Caramelized Red Onion and Apple Chutney

Thursday in Jeff’s Quarantine Kitchen…

Photo: by Cheffzilla

In today’s episode I will compete my onion trilogy—caramelized red onion chutney. So far I’ve done a sweet-onion jam and a shallot marmalade. To complete the circuit, I think a chutney is called for, so here is the one I’ve chosen, mostly because this is what I have on hand. Chutneys like to have a fruit base—mango or peach or pear—but it’s not the season for those things, and I do have a bunch of Granny Smith apples in the fridge and lots of red onions, ergo…

I’ve been making chutney for several years now, and they’ve been met with some amount of positive feedback. Additionally, I really do like the flavor of sweet and savory condiments—oyster and hoisin sauces being among my favorites—and chutney is a wonderful extension of those culinary favorites.

This one is a simple spread, delicious on meats, fish, and cheeses, mixed into a savory crepe (I just got that idea the other day from a Facebook post), or just about anyplace where a flavorful dollop of goodness will make a sandwich taste better. The trick with this recipe—as with most things onion—is to go low and slow; be patient with the process. Burnt onions are no one’s favorite flavor.

So, caramelized red onion chutney with apples is just the ticket. Here’s how it goes:

Photo: by Cheffzilla

4 large red onions, quartered and thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, minced
1 fresh or 2 dried red chili peppers (I used dried Thai chilies), sliced and seeded
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 bay leaves (from my very own bay laurel tree) ——- >
2 sprigs fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
A few turns or 1/4 teaspoon finely ground WHITE pepper
2 teaspoons mustard seeds


1. Slice the onions and chili peppers thinly.

2. Place the olive oil, onions, apple, pepper slices, bay leaves and thyme in a large, heavy non-reactive pot and mix well to coat with the olive oil. Bring to a slow boil, then cover the pot, reduce the heat, and cook at low temperature for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes to prevent the onions from sticking. Remove the lid and cook for 30 minutes more, stirring frequently—again to prevent sticking.

3. Remove the bay leaves and the thyme stalks, and add the vinegar, sugar, white pepper, and mustard seeds; stir well to mix thoroughly, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency.

4. Spoon into sterilized jars and lids, leaving a half-inch headspace, and remove the bubbles from the product. Either process in a water bath for 15 minutes or cool completely and refrigerate. If you process the jars in a water bath, after the 15-minute process time turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit in the water for five minutes undisturbed, then place on a wire rack or a towel and allow to sit undisturbed tor 24 hours. Canned chutney will keep about a year, but it won’t last that long.

You may be tempted to open and use the chutney immediately, but it will be much, MUCH better if you allow it to sit in storage for a month before opening. this allows the flavors to marry, and the product will be way better

About Cheff

Lancaster Eats highlights the best resources our community has to offer. From farmers to markets to vendors to retailers, we highlight those members of our wonderful food community who are striving to improve the presence of the commercial and retail food industry for all the citizens of Lancaster. The food we eat and drink is important to every single one of us, and we believe that everyone is entitled to safe and healthy food and drink. We hope to engage the citizens of our city and county who care about the food we eat and the environment in which we live. We know there are many people in the community who are doing wonderful things that benefit the people of Lancaster, as customers and consumers. We hope you will let us know who they are so that we can learn and inform those who eat and drink. That, as we know, is all of us. We are all in this together. Let's build a community.

Posted on March 26, 2020, in Recommendations. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Fran Rosenthal

    Jeff, I have been searching for Epicure Market recipes – do have; can you share with me? I am specifically looking for stuffed cabbage, veal sauce, lobster bisque, matzo balls, whitefish salad, tuna salad, egg salad, chicken burgers, and any others you might have!

  2. Libby Cartwright

    Did I miss something? At what point does the apple go in?

Leave a Reply to Libby Cartwright Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: