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This simple chutney is not too sweet, and quite different from most chutneys one finds commercially. It is great with roast pork or chickens, or accompanying bread and cheese.
Apple and cucumbers, star anise and cardamom, a wonderful mix. My boss gave me some "gherkin" cucumbers from his garden and I thought about pickling them, but I didn't have enough for that. From there, my thoughts naturally went to chutney. As I don't like very sweet chutneys, this one doesn't have very much sugar, although one could cut the sugar, especially since the apples and currants are naturally sweet, as well as the onions.
This chutney is a great accompaniement with pork, or roast chicken, or just served with a good strong cheese and fresh bread.
I used Granny Smith apples because they cook well, don't brown quickly, and are a bit tart. You could use other apples as well, though it would influence taste & texture, although not significantly. If you don't have Demerara sugar, plain white sugar should do the trick. And if you can't get your hands on whole Star Anise or whole Cardamom, using the pre-ground stuff should also give satisfying results.
The hardest part of this recipe is to wait until the chutney has matured, about two or three weeks!
Cutting the cucumber into small pieces.
Using the flat of the chef's knife to scoop diced apples.
Sweating the onion until they are transluscent on low heat.
Right after I've added the currants and the sugar to the onions.
Now the apples, cucumbers and vinegar have been added to the pot and mixed.
About to grind the whole star anise and cardamom.
The spices, freshly ground.
Straining the star anise and the cardamom over the pot.
The chaff and bits of shell left after straining the spices.
Cooking the whole lot, reducing the vinegar.
The vinegar is nearly all reduced, the chutney is ready!
The chutney in the preserving jars.
Parafin wax poured over the chutney, with a loop of string inserted before the wax sets, so it is easy to remove the wax later on. Blue string because "there is no blue food", so if you drop the string in the dish, you can easily find it.
The chutney, in a nice presentation dish.
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Cabbage: A familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man's head. Ambrose Bierce