Spring is finally here, announcing the time for flowers, picnics, and apple chutney bruschetta! I’ve been longing for naps in the sun on a blanket enjoying fruits, cheese, along with toasted bread while sipping rose. Come on, I know you have been too!
A not too sweet apple chutney mixed with crimson raisins, red onion, ginger, flavored with pink peppercorns and honey. Then spooned atop a smear of mascarpone cheese on a toasted baguette is pure bliss. A simple recipe to pack with you for a lovely spring afternoon picnic.
Bruschetta is usually made with savory basil and tomatoes, but this apple, raisin, and onion version is beyond addicting. To create this recipe I partnered with Starr Ranch Growers to showcase their delicious JUICI apple.
JUICI apples are a vibrant red apple variety with a softer skin that maintains a great crunch. Similar to the honey crisp variety, it has a long shelf life and doubles nicely as a snack or cooking apple.
Based in Washington, Starr Ranch Growers, is a group of multi-generational farming families who raise premium, wholesome conventional and organic fruit. As the exclusive grower for this modern apple variety, I am elated to have the opportunity to test them in a multitude of culinary delights.
What is Chutney?
Chutney is a type of condiment, somewhat in the jam or relish family with sweet and savory elements. Fruit, vegetables, herbs, sugar and spices all mixed together to create a balanced tastebud experience. Sugar is used to preserve the spicy, sweet, and sour ingredients.
The main difference between jam and chutney is that chutney incorporates savory with different textures. My apple chutney is also made up of onions, ginger, pink peppercorns, thyme, raisins, apple cider vinegar, and honey!
Ingredients You’ll Need
The preferred bread vessel for bruschetta is a sliced french baguette. I have a Homemade French Baguette Recipe that works perfect for this, or you can purchase some from your local bakery. One large baguette is plenty, but if you want to make extra chutney, grab more bread.
Slice your baked baguette into ½ inch pieces on the diagonal using a bread knife. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toast in the oven until lightly golden. A crunchier texture is need to support the weight of the cheese and chutney topping.
I will also mention that using sourdough bread and making a chutney toast is pretty darn tasty too!
Soft Cheese aka Mascarpone
Since I really want to highlight the flavors of my chutney, I went for a milder soft spreadable cheese. Mascarpone is my go to, because of its lightly sweet, milky, buttery texture. But, feel free to go crazy and use goat cheese too.
JUICI apples don’t need to be peeled for any recipe in my opinion. The skin is delicious and soft enough that it breaks down while cooking, but retains its bright red color.
A softly sweet and delightfully tart flavor profile with a wonderful crunchy texture makes these apples perfect for bruschetta. They don’t over power the onions, creating a delicious layered chutney.
Crimson and golden raisins combine to add a little sweetness and a chewy texture to our chutney. Choose whichever raisins you like, but I’m partial to the color and flavor of these beauties.
Red Onion and Shallots
The sweetness of the red onion pairs nicely with the delicate sharpness of the shallots. I chose these softer onions to compliment and not over power the apple flavor.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar pairs with sugar in two ways for a chutney recipe. First to create the signature sharp-sweet flavor and second to act as a preservative.
Apple cider vinegar marries with the fresh apple chunks perfectly. It will also reduce some while cooking on the stovetop to create a thicker consistency overall.
Sugar and Honey
Sugar helps thicken, preserve, and sweeten the chutney. Don’t worry, it won’t be too sweet. I added orange blossom honey for extra floral flavor.
If you aren’t adding pink peppercorn to your recipes, time to start! Still offering a peppery bite to the chutney, it also adds some fruitiness. A little more reminiscent to the flavor of chillies, they arent very spicy but somewhat mildly sweet. Plus they add a great punch of pink color.
Just a little earthiness with some chopped lemon thyme. A little bit sweet and a little but sour, just how we like it.
Love adding garlic to the onions while cooking for more flavor depth. See, I told you it wasn’t a super sweet dish.
Fresh Lemon Juice and Ginger
Tart lemon juice smacks down the sweetness in this chutney for the perfect tongue tickler. Mixing in some fresh ground ginger for that spicy element and now all we need is our appetite!
How to Make Apple Chutney
- Start by preparing all your ingredients first. Have them chopped, diced, measured and standing by to be used.
- First, cook down the red onions and shallots in a little olive oil. Use a large skillet, so there’s room to add the remaining ingredients.
- Add the ginger, garlic, apple cider vinegar, sugar, honey, salt, pink peppercorns, and thyme. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and gently mix together.
- Add in your raisins and lemon juice. Simmer for about 10 minutes to let the vinegar reduce, liquids to thicken, and raisins to soften.
- Finally add in those precious apple chunks and let them cook down for another 5-6 minutes.
- The JUICI apples don’t need a lot of time to slightly soften. So, make sure you don’t over cook them. I prefer a little crunch intact.
- Remove the mixture from the heat, and allow to cool completely. It will thicken some as it cools.
Make the Apple Bruschetta
- Now that the apple chutney has been made and is cooling, it’s bruschetta time.
- Take the toasted french baguette slices and lay them out on a serving board.
- Smear a little whipped mascarpone layer across each slice.
- Spoon your chutney on top of the cheese.
- Sprinkle with edible flowers to serve. I used little daisies.
- Enjoy with friends with chilled glasses of rose wine.
How to Store Chutney
Not that I think you’ll have any leftovers. But, in case you do..just refrigerate the cooled chutney in an air tight container.
More Apple Recipes:
- Apple French Toast
- Mini Puff Pastry Apple Tarts
- Apple Cranberry Stuffing
- Homemade Apple Butter
- Apple Hand Pies
This Recipe is Sponsored by Starr Ranch Growers and JUICI Apples. All thoughts and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make Two Cups Flour possible.
Apple Chutney Bruschetta
Apple Chutney Bruschetta
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 2 shallots chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup orange blossom honey
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1.5 teaspoons pink peppercorns ground
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme minced
- 1 cup crimson raisins
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 large JUICI apples stem and core removed, cut into small chunks
- 1 large french baguette
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
Make Apple Chutney
- Place chopped red onion, shallots, garlic and olive oil in a large skillet. Cook on medium heat until onions have become translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the grated ginger and minced garlic, letting cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Next, pour in the apple cider vinegar and honey. Stir gently to mix and coat the onions.
- Stir in the granulated sugar, raisins, thyme, sea salt and pink peppercorn. Continue to cook on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. The liquid should begin to reduce and thicken.
- Add the lemon juice and chopped apples. Carefully stir to distribute the apple chunks evenly. Cook an additional 5-6 minutes until the apples have slightly softened.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. You can either serve your chutney warm on a prepared baguette slice or let cool completely and chill.
- Toasting your baguette is optional. If you like a crunchy bread, toast lightly, if you want to skip this entirely and just top somewhat softer bread, that works too!
- Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice a french baguette into ¾-1 inch slices. Brush both sides lightly with olive oil.
- Arrange slices on baking pan, place on middle oven rack and toast until lightly golden brown. I usually do 3-5 minutes, slightly crispy but not super crunchy.
- Place bread on a cooling rack. Warm bread or cooled bread works fine from here.
- Smear mascarpone cheese onto lightly toasted warm baguettes slices. Then spoon apple chutney on top of cheese. Enjoy!