Saturday, September 19, 2009

Apricot & Red Pepper Chutney

APRICOT CHUTNEY for 2009 follows a modified recipe based on last year's recipe. I liked the spice combination from the fig-tomato chutney, so left out the tumeric and star anise this time.

Fruits & alliums

  • 12 cups (7.5#) fresh apricots, pitted and chopped (no more than 1/2 inch thick)
  • 4 large (3#) white onions, finely chopped
  • 5 (1.25#) red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2.5 oz finely minced fresh garlic
  • 16 ounces mixed mixed raisins and currants


  • 2.5-3 oz ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 2-4 big sticks of Ceylon cinnamon
  • 3 Tb salt
  • 1 Tb chili flakes
  • 2 dried dried Ancho chilies, toasted lightly in the oven so that they can be crumbled, include seeds for extra zing but omit any stems
Toasted and ground together:
  • 1 tsp allspice berries
  • 1 Tb brown mustard seed
  • 1 Tb white peppercorns
  • 2 Tb fenugreek seed
  • 1 Tb coriander seed

Sour & sweet

  • 2.5 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 cup malt vinegar
  • 1.5 pounds Sucanat
  • 4 lemons, both zest and juice


  1. Lightly toast the spices until they start to get fragrant. Remove from pan quickly and put into a cool dish to cool a bit, then grind coarsely with mortar and pestle.
  2. Put apricots, garlic, onions and spices into a large stock pot with a heavy bottom. Turn the heat onto medium high. Pour in enough vinegar to prevent mixture from stick to bottom of pot. Bring to simmer then lower the heat to medium.
  3. Add more vinegar as the mixture simmers to prevent it fairly mobile - you don't want it to erupt like molten apricot lava out of the pot. You should have used more than half of the vinegar by now. Continue to stir to avoid sticking, lower the temperature to maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. After about 1 hour, stir in the raisins, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  5. Stir in the brown sugar as soon as the apricots look like they are nearly falling apart. Add the sugar gradually, stirring and letting it dissolve. Alternate with remaining vinegar or additional lemon juice if needed.
  6. Simmer and stir occasionally another 45 minutes or until the chutney has a thick jammy consistency.
  7. Turn off of the heat, and set aside overnight on the stovetop or cool and put in fridge if you plan a longer delay.
  8. To finish, stir and taste your chutney!
  9. Bring the chutney to a simmer over medium high heat, then lower the temperature to medium low or low to maintain a gentle simmer.
  10. Add any additional spices, vinegar or sugar to desired taste and viscosity. Cook for 1 hour.
  11. Ladle the hot chutney into the jars and process (10 minutes in hot water bath).
  12. Store in a cool location at least 2 to 3 months before serving.

2 - 12 oz jars apricot chutney
16 - 8 oz jars apricot chutney
14 - 4 oz jars apricot chutney

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