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Apple Fig Chutney
2 1/2 c Dried figs
1 c Raisins
2 c Hot apple cider
1 lg Apple or pear cored and finely chopped
2 tb Lemon juice
6 Allspice berries
6 Blades of mace or 1/4 ts Grated nutmeg
1 Cinnamon stick
1/2 ts Grated lemon zest
1 c Brown sugar
1 c Cider vinegar
2 tb Candied ginger finely chopped
1 Garlic clove(s), minced
1 tb Chili powder
Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper
Plump the figs and raisins in the cider for 15 minutes. Toss the apple with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Tie the cloves, allspice berries, mace, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest in a square of cheesecloth or aluminum foil perforated with a fork.
Combine the fig, raisins, apple, spice bag, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper, and cayenne in a large nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue simmering for another 30 minutes, or until thick and richly flavored. If the chutney becomes too dry, add a little more cider.
Correct the seasoning, adding brown sugar, vinegar, or cayenne to taste. The chutney should be highly seasoned. Transfer the chutney to sterile canning jars. Invert the jars for 10 minutes, then reinvert and let cool. The chutney will keep for several months, unopened, in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate once opened.
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