What Is Apple Chutney?

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet

Apple chutney is a type of relish or sauce made by cooking apples with a mixture of spices, seasonings, and vegetables as well as an acidic liquid, usually vinegar. It is a variation on the chutneys which are a fundamental component of some Asian cuisines. The flavor of apple chutney is both sweet and sour, making it an agreeable accompaniment to many different kinds of food. Consequently, apple chutney may be incorporated into any stage of a meal, potentially serving as an appetizer, a meat glaze, a condiment or sandwich spread, and even as part of a dessert cheese board.

Despite the fact that many Western diners are familiar with apple chutney, the sauce is actually a variation on the chutneys which are a fundamental part of some Asian cuisines, particularly in India and Pakistan. In these regions, chutney is essentially an umbrella term encompassing a huge variety of sweet and sour relishes which can be either fresh or pickled, and which may be served before a main course or used as a condiment for a main dish. Some of the most common varieties of Asian chutney include mango, mint, and onion.

To make apple chutney, peeled, cored, and chopped cooking apples are combined in a saucepan with spices and seasonings like brown sugar, ginger, and allspice. Chopped onions, raisins, and orange zest may also be added to this mixture. Next, an acidic liquid such as red wine vinegar is stirred into the dry ingredients, and the mixture is simmered until the apples begin to break down, creating a thick sauce. This process usually takes approximately one and a half hours. Once the desired consistency has been reached, the chutney can be cooled and served, or stored in canning jars for later use.

The simultaneously sweet and tart flavor of apple chutney makes it an agreeable accompaniment to many types of food. When joined by crackers or a sliced and toasted baguette, it can serve as an appetizer. It can also be used to glaze meats, such as pork or lamb roasts, during cooking, or can be set on the dining table alongside other condiments. Some people enjoy using apple chutney as a sandwich spread, similar to the way apple butter or cranberry sauce might be used. Finally, many find that apple chutney adds a pleasant flavor contrast to both mild, soft cheeses like brie as well as stronger, sturdier ones like aged cheddar.

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