Dried Apricot, Red Pepper, and Thyme Chutney

Dried Apricot, Red Pepper, and Thyme Chutney

Show me the Chutney, Honey!

This delicious homemade dried apricot, red pepper and thyme chutney recipe gives you plenty of lunch, dinner and snacking options. This condiment easily works as a topping, stuffing, dip or spread and accompanies pork, lamb, and vegetables when you need your everyday staples to look (and taste) fancy without the fuss. 

So, whether it’s a weeknight or the weekend you’ll find this chutney to play well when you need that something that will keep even your picky eaters satisfied. That’s because this recipe combines and balances flavors that create a satisfying flavor that doesn’t heavily lean too sweet, spicy, or herbal. It’s for this reason that I call dried apricot, red pepper and thyme chutney my goldilock jam because this chutney is juuuuust right!  

Errr…What exactly is chutney? 

Not familiar with exactly what a chutney is? No worries neither was I  (grant it, I had seen the word on a few restaurant menus but I largely thought it was a chunky sauce). A chutney is simply a savory condiment made from fruits, vegetables and herbs that simmer in vinegar, sugar, and spices. Chutney is the perfect accompaniment to a main course, side dish and even desserts. The benefit of making your own chutney is that, when you do, you’ll get even more concentrated and flavoral goodness for a fraction of the markup you’ll pay for this store-bought boutique. 

Ok, so in terms of composition, that’s what a chutney is. Now let’s give a nod to its rich culinary lineage. I always find tracing the inspiration behind particular ingredients and cooking methods to be a way of honoring, appreciating and celebrating the diversity and similarity of culture and human-kind all in one. 

Chutney recipes have been around for thousands of years! 

That being said, this ain’t a history blog, so I acknowledge that I’m giving you the cliff notes version. Come to find out, chutney dates back to 500 BC India. The definition of the word, chutney means “to lick” or “to eat with appetite”(LINK). Love it. Both of these phrases resonate with how food should be made and what you should do. Originally, chutneys were a way to use an excess of ripened fruit. When the English became aware of chutney they quickly adopted their usage in meal prep but added vinegar to give it a longer shelf life so that autumn harvested fruit could be preserved and used throughout the year. 

Favorite uses for Dried Apricot, Red Bell Pepper and Thyme Chutney 

There are so many ways to use dried apricot, red bell pepper and thyme chutney. Watch this video where I unashamedly  entice you about how versatile this chutney is:

But, here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Hummus Topping: Roasted Garlic Hummus is bueno on its own, but sometimes even your favorites need a switch up. Try adding a dollop of this chutney to your favorite hummus. It’ll not only give it a visually satisfying upgrade for your next get together, but oh my, the flavor addition paired with crackers and spreadable cheese? YES, please! 
  • Salmon Topping: A serving of salmon is about 200 calories, very low in saturated fat and a good source of protein. But sometimes you need to know what to do with it. Voila-dried apricot, red bell pepper and thyme chutney to the rescue cuz’ that’s exactly what this spread does. Bake your salmon, spread the chutney on top…and your lunch or dinner is both done and delicious! 
  • Chicken Envy: Do you sometimes find yourself in a “how am I going to prepare this chicken tonight?”rut. Yup. Me too. But the problem is solved when you have jars of  this chutney around. Try taking several spoonfuls of this rolled into a breast or thighs with spinach and cheese. Wowzers!  
  • Grilled Meats: The apricot, pepper, onion combo naturally make this chutney best buds with beef, pork and turkey. It’s such a relief to have a go to spread that works so effortlessly. 

Is this recipe approved as safe?

YES! That’s because I only share tested home canning recipes inspired from reputable sources. This recipe is adapted from The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Top and Margret Howard. I take safe canning practices very seriously, so this (and any) recipe that appears on my blog or YouTube channel will:

  1. Use only recipe methods that follow safe and science-based guidelines published by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Center for Home Food Preservation, and Jarden companies like Ball and Bernardin
  2. Source all information so that you can follow it back to the canning authorities where the recipe originated. I know this makes nearly every other word in my blog post look like a lit-up Christmas tree, but I want you to be a confident, informed canner too, so I’m very transparent about any modifications I include.

My goal with publicly sharing canning recipes is to inspire you to create your own healthier, better-tasting, and usually cheaper convenience foods. And, to show how canning food in the modern world still makes sense! Above all, I want you to be both safe and successful in your canning efforts. For this reason, I’ll always link to the approved NCHFP canning recipes and encourage you to make a small investment in purchasing the most updated preservation books and equipment I use in my own kitchen.

Recipe Notes: 

  • Chutneys are easy, but they aren’t quick. They really, really like (ok must have) a low and slow cook time so give yourself up to 35-40 minutes of simmer time for this recipe. 
  • You can use frozen onion, red peppers and fresh apricots for this recipe. 
  • You can totally substitute the apricots for peaches! 
  • If you’re using fresh herbs, consider placing them in a sachet to avoid leaving behind woody stems. 

Dried Apricot, Red Pepper & Thyme Chutney | Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cups diced dried apricots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups diced apple (with or without peel)
  • 1 cup brown sugar or honey
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp chopped candied ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 6-10 springs of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tbsp dried (to taste) 

Instructions 

  1. Dice the red pepper, dried apricot, onion, apple. Measure out the golden raisins,  and vinegar. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan. 
  2. Allow ingredients to come to a full boil over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for 20-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Now it’s time to add your spices and herbs. Add the cinnamon, paprika, salt and cayenne. Continue to simmer uncovered for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, and adding more water if needed. 
  4. After the spices are added, return the saucepan to a boil for 2 minutes. Once a boiling is reached, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for another 15-25 minutes on low or until all of the ingredients are tender and the chutney is moderately thick. Continue to stir frequently. 
  5. Ladle the chutney into jars leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Process half-pint jars for 10 minutes. This recipe makes about 4 cups. 

Let’s move onto canning!  But, you don’t  have to water bathe this because it will last 3 months in your fridge (whether it’ll be around that long is another thing)

How do I sterilize my jars? 

Sterilizing your jars is a quick and easy process that destroys the enemies of preservation — bacteria, yeast and fungi so that your food stays fresh and shelf stable for 12 months (or more). It’s not hard to do at all. Below, I’ve shared several options, pick your preference: 

  1. Run the jars through a ‘quick clean’ or ‘sterilization’ cycle in your dishwasher. 
  2. Place the jars in a large pot (12 quart) of water on top of a steaming rack (so they don’t touch the bottom of the pan), and bring the water to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove hot jars right before use. 
  3. Or hand wash and rinse the jars, dry them, and place them (without lids or rings) in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes.

You’ve got this! 

Filling  your Jars

  1. Sanitize (directions above)  your jars and place them on a dishtowel. 
  2. Grab your funnel and ladle  that spicy onion jam goodness into the jars, leaving a ¼ inch of headspace. 
  3. Remove any air bubbles by running a long plastic or wooden skewer between the jar and the jam. 
  4. Wipe the rims of the jars with vinegar to remove any spillage (which can prevent your jars from creating a seal). 
  5. Secure the rings to the top of your jar until they are “fingertip tight”–secured but air still has room to pass through. 

Processing your jam on the stove

  • Using a jar rack or plate, lower the jars into the boiling water of your water bath canner. 
  1. Pour in more water to ensure that the water covers at least an inch above your jars.
  2. Place the lid on your pot. 
  3. Bring water to a full  boil  for 10 minutes, then use a jar lifting to remove the jars out of the water and let them cool on a towel undisturbed for a minimum of 8 hours. (note: do not tighten the caps or you’ll risk breaking the seal). 

When are the jars ready?

 As your jars cool, you’ll hear the jars making clicking pops.  Leave the jars undisturbed on a towel for a minimum of 12-24 hours. After that, you can confirm the jars have sealed by removing the rings. A sealed jar lid will remain secured to the jar without the rim and be slightly indented in the center. Use your index finger to moderately tap on the jar in a few places, it should not pop back when pressed. The majority of your jars will seal within a few hours of cooling down. If you have any jars that didn’t seal properly, just store them in the fridge and use them within 3 months. 

When does this jam expire? 

Your canned jam will be shelf stable and keep (unopened) for up to one year. If you’re not canning this, freeze for up to 3 months. 

Craving more onion recipes? Don’t miss out on my Sweet  & Spicy Onion Jam, which will surely become another one of your favorites! 



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