Fresh Date and Apple Chutney

This chutney goes particularly well with Camembert Croquettes. However, it would also partner the Christmas cold cuts and buffet food extremely well, especially ham, pork pies and gammon.

Serves 6 as a starter

Fresh Date and Apple Chutney
 3 oz (75 g) fresh stoned dates (or dried if not available)
 2 small Granny Smith apples
 1/3 teaspoon allspice berries
 2 whole cloves
 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
 2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
 pinch cayenne pepper


This chutney is best made a couple of hours in advance. First, using a pestle and mortar, crush the spices to a fine powder. Quarter and core the apples, but leave the peel on, then cut each quarter into 8. Place the apples, dates and all the rest of the ingredients in a food processor, give it all a good whiz to start, then use the pulse action to chop everything evenly. Then transfer the whole lot into a serving bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill before serving.

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