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Curried Apple Chutney (over Ham or as an Appetizer)

Chutney!  Chutney?  It’s an odd word for something so tasty — the word chutney comes from the Sanskrit word, catni, meaning ‘to lick.”  Miriam Webster defines chutney as “a thick sauce that is made from fruits, vinegar, sugar and spices; of Indian origin.”  Sounds about right!  It’s kind of like a fruity salsa but the ingredients are simmered a long time to marry all of the sweet and tangy flavors together.  Because this is how they are prepared, most chutneys are chock full of flavor.  I’ve had a few mango chutneys in different restaurant dishes but I had never cooked with or made my own chutney.  My curiosity and desire to try new things got the best of me last week.  I made this delicious Curried Apple Chutney as a funky alternative to gravy for our Thanksgiving turkey.  I served it room temperature in a bowl next to the turkey.  It seemed like most of my family gave it an obligatory try and most actually liked it.  My brother was the biggest fan.  He couldn’t get enough of it!   Of course, he has lived and traveled all over the world, including Singapore, Nepal, Denmark, Israel, and has a taste for anything different.  He had two helpings and then began eating it later in the night with tortilla chips.  The preferred meat with which to serve this chutney would be ham.  The saltiness of the ham pairs great with the sweetness of this chutney (trust me, because I tried it at The Seasoned Farmhouse overtop a slice of Stonefield Naturals Smoked Ham and it was perfection!).  This chutney can also be paired with a sharp white cheddar cheese on some crackers or bread for a fun appetizer or could be added to a pan sauce or a vinaigrette for a boost of flavor.

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Curried Apple Chutney (Makes 5 pints)

Ingredients:

Appx 8 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1 lb golden raisins (if you are not big fan of raisins, reduce raisins and substitute more apples or red peppers)

2 cups brown sugar

½ cup onion, chopped

½ cup sweet red pepper, chopped

1 ½ Tbsp mustard seed

1 Tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

1 hot red pepper, diced (I subbed ½ of 1 serrano pepper)

½ tsp minced garlic

2 cups vinegar (I used equal parts cider vinegar and white vinegar)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in large sauce pot.  Simmer until thick; approximately an hour.  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.  The chutney will keep well in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.  Be sure to cool down the chutney before filling jars.

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Recipe adapted slightly from Ball Blue Book, Guide to Canning