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
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- When the apricots and apples are completely soft, add the honey and continue cooking for 15 more minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add the orange blossom water, stirring well. Remove the cinnamon stick and set it aside.
- Remove the jars and drain them well.
- Fill them up so there is just about ¼ inch headspace.
- Place a hot lid on top and screw the ring securely in place.
- Set the filled jars (on a rack) in a boiling hot water bath and process for ten minutes.
- Remove to a towel lined, counter space and listen for the ‘pop’ of the lids as they seal.
- 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 !