Apple Chutney

Originally from the Preservation Society book but I tweaked it a bit, so getting a full post so I remember what I did.

I did two variants. The main one with Xeres vinegar, which tastes like something I will use anywhere onion jam would be used (in a grilled cheese or a burger comes to mind).

The second is a balsamic variant which I have dreams of using on some baked brie with walnuts…

Still, go buy the book!

Yield : 6 half pints

2 birds eyes peppers
3 cloves garlic
900g apples (cortland, spartan, empire, snow globe, gala)
450g onions
170g raisin*
550g brown sugar
1 1/2 table spoon salt
30 ml grated fresh ginger
10 ml allspice
10 ml cloves
10 ml black peppercorns
10 ml ground tumeric
2 ml dry mustard
375 ml apple cider vinegar
375 ml xeres vinegar **

Balsamic Variant :
* A bit less raisins, add dried apricots (cut in small pieces)
** Balsamic vinegar.

1. Grind the spices together.

2. Put the onions and apples through a food processor and chop finely. Transfer to a large pot and add the vinegar.

3. Finely chop the garlic and thai peppers. Add to the pot along with the raisins.

4. Add the rest of the spices.

The Balsamic variant will look darker like this :

5. Turn the heat on medium until a slow boil form. Turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour.

The balsamic version will start to look outright Halloween worthy. I added a finely minced jalapeno along the way to this one, as the sugar was getting too dominant.

6. Scald the jars. Fill with hot chutney. Leave 1/4″ headspace. Process for 10 minutes.

And the darker balsamic.


“Snapdragon” preserve

Delicious and boozy. Notes and quantities here, recipe of at the spicetrekkers’ website here.

1 cup dark rum
1¾ cup dried apricots (370g)
2 cups dried figs (460g)
2 cups raisins (300g)
1¼ cups cane turbinado sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
zest and juice of 1 orange
½ cup whole almonds
5 cm cinnamon
1 vanilla bean


  • Cut apricots in half
  • get large dried figs and cut in 6ths

Indian spiced chicken casserole

One of my current favorites. Easy to toss together even if it’s not truly a one pot dish, but filling warm and delicious. Also freezes well and does great lunches with the left overs.

1/2 cup raisins
100g container whole blanched almonds
9 chicken boneless skinless chicken thighs cut in bite sized cubes
1 cup of jasmine rice
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 small can chicken broth
1 table spoon curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 block of firm tofu, pressed and cut in small dices (optional)



1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.

2.  In a small pot combine the chicken stock, the coconut milk, all the spices (including the garlic). Take a good look at your mixing spoon, thank it for it’s services and acknowledge that from this point on it will be the yellow spoon. The turmeric does that. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.


3. If using the tofu, cook it in a  pan with about a table spoon of oil until lightly golden. This helps with the texture.

4. In a dutch oven or other oven safe vessel heat about a table spoon of oil. Add the chicken and cook until mostly colored, about 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the rice, raisins and almonds. Stir well to coat the rice with some of the oil. If using the tofu, add here and stir well to mix with the rice.

6. Deglaze with the liquid and spices mix and mix well to make sure everything is evenly distributed.

7. Cover and put in the oven for 30 minutes.

8. Serve in small bowls. Add salt and black pepper to taste.