Apple Habañero Chutney

Don’t hurt me.  But I don’t like Halloween.

I wore the same witch costume for a good seven years.  There was a kid in high school that made a Megazord costume out of cardboard with speakers built in.  Willy Wonka had dozens of Oompa Loompas running around campus.  Thing 1 and Thing 2.  I think the most elaborate costume I ever made was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.  So much red glitter.  Glitter in my ears for months.

In college, Halloween was stupid (stupid!) because the sorority hussies slutified Strawberry Shortcake, Alice, nurses, traffic cones, piles of poop.  And there was no point in trick-or-treating because I had turned 18 and that’s usually when the fun stops,  right?

Maybe it’s because I never had a candied apple back in Hawai’i.  I’ve never even bobbed for an apple.  But with the influx of Granny Smiths, Macouns, Pink Ladies, and Whateveritis because of that apple picking triple date a few weeks ago, I made me some chutney.

Some spicy, chunky, spreadable, awesome chutney.

Chutney is better than jam.  Yeah, I said it.

My roommate once yelled at me for trying to pull off Marilyn Monroe.  She said that I have to pick costumes that match my ethnicity.  So I was Pocahontas the next year.

 Oh.  About the apples.  I used any and all kinds.  People say to stick with the sour ones for cooking, but for a chutney I vote that anything goes.

Habañero chutney.  Yeah.  Watch out.

This is fantastic.  All I had to do was throw everything into a pot.  Witch’s brew.

Apple Habañero Chutney.

1lb apples (about 6 medium-sized), peeled, cored, and chopped
1 diced onion
1 diced habañero (or jalapeño)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Throw all ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil, reducing the heat to simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, until the apples are fully reduced and the liquid is thick.

Makes about 5 cups of chutney.


Zesty Apple Cinnamon Scones

For some reason I thought plaid shorts, a checkered cardigan, and a floral shirt would be publicly acceptable.  Aside from the mirror in my bathroom, the only way to inspect my fashion choices is to glance, mildly shocked, at my reflection in the window of the pizza shop down the street.

I think I made it work.

While getting situated in a new apartment, I’ve been slowly accumulating what used to be so readily available either with my parents or former roommates.  Like a mirror.  And a steam basket.  Mattress.  Honestly, shouldn’t apartments come with can openers?

Luckily, my landlord left a grater so I could zest an orange and peel an apple.  And put them in a scone.  If apples, cinnamon, and oranges can work in mulled wine and sangria, then they can certainly work in a scone.

My clothes matched today.  And these scones turned out nice, too.

Hello, mister piggy jar.  He and his piggy friends are the masters and commanders of my kitchen.  And yes, that’s orange zest mulled with sugar.  Orange sugar.

Zesty Apple Cinnamon Scones.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 granny smith apples, skinned, cored, and chopped
1 orange, zested
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

With the back end of a spoon, crush the sugar with the orange zest until fully combined.  Separate two tablespoons of the orange sugar for the scone dough, while saving the rest for the topping.  Add the cinnamon to the leftover orange sugar and mull a little more.  Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the cubed butter, using a bench knife to cut into smaller pieces.  If you have a food processor, just give the flour and butter a couple bursts or until the butter is peppercorn-sized.  DO NOT over mix.  You want it to be dry and coarse.

Add the two tablespoons of orange sugar, honey, yogurt, and buttermilk to the dry ingredients, and mix until it forms a nice ball.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and pat down to form a rounded disk about 2″ thick.  Sprinkle around the remaining orange/sugar/cinnamon topping.  Cut out scone triangles and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Makes 6 scones.