had about 4 cups of apples. I use ratios for a lot of cooking and this is one of those times. You’ll see the pattern as we go.
I put 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stirring a bit until the sugar completely dissolves.
Add the apples, diced red onion, and minced garlic. Then 1/2 teaspoon of salt, ginger, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and dry mustard. (If I had fresh ginger, I’d use it, grated, but I didn’t today.)
Cook over medium low heat for about 30 minutes. You want gently bubbling but not quite a simmer.
Lodi Apple Chutney
Apple chutney is a sweet and sour applesauce kicked up. Goes great with pork chops or ham. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.
- 4 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Put the water, vinegar, and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
Cook over low to medium heat for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Let cool. Keep refrigerated.
My Ratios are
- 4 cups apples divided by 4 = 1 cup water
- 1 cup divided by 2 = 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar, and red onion
- 1/2 cup = 1/2 teaspoon of each of the spices
Or, if I’d had
- 2 cups of apples divided by 4 = 1/2 cup water
- divided by 2 = 1/4 cup sugar, vinegar, and red onion
- 1/4 cup = 1/4 teaspoon of the spices
Be aware, just like when you’re making jelly, this will continue to thicken a bit as it cools. Keeps well in the refrigerator so you can make it in advance.
Remember, every apple, onion, garlic, and even vinegars can (and will) taste differently from others.
So, taste as you cook, adjust the seasonings as needed. The vinegar and sugar base is the platform, build whatever spice tower you want. Some people love raisins in their chutney, I am not one of those people, but if it sounds good, try it.
On to those pork chops!