Caramelized Fig And Apple Chutney

It’s fig season in Malta. So this year I decided to go a little sweet & savoury with a chutney. Or is it a savoury jam? Either way, it is yum and can be eaten any time of the year on everything from toast, burgers to cheese platters and crackers. Once you clean your jars correctly it will keep for 6 months even more. If you want to know how to clean your jars for preserving click here BBC Good Food. Although Figs are the main component in this, the apples are very much at the base giving texture. I grate my chilli from frozen so it makes about a heaped teaspoon. If you want more of a kick you can add a little more near the end. Or use half a fresh red chilli finely sliced. Over time the flavours with infuse so don’t overdo it with the chilli. It’s about layering the flavours rather than a big punch.

Ingredients:

  • 15-20g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1Lb Fig, clean & quartered with skins on
  • 2 Apples peeled, cored and chopped small (granny smith or eating apple)
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • 125 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups drinking cider (Bulmers)
  • half a tsp cinnamon
  • half tsp ground cardamon
  • half tsp ground coriander
  • large pinch ground cumin
  • knob fresh ginger (10g), grated
  • 1-2 heaped tsp red chilli, grated or thinly chopped
  • cup of water
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp tamari – optional at the end

Method:

  • Prepare all your ingredients so you can just add them as needed. Give the figs a gentle wash of the skin and quarter.
  • In a large saucepan over gentle – medium heat, sweat the onions in oil for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time until they become translucent.
  • Add the apple, half the chilli, butter, brown sugar to the pan and continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes coating all the time. As the apples begin to soften, add in the balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the figs, ginger, apple cider vinegar and spices, continuing to simmer for another 10 minutes before adding the drinking cider. Give it a good stir to mix everything together. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and leave for 20 minutes. stirring regularly to ensure it’s not sticking to the bottom.
  • At this point, begin sterilizing your container or jars. Wash in hot soapy water, then transfer wet to an oven @ 160C for 20 minutes. Including lids. This way when the jars are ready, the chutney will also be finished and can be poured hot into the containers.
  • Once your jars are in the oven. Add a cup of water, maple syrup, remaining chilli, a pinch of salt & pepper and tamari to the chutney and leave for about 15-20 minutes. Both the jars and chutney will be ready at the same time.
  • I use a masher to slightly break up the mixture and the fig skins. I also blitz a ladle or two for the smaller people in the house who may not like chunks, to make a spread/sauce and jar it.
  • Ladle the chutney into a jug so it’s easier to pour into the containers.
  • Remove the jars from the oven and immediately pour in the hot chutney leaving about 2cm from the top before placing the lid on tight to seal.
  • Chutney is best served after a little while rather than straight away. You can serve this with cheese, on burgers (as I do), on toast, in sandwiches, with cold meats or just on crackers. It’s a great addition to a platter of cold meats or fried tofu if you are vegan.

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