Last Sunday, Scott and I spent the day in the backyard. I was catching up on reading my food magazines (would you believe I hadn’t even cracked open an issue of Bon Appetit or Food and Wine since July?) while Scott scooped the detritus out of the pool and checked the water temperature — 87? in case you were interested.
It was so hot that after 10 minutes on the lounge chair (shaded by a large patio umbrella, mind you), individual beads of perspiration conspired to form rivers of sweat that ran down the back of my neck, leaving me no choice but to “cool off” in that 87? water. And you know what? It was refreshing, if not a little chilly. I know — I’m a wimp.
But here in South Florida, we are accustomed to feels like temperatures of 108? and ocean and pool temps that hover around 90? in the summertime.
Which is why I was so surprised when Scott told me that the temperatures in Minnesota, where his family lives were in the high 40s. I mean that’s like a “dead-of-winter” 2-day cold snap for us. And it’s only September. Gawd!
But it got me thinking about the fall and fall flavors, and inspired this impromptu apple chutney. And not just any chutney. This one straddles the line between sweet and savory with tender apples, slices of onion and sweet-tart dried cranberry with the warm glow of curry. Wow!
I like a bit of crunch, too, so I stirred in some toasted walnuts at the last minute. Yum! I mean YUM! Pair this chutney with a grilled pork chop and you’ve got an ode-to-autumn meal that will conjure the feelings of fall, even if we’re not quite there yet.
curried apple walnut chutney
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion peeled and thinly sliced, root to tip
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried minced ginger
- 3 apples peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" dice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Sprinkle in the curry and stir to combine. Cook the curry for about a minute until it becomes fragrant then add the apples, ginger, brown sugar, dried cranberries and water.
Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes until apples soften slightly and cranberries plump. Stir in the cornstarch and cook over medium high heat for about a minute until the syrup thickens. Remove from heat. Adjust seasonings to taste -- adding more salt or brown sugar if needed.
Stir in the toasted walnuts. Serve.