I adapted this recipe from the Apple Pear Habañero Chutney in my book Par Fork! The Golf Resort Cookbook. I call for a green apple (Granny Smith) and a red apple. You can use any red apple variety, other than Red Delicious, which is mealy and unfortunately bred to look perfect at the sake of its taste and texture.
If habañero is a bit too spicy for you, substitute an equal amount of serrano chile or jalapeño, or leave out the chile altogether. But then, you’ll have to call it apple compote — not spicy chutney, but it still works the same way, a sweet accompaniment to grilled meat, especially pork.
Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that you have some left over grilled pork tenderloin in the fridge. And let’s say, that you have a bit of this chutney left over as well. Friends pop in unexpectedly, and you want to “whip up” something in a jiffy.
Here’s what you do. Slice the pork tenderloin (about 1/4-inch or thinner). Place the pork on a cracker (or a toasted baguette if you’re really prepared) and top with a teensy dollop of this chutney.
If you have some cream cheese (or Brie) on hand, slather that on the cracker or baguette first. Garnish with an herb pinch if you have one, but do not worry if you do not. Your friends will bow at your feet, marveling at your culinary prowess once again.
Oh, one more thing. Cooking chutneys, or really anything with lots of vinegar, will irritate some people. It does stink up the kitchen a bit, with a slight nose-burning rank smell… but please don’t let that deter you from making this wonderfully sweet, tart chutney. Just do it alone.
Spicy Apple Chutney
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup chopped onion
1 medium green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1-1/4 cups)
1 medium red apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1-1/4 cups)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon whole mustard seed
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon seeded and minced habañero chile (or serrano chile)
1/2 teaspoon dry ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1. Heat vinegar, onions, and apples in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a strong simmer, cooking until vinegar reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the next 9 ingredients (sugar through nutmeg). Cook gently until fruit is tender but not mushy, about 3 minutes.
3. Bring mixture to a full boil. Whisk arrowroot (or cornstarch) with cold water and stir into boiling chutney. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for another minute or so.
4. Serve warm or at room temperature. May be prepared up to 3 days in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week.