Friday, September 13, 2019

Apple Fig Chutney

Apple Fig Chutney

Use your seasonal fruits in tasty ways! Made of apples and fresh figs with savory spices, apple fig chutney is a tangy condiment that is easy to cook on the stove and can be water bath processed for shelf stability.

image of 3 jars of apple fig chutney on burlap cloth

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I like to combine produce that ripens at the same time. Tomatoes and basil, for one example. Corn and zucchini, for another. Apples and figs are an area I'm slowly exploring. Last year I shared my Fresh Fig and Apple Salad. Today I've updated an old post with new video, an easier to read recipe card, and the same terrific recipe.

This recipe is based off of Marisa McClellan's Apple Pear Chutney recipe in her book Food in Jars, shown below. I changed it up a bit since I had fresh figs on offer. How did I get the fresh figs, you ask? Read on for my earlier thoughts on foraging fruit!

Foraging Fruit

When I first read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (Amazon affiliate link) we lived near a wooded park.  My daughter and I spent the summer picking wild raspberries, blackberries, and lots of marionberries.  I'd walk past a flowering quince (I looked it up because I was curious what sort of low flowering bush would produce small, pear-shaped fruit) but I never picked the fruit.

As much as I enjoyed the foraging part--brambles aside--the quality of the prolific marionberries was less than desirable.  They grew all over the woods because they were mostly seed, and the critters who ate that slightly fruit-wrapped seed carried it into ever-expanding territory.

The following season I decreased the foraging part of our diet and turned to local Pick Your Own places, where the berries are grown for flavor.  We'd gorge while the berries were ripe, and freeze the rest to get us through until the next berry season.

image of a saucepan with ingredients to make Apple Fig Chutney as well as the inspiring cookbook, Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan, and a notepad with recipe notes

After we moved to Ohio and started walking the sidewalks of our new city I thought my foraging days were over. We bought a house and planted peach trees--and made these peaches and cream muffins, blueberry bushes, raspberry canes and a strawberry patch.
Then I saw the fig tree. In an alley. Alone unemployed in Greenland between a garage and a utility pole. [I knew it was a fig tree because I'd enjoyed my first fresh figs from the massive tree at my last CSA in Virginia, Blenheim Organic Gardens.] All spring and summer I'd walk the dog down the alley, eyeing the progress of the figs.

image of a pot of cooked Apple Fig Chutney and the inspiring cookbook, Food In Jars by Marisa McClellan

Before the figs ripened, though, I walked in another direction and discovered plums. Falling next to the street. Ripe for the foraging. Perfect for Plum and Whey-soaked muffins. Then a friend from work invited my daughter and I to pick peaches from her heavily laden tree. [Yes, my girl was envious of that tree.]

All of a sudden the foraging opportunities seemed pretty darn interesting.

In another direction I spotted a lovely pear tree--in a backyard. I can't forage in someone's backyard! However, I'm not a fool, so when I happened to walk past one fall morning when the pear tree owner was outside picking up dropped fruit, I asked (over the commotion of our combined dogs' conversation) if he had any pears to spare. Bingo!  That nice guy filled up a bag for me!

I dropped off a fresh loaf of sourdough bread to his wife the next day to maintain the local fruit karma.

Apple fig chutney is a tangy condiment made from fresh apples, fresh figs, and savory spices. This cooks easily on the stove and can be water bath processed for shelf stability.

Now you know how I came in possession of the first figs I used in this recipe. I've since sourced them fresh from Trader Joes but remain on the lookout for fresh figs at the farmer's markets. Their window of opportunity is small and shouldn't be missed.

For more recipes using apples, please see my Apple Recipes Collection. For more recipes using figs, please see my Fig Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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We use this with Indian food, such as my Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry and my Ground Beef and Mustard Greens Curry, as well as on grilled cheese sandwiches like my Grilled Cheese with Cheddar, Havarti, and Apple Fig Chutney.

image of a blue Polish Pottery plate filled with Slow Cooker Green Tomato & Butternut Squash Curry over rice with Apple Fig Chutney and naan on the side


  1. Look at you throwing in a teaser at the end. I love how you forage for food, and I'd be willing to do a swap anytime. Quite frankly, I think the pear people made out great.

    1. Meghan,
      I wonder if there's a mechanism in place for swaps?

  2. I think we should all plan a massive food blogger food swap with homemade, home canned, foraged, local & seasonal food stuff.

    PS. I'm so glad you kept up the local food karma. Give back, sister. I do the same thing when I snag fruit or veggies from someone in the neighbourhood. Usually.

  3. If i leave out the sugar will it come out ok? Thanks! (Ps love the greenland quote. Im just gonna haveto find a new giant!)

    1. Kirsten,
      I am sorry for the delay in responding--I'm having issues with actual comments appearing initially as spam. I'm hoping to correct that soon.
      That's a good question, and one I've not thought about. Thanks for asking.
      I have not tried this recipe without sugar. I know that sugar is a preservative that helps to keep the environment of jams, jellies, and chutneys hostile to bacteria, so I would be hesitant to leave it out and water bath can the result. I'm sure a sugar-free batch would be ok in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but I don't know how it would taste.
      Good luck, and keep me posted!

  4. Hello sorry to be so dumb but i was wondering could you tell me is the recipe for 8 fresh figs 170grams each or is that the weight in total also the same goes for the apples is it 280 grams each or 280 grams in total - many thanks

    1. Sandra,
      There are no dumb questions! The weights listed are the total that my fruits weighed. I put 8 figs on the scale and they totaled 170 grams. The total weight for all of the chopped apple I used in the chutney was 280 grams. Ditto the dried fruits.
      Thanks for asking--and good luck!

  5. Appreciate this post. Will ttry it out.

  6. OMGoodness, I have just made your fig chutney and it is delicious. i didnt have any dates but added tamarind instead. nom nom nom

    1. AuntyPink,
      Tamarind sounds like an excellent substitution. Nom nom indeed!

  7. I was given a jar of Apple and Fig chutney. How can this be used in pasta or Indian meals?

    1. Hi!
      Lucky you for getting a gift of homemade food! My favorite way to use Apple Fig Chutney is to spoon a gob on my plate, along with rice and whatever entrees we're having, and kind of scoop it all together so I get a bit of sweet, a bit of savory, a bit of rice all in one bite.
      I've also spread this on a grilled cheese sandwich using sharp cheddar cheese--that was amazing.
      I've never tried this with pasta--but that sounds pretty yummy.