Apple and Caramelized Onion Chutney

My mom and stepdad arrive for Thanksgiving. I am at the kitchen table, running four Granny Smith apples through the apple peeler.

“I’m using that thing you bought me that I said I didn’t need but totally did.”

I wanted to make a contribution to Thanksgiving dinner but it needed to be something that could be done ahead. Trying to operate while Other Stuff was going on in the kitchen would be too difficult physically and mentally. I decided on chutney as it isn’t injured by waiting, and apple because we possess the automatic apple peeler above, which cuts prep time to a minimum and was acquired for us by my mom despite my mild objection that How often do I need to peel a bunch of apples? Mom was right: More often if it’s easy.

Chutneys are my kind of kitchen task – I deeply enjoy the multifactorial balancing of sweet, tart, rich, and spicy on which their success relies. They’re little kitchen jewels with their strong flavors, perfect as embellishment.

Chimp and Mom helped me with this. Chimp caramelized the onions for me. Mom kept an eye on it while it simmered.

Apple and Caramelized Onion Chutney

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A sweet and aromatic accompaniment to curries, cheeses, flatbreads or anything that needs a little fillip to glorify it.

Credit: She Spills the Beans


155 g (about one medium) finely chopped yellow onion
Oil for the pan
800 g (about four) Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
8 g sweet curry powder (1 T)
100 g dark brown sugar (1/2 c)
40 g water (about 3 t)
20 g honey (1 T)
28 g butter (2 T)
3 g table salt (1/2 t)
5 g grated fresh ginger (about 1 t)
3 g lemon extract (3/4 t) or the zest of half a lemon
3 g (about 1 t) cider vinegar (more if you prefer a very tart chutney)


  1. Slowly sauté the onion until deep brown and sweet; this may take up to an hour.
  2. Push the onion aside and add a little more oil to the pan. Drop the curry powder into the oil and allow to bloom a few moments, stirring, until saturated with oil and fragrant.
  3. Drop the apples on top of the curry powder and stir in to bring the blooming to a halt. Add the brown sugar, water, honey, butter, and salt. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and allow to simmer very slowly for about an hour until the apples are tender and the liquid is reduced to a thick syrup.
  4. Stir in the grated fresh ginger, lemon extract, and cider vinegar. Remove from the heat.