Today’s post is by a very good friend of mine, Esther Jubb. Every year, without fail, we always get a jar of Chutney which goes rather excellently with my annual, what we like to call, Hamfest. I had fortuitously discovered that she was planning a day a Chutney making (which I thought there would be a very slim chance of happening after a very heavy night of merrimaking for us both). Anyway, seemingly, I had her lions share of the hangover as the how to and images arrived via email the very next afternoon. I’ll now hand you over…


Autumn is a time of food gluts! Green tomatoes that won’t ripen, apples, plums, pumpkins. When I have too much of something…I turn it in to chutney. For me chutney is related to christmas, I give it away as gifts to friends and family, I look forward to eating it with every meal apart from breakfast over the festive season….making chutney is as much of my autumn routine as the last cut of the lawn and planting winter flowering pansies. And the best thing about chutney is that it is easy…but not quick.The recipe. are plenty of recipes, but they’re all based on proportions of fruit to sugar and vinegar. I have made the above recipe without making any changes a couple of times, so I am happy that the proportions are right so now I can start to personalise it.

1. The ingredients. I have replaced about 1/3 of the apples in the recipe for plums, I’m also adding chilli flakes to my chutney to give it a bit of warmth. I know I don’t have enough dried dates, so I am making up the weight with dried apricots and raisins if necessary. I also prefer cider vinegar to malt vinegar, it has a slightly lighter flavour.


I use a food processor for slicing the onions and the apples to save time, but you can do it all by hand if you want. Depending on how chunky you want your chutney determines how small to dice the fruit.

2. Use a large saucepan or stock pot. One with a heavy base is good so the heat is well distributed.


3. About half an hour into the cooking process.


4. About an hour and a half into the cooking process.


Depending on the fruit you use and how high you have simmered the chutney it can take upto 2 hours to get to the right consistency. Sticky, and all the fruit should be very soft. Leave it to cool for a little while before you put it in the jars, but it should still be warm when you put it in the jars. Speaking of jars…I use whatever types of jars I have. Old pasta sauce jars, jam jars, jars I buy specifically for the chutney. So long as they have a good tight seal on them and are glass. I sterilise them by putting them in a medium oven for about 10 mins and leave to cool a little before filling.

5. Final completed chutney. I used twice the volume of the recipe to make this much chutney.




So, there you have it! A simple recipe to dip your toes into the world of Chutney making. Get cracking though as you have to store them for a few weeks for them to taste their best at Christmas time. Thanks Esther, what’s next 😉 ?

Think big and reach for the stars,