Chutney aux Fruits Secs et aux Épices
Chutney chutney chutney. Sometimes I just think people like the way this word rolls off the tongue here, you see it so often in the restaurants. I can tell you one thing, the French are NOT chutney purists, which is good news for me because I won't turn away anything that heightens the flavor of my meal the way that many French-styled chutneys do, even if many DO contain raisins. (Apparently raisins are some cardinal abomination never to be ever used in chutney, a rule set by the Anonymous Chutney Authority that oversees chutney's Wikipedia entry.) This Christine Ferber recipe, from her Leçons de confitures, puts raisins to excellent use. The result is simply sublime. It came together in a snap this morning and I plan to serve this tantalizing sauce at my table with my mixed pepper and spice marinated magret de canard.
Chutney aux Fruits Secs et aux Épices (dried fruit and spice chutney)
Note: About measures, I translated these measures from weight to volume based on the recipe which was given in gram weights. That means you can do this recipe if you don't have a kitchen scale.
6 dried figs (100 g.)
12 dried apricots (100 g.)
12 prunes with the pits (100 g. yield)
3 small fresh tart cooking apples (300 g. yield)
2 medium white onions (200 gram yield)
2 cups white wine vinegar (50cl)
1 tsp coarse sea salt (3 g.)
1/2 cup brown sugar (50 g.)
1/3 cup honey (preferably alpine but any forest and flower honey will do) (50 g.)
3 tablespoons candied ginger (50 g.)
50 g. Smyrna raisins (yellow raisins)
1/3 cup pine nuts (50 g.)
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (1 point de couteau)
1 1/2 tsp épice à pain d’épices (3 g.)
- Slice the figs, apricots and prunes into fine strips (about 2mm).
- Peel, core, and finely dice the apples.
- Peel and mince the onions.
- Roughly chop your raisins and set them aside.
- Put the figs, apricot, prunes, apples, onions, vinegar and salt in a thick bottomed stainless steel soup pot.
- folding carefully with a spatula, bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the fruits are tender.
- Incorporate the sugar, honey, candied ginger and raisins.
- Continue at a low simmer for about 25 minutes, folding and running the spatula along the bottom of the pan, careful not to let it caramelize or burn. The liquid will evaporate and the chutney will thicken.
- Add the cayenne, the épice à pain d’épice, and the pine nuts and simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Remove from heat, fill your pots, and put a lid on them. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
Enjoy this chutney with potted or slow braised meats, potatoes cooked with goose or duck fat, game or poultry. (I guess that covers about everything). This batch makes enough for a jar to keep in your fridge for a couple of weeks, plus a jar to give to the good neighbor who left a box of apples at your doorstep.
Labels: winter 09-10