The other week I communicated with Johnny from Kitsch n Flavours about his apricot & chamomile tart, which gave me the idea to make apricot chutney. Originally I wanted to make apricot & chamomile chutney but I had a ditzy moment and unfortunately forgot all about the chamomile.
Which wasn’t a bad thing, though, as this apricot chutney turned out really lovely. I had bought Italian apricots at the Turkish grocery store, and they tasted nice, had just the right ripeness, and when I was set on the unpleasant task of removing their skins after pouring boiling water over them I was pleasantly surprised that I could just pick the skin off with my thumb and forefinger, it all came off in one piece.
Over the years I’ve made lots of different kinds of chutneys, the first one being a red tomato chutney. For the next chutney I adapted this recipe, for the one after that I adapted the adaptation, and so on. So several adaptions down the line, for this apricot chutney I adapted the adaption of the carrot chutney I made two years ago.
One of the reasons I made changes to that one was that I thought some spices would go better with the apricots than the ones previously used, and I wanted to have a mix of dark brown soft sugar and soft raw cane sugar, just to get a “softer” taste. I decided to stick with the garlic clove but used a tiny soft clove from a very fresh garlic bulb. As for the vinegar, we have a company here who annually brings out a “vinegar of the year”, and last year’s was mirabelle, which I thought would go well with the apricots, and so it does. I didn’t want the chutney to taste of vinegar and onions, and my sugar mix as well as the mirabelle vinegar did their job.
During the cooking process, there seemed to be too much liquid so I chose to cook it without lid on the highest heat setting. That did the trick to thicken it to the right consistency.
Taste-wise this apricot chutney turned out just how I had imagined it. The sugar mix and the choice of vinegar made this a very mild chutney, where the taste of apricots is discernible and does not go under in the mix of ingredients. This is something I would definitely make again.
I had my chutney on some toasted flatbread with grilled aubergines and zucchini, and pan-fried halloumi cheese.
12 apricots (600 g, weight without stones)
250 g white onions, very finely chopped
200 ml mirabelle vinegar
½ pinch turmeric
½ pinch ground cardamom
5 saffron threads (optional)
100 g light raw cane sugar
100 g dark brown cane sugar
1 tiny fresh garlic clove, pressed
clean preserving jars
Halve the apricots, remove stones, then put the halves cut side down into a bowl. Pour over boiling water and let sit for about 10 minutes while proceeding with preparations.
Pour away the soaking water and remove skin from each apricot half. Roughly chop the apricots and place into a saucepan with the other ingredients.
Bring to a boil, then turn down heat, put on a lid, and let simmer for about 40 – 45 minutes. [I set a timer every 15 minutes to stir and check the consistency. If it is still too liquid after 20 minutes, remove lid from saucepan and set back to highest heat setting for rest of cooking time.]
Have your preserving jars ready, divide the chutney among them, seal and let cool.