Winter’s freeze has finally arrived, but not before harvesting the very last of the lingering green tomatoes at Children’s Workshop Garden at Campos. A predominately warm fall, the plants survived well into November until a light frost a week or so ago killed the vines. But a number of tomatoes remained unscathed on the vines, though the low sun made it near to impossible for them to turn red. Likely too bitter at this late date for a salsa or other fresh or savory cooked sauce, they are nonetheless ideal for a chutney.
Many chutneys call for apple cider vinegar, but given it’s the peak of fall apples, fresh apple cider from a local farmer adds a sweet layer to compensate for the tartness of the unusually late season yet highly underripe tomatoes. Chutney is one of the few times I break out the crystallized or candied ginger and between these zippy gingery nuggets and the orange zest, the chutney just tastes like the Holiday season and a great accent to roast turkey or other hearty meats.
Green Tomato and Apple Chutney
5 cups chopped green tomatoes
2 crisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 cup chopped shallots or red onion
1 to 2 dried hot peppers, crushed
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
¾ cup apple cider
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1 tablespoon yellow or brown mustard seeds
1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of one orange, chopped
1. Mix together all the ingredients in a large, non-reactive sauce pan.
2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1½ hours, or until thick and the consistency of preserves.
3. Once finished, ladle the chutney into sterile jars and process to seal. Store jars in a cool dark place. If not canning, store in refrigerator for a month or freeze for later use.