Monday, November 22, 2010

Baked Apple Pear Chutney

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. 

It's color becomes a bit more rosy in color after it's simmered for an hour...

This chutney is delicious served as an accompaniment to chicken or turkey. 

It's sweet spiciness is nearly irresistible. 

For a "wow" effect, hollow out small apples,

stuff with the chutney,

and bake
for a simply spectacular presentation.

Here's the printable recipe.

Baked Apple-Pear Chutney
6-8 servings

1/2 cup whole pecans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds unpeeled pears, cored and coarsely chopped
1 unpeeled Granny Smith apple, cored and coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup good-quality white wine vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Arrange pecans on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven for 7-9 minutes, until darker in color and aromatic.  Remove from the oven, let cool, and chop coarsely.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-low heat.  Add the onion, ginger, and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.  (Do not let it brown.)  Stir in the pears, apple, lime juice, vinegar, sugars, salt, cherries, cranberries, and brandy, if using.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, until the chutney is thickened, most of the vinegar has been absorbed, and the juice has a syrupy consistency.  Remove from the heat and let cool, then stir in the toasted pecans.  To store, cover and refrigerate for up to one week.
Optional:  For a spectacular presentation, buy the smallest apples you can find, never mind the color.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Use a melon baller to neatly scoop out the seeds and core of each apple, starting at the stem end.  Take care not to cut through the very bottom of the apple.  Arrange the apples, cored side up, in the cups of a muffin pan or on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray.  (If using a baking sheet, cut a thin slice off the bottoms of the apples so they will remain upright while they cook.)  Stuff each apple with a spoonful of chutney.  Bake until the apples are soft but not falling apart, 30 to 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature.