Recipe: Spicy apple chutney

Recipe: Spicy Apple Chutney

I love autumn in London. There’s the beauty of all the leaves changing colour, atmospheric misty mornings and still warmth in the sun when it pops out. September is often the best month, especially after we’ve had a particularly lacklustre summer like we’ve had this year.

And it’s apple time – particularly good when your neighbours have an extremely fruitful apple tree in their garden. Always love a bit of free food and they are positively begging me to come and help myself before all the fruit goes sadly to waste.

So I popped over for some pickings and it was time for some apple cooking. First up, this really easy spicy apple chutney. It goes beautifully with cheese and cold meats, spicing up sandwiches and to serve with curries. Well, it kind of goes with most things. I made quite a big batch and shared it out with my neighbours. Spreading a bit of tasty autumn cheer.

Recipe: apple chutney

Apple chutney for the neighbourhood

Apple Chutney

The ingredients

12 apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 dried red chillies

3 tbsps fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

300ml cider vinegar

200g brown sugar

100g caster sugar

Half a tsp ground cardamom

Half a tsp ground cloves

The process

Put  all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and cover.

Simmer for about an hour, stirring frequently, check that the apples are tender and the chutney is thickened. Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not getting too dry and mix in some water if you need to keep it moist.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Ladle it into vacuum sealed jars and keep in the fridge until it is ready to serve.

What’s your favourite recipe using apples? These versatile fruits can be used in so many different ways. There’ll be more apple cooking coming soon so watch this space. And do let me have some of your favourites to try out for myself.

My recipe for traditional South African Bobotie

Bobotie is a traditional South African dish made of lamb mince mixed with spices and fruit and a creamy egg topping. It’s a great combination of flavours and textures and really easy to make. There are plenty of different ways to make it, this is the one I’ve perfected to my taste. Experiment with spices and fruits to find yours.

I like to serve it with rice and a collection of sambals. Chopped onion and tomato, chopped banana, chopped pineapple or mango all work really well. And if you have some dessicated coconut in the house it’s delicious sprinkled over the top. Oh and don’t forget some chutney on the side. I love the South African brand Mrs Balls. We always have a bottle of rissie blatjang (chilli chutney) in our cupboard, it has a real chilli bite. You can get milder ones to suit your taste.

Bobotie also tastes amazing the next day and because it sets, kind of like a cake, it’s easily portable. You don’t even have to heat it up, it’s delicious cold.

Oh and to keep up the South African theme, my sambals are served here in my lovely Carol Boyes dishes, a Christmas present from several years back that I use all the time.

Do you have a recipe you think is tastier? Perhaps you have a secret ingredient? Let me know, I’m always open to suggestions to make my favourite dishes better.

The bubbling bobotie straight out of the oven

Serves 4

1tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion

1 clove garlic

500g lamb mince

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

2 small dried chillies, chopped

2 handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp apricot jam

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp sultanas or raisins

For the topping

140ml double cream

2 eggs

Fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the meat until browned.

Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Turn into an oven dish.

Beat the egg and cream topping together, pour over and bake in the oven for 45 minuted, keeping covered for the first 30 minutes.

Serve with rice and sambals.