What to do with all those apples?
This past Saturday I went to Aamodts apple orchard to get my fill of MN apples. I showed up with my thick sweater, sunglasses and galoshes, ready to pick my very own apples fro the tree. Nothing was going to rain on my parade
-well, nothing except for the owners of the orchard-
Upon entering the orchard, a large chalkboard sign told us, "No apples for picking this weekend."
Wa wa whattt?! I was pumped and eager to walk through the orchard, spot the perfect sweeTango, snap a photo, and sink my teeth into it while it's juices dripped down my face and onto my sleeves. It was all planned. Guess next time I'll be sure to call ahead of time
Good thing there was a wine tasting to cheer me up. Saint Croix Vineyards offered a tasting of five varieties, all for a whomping $6 value. You heard me right, SIX DOLLARS. What a steal. The first two were whites (Pinot Gris & La Crescent), followed by two reds (Frontenac & Marquette) and a sweet (Raspberry Infusion). My favorite was the Marquette, slightly smoky with cherry and a dry finish. The most surprising of the varieties was the Raspberry Infusion. Immediately I thought how good it would be reduced as a sauce poured over a custard like ice cream.
But don't think I walked away appleless. I found the 'seconds' pile and purchased two 4lb bags of SweeTango and Pizzaz along with purple corn kernels to make popcorn.
All and all, it was a lovely day and I drove off dreaming up new apple recipes.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cups apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 Thai chili's, minced*
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
pinch of salt
*any variety of hot pepper will do*
In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar and apples. Add in the onion, hot pepper, red pepper, honey, garlic, cumin, and paprika. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Boil gently until slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
a) Allow to cool and serve
b) When ready to can, prepare your supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes. Heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids.
When the jars are ready, ladle hot chutney into the jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace at the top of the jar, and place the lids and bands on top, screwing on the bands just to fingertip-tight. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and boil 15 minutes. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel, and let the jars cool.
Makes 2 eight-ounce jars.
Now, what to do with so much chutney you ask?
-serve with soft goat's milk cheese and black pepper crackers
-use it as a topping for latke's
-makes for a great sauce with pork or just about any type of poultry
-spread on a sandwich
-use as a dip with a vehicle of your choice -i.e. celery, chips, pita, vegetables, crackers...