06 December 2014

Gifting Homemade Moroccan Spiced Apricot Chutney - IHCC


Apricots, tomatoes, apples, golden sultanas, purple onion, citrus juices, ginger, cayenne pepper, and honey ... simmer and stir and you will have a spicy slurry of gold ... a worthy gift for foodie friends



Look at that color! It's such a beautiful golden hue and the smell in the house is pretty fantastic right now - all citrus, honey and spicy hot cayenne! This week the I Heart Cooking Club is concentrating on gifting homemade treats that come from the pages of Diana Henry's cookbooks. I found inspiration in her cookbook called salt sugar smoke. This is a book that's all about setting things by -canning, pickling, smoking and preserving. It's a real treasure trove for those who love this field of cooking.




I happen to love making jams and chutneys, so this was a natural pick for me. I've made mango chutney before, but the apricot spin was a new one on me. This chutney is heavily spiced with ginger and cayenne pepper. It's hot and I know it because I tasted it quite a bit, as it worked its way toward the perfect consistency.  When the fruit is softened and the juices begin to make a sticky glistening sauce, honey and orange blossom water are added. Oh man, it's sweet and spicy hot! I can't wait to try some atop a cracker with melted Brie cheese, served with a tagine of carrots and chickpeas and a mound of soft couscous or plopped beside a crispy roast of chicken breast.




I can't stress how simple this recipe is. There's a great deal of chopping, but once the prep is done and the other ingredients are measured into a deep stew pot, the chutney is simmered and the smells begin to fill the house. The sterilizing of jars, rings, and lids is a cinch. Once the jars are filled and the lids have sealed, you can begin thinking about who will enjoy this special taste of Morocco.

I have friends and a certain loved one who are fans of middle eastern and northern African cuisine, so I'm thinking that this chutney will be a welcome gift on Christmas . What are you making for your foodie friends this Christmas?




Moroccan Spiced Apricot Chutney
a Diana Henry recipe

Makes 8 cups

Ingredients:

4 c. dried apricots, chopped small dice
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped small dice
1 medium purple onion, chopped small dice
⅔ c. golden sultanas
1 ¼ c. white wine vinegar
1 ¼ c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. ground ginger
2 ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (less for the spice-sensitive)
1 small cinnamon stick ( 2 ½  inches)
Juice of an orange
Juice of a lemon
½ c. orange blossom honey
1 tsp. orange blossom water

Making the Chutney:


  1. Sterilize 8- 1 cup jars and keep in water until ready to fill them. Simmer rings and lids in a covered saucepan. Remove from the heat and keep pan covered.
  2. Make the chutney by placing all the ingredients except for the honey and orange blossom water in a large pan. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring frequently so that the chutney doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Using a heat diffuser would be a good thing – the chutney gets very thick and sticky.
  4. When the apricots and apples are completely soft, add the honey and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the orange blossom water, stirring well. Remove the cinnamon stick and set it aside.
  6. Remove the jars and drain them well.
  7. Fill them up so there is just about ¼ inch headspace.
  8. Place a hot lid on top and screw the ring securely in place.
  9. Set the filled jars (on a rack) in a boiling hot water bath and process for ten minutes.
  10. Remove to a towel lined, counter space and listen for the ‘pop’ of the lids as they seal.
  11. Store in a cool dark place.


... gifts from the heart at I Heart Cooking Club ...

shared with others at I Heart Cooking Club ... check the posts for other Christmas food gifts !

5 comments:

  1. look a all those jars!... I bet that chutney would be great slathered onto chicken thighs and roasted with red onions!... gorgeous!

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  2. The orange flower water is a beautiful addition!

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  3. What a gorgeous colour! And I love the apricot twist on the chutney. It's perfect for gift-giving.

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  4. Oh wow! Looks so good! I love it when I see recipes using dried fruits, as the fresh ones are SO COSTLY over here! Bookmarked, and the more recipes I see from this book, the more I am tempted to buy it!

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  5. Ok, I'm making a few jars of this for Xmas prezzies for sure - I know several people who would love this, me included. Actually, I love a good mango chutney, but mangoes are always such a luxury here that it always seems sacrilege to do anything with them other than eat them au naturel. This spicy apricot chutney is a great alternative.

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