This time of year when you drive or hike around Cape Breton you come upon hundreds of apple trees bearing full fruit. These are a testament to the many subsistence farms that used to be located all along the Cabot Trail, now long abandoned. No one seems to pick these apples, so they are much appreciated by the moose who consume them to store up extra fat for the winter. (Hint – this is a good time of year to spot moose who come down from the Highlands for these prized apples).
Though most of these apples are spotted and misshapen, and thus not suitable as table fruit, we do pick them for cider-pressing and for making chutney. What follows below is our Apple Chutney recipe:
3 lbs apples, peeled, cut into small bits
1 large onion, sliced thinly
a 4″ long piece of ginger, grated finely
1/4 c cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1 c sugar
1 t salt
1 t powdered cardamom
6 whole cloves (or 1/4 t ground cloves)
1 t chili flakes (optional)
Mix everything together in large pot with a heavy bottom, cover, bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer until the apple bits are just done. Don’t overcook as you want them a bit chewy. Pour into sterilized glass jars, cover, cool to room temp. Keeps in fridge for 3 weeks.
Serve with meat or vegetable curries, as a spread in sandwiches, or you can experiment adding it to other dishes – you really can’t go wrong! This chutney is also fantastic served on top of our house-made veggie burger!