The Scandinavian love affair with spices often surprises visitors when they taste spiced herrings, cardamom buns or aromatic aquavit.
Truth be told there is nothing modern about this love of spice; spices came to the peninsula centuries ago via the spice trade routes from the East and have been wholeheartedly adopted into the region’s food culture and traditions. This apple chutney is a fine example of the extent to which spices are embraced in Scandinavian cooking.
Makes approx. 4 x 250g (9oz) jars
1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns 1 tsp coriander seeds
1⁄2 tsp fennel seeds
1⁄2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped (about 1kg (2lb 4oz) prepared weight)
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
300ml (1⁄2 pint) cider vinegar 300g (101⁄2oz) light brown sugar
- Begin by dry frying the peppercorns, coriander and fennel seeds and chilli flakes in a frying pan until lightly toasted and fragrant. Grind using a pestle and mortar to a rough powder.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, frying gently for 5 minutes until softened. Tip in the chopped apples and ground spices along with the cloves, cinnamon stick and star anise and cook for a further few minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the vinegar and sugar, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer until the apples have completely broken down, about 20–25 minutes. Stir every so often to prevent it sticking. Pour into warm, sterilised jars, then seal and leave to cool completely.
- Serve with cheese, charcuterie and crispbreads. Unopened, the chutney will keep in a cool dark place for up to a year. Once opened, store in the fridge and consume within 4 weeks.