THE YANKEE CHEF: Versatile chutney makes good use of leftover dried fruit

Ginger adds zing to this Indian Apple Fruit Chutney.
Ginger adds zing to this Indian Apple Fruit Chutney. PHOTO BY JIM BAILEY

Yes, I had some dried fruit left over (and as a gift) from Christmas. Usually I do something in the cake or pie department but I thought I would mix it up a bit and prepare a recipe that had some bite to it .. .and this did! Chutney is a delicious coating for pork loin or chicken while baking, slathered on a ham and cheese sandwich or simply putting a dollop on top of a mound of soft, whipped cream cheese and a side of dipping condiments.

Indian Apple Fruit Chutney

INGREDIENTS

1 cup chopped, assorted, dried fruit (including raisins)

1 cup ginger ale

½ teaspoon dried ginger

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1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 apples

¼ cup apple cider or white vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Place dried fruit, ginger ale, ginger, garlic and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer about 10-15 minutes, or until all fruit is softened, stirring a few times. You may notice that the mango and pineapple (if included in the dried fruit mixture) is still more solid then the rest of the fruit. Continue cooking if desired.

Meanwhile, peel, halve and dice apples. Add to fruit mixture, stirring to combine well and continue simmering and stirring until apples are crisp tender, another 4-6 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and salt and black pepper. The chutney will be watery but will thicken once cooled completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

Makes about 1½ cups.

The Yankee Chef Jim Bailey is a third-generation chef, food columnist, cookbook author and food historian. Bailey lives in Maine with his wife and four children.