Frugal living #2 – Preserving : Chutney

OK I know.. it is early January, and the time for making chutney is September and October. But I thought it might be better to get this all down in writing for next year before I completely forget how I made them.

I made three chutneys this year.

My version of Delia’s Doverhouse chutney from my very old copy of Complete Cookery Course, all plums and apples, lovely and sweet and perfect with cold ham and slightly fatty meats like cold roast pork.

Tomato and Apple Chutney, spicy and hot, really really good with cheese

And Apple and Onion Chutney. But I forgot to write that down, so I can’t remember what I put in it. It’s nice, but not as nice as the other two, so it doesn’t matter. I’ll play about with other recipes next year.

Here is the original unsullied Doverhouse Chutney recipe

(taken from Complete Cookery Course – Delia Smith)

1 ½ lb (700g) Victoria Plums
1 ½ lb (700g) Cooking Apples – weigh after peeling
8 oz (225g) green or red tomatoes
8 oz (225g) onions
1 lb (450g) stoned raisins
1 ½ lb (700g) Demerara sugar
4 oz (110g) preserved ginger in syrup
¼ oz ( 5 g ) garlic – finely chopped
¼ oz ( 5 g ) whole chillies
1 ½ tbsp cooking salt
1 pint malt vinegar


Pick over plums, wash, cut in half remove stones, cut halves in two or three if very large.
Roughly chop tomatoes, not too small.

Place both into preserving pan.

Chop or coarsely mince, onions, apples, raisins, and preserved ginger and add these to pan, together with chopped garlic, vinegar, salt and sugar.

Tie chillies in bag, and add to mix

Cook chutney very slowly 1 – 1 ½ hours, or until liquid has evaporated. May need stirring during cooking

And here is my version – give or take. I remember what I did, but not the exact quantities. Oh dear. I really must learn to cook and write at the same time this is what I reckon it probably was…

roughly 2kg mixed apples, plums, green toms and onions. Chopped quite finely in food processor.

Heaped tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (I used Very Lazy ginger as I had some in the fridge)
2 cloves of chopped garlic (again I had Very Lazy garlic in the fridge so used 1 tsp of that)
Teaspoon chopped chili (my salted preserved ones work well (method to follow shortly))
1.5 tbs salt
1/2 pint malt vinegar

throw all in a pan. Gently cook until all the veg are nice and soft.

another half pint vinegar
700g brown sugar

Add and cook gently until the sugar is dissolved. Then raise the heat slightly (to ploppy simmer) and continue to cook until the vinegar has evaporated.

( The channel test !!

A chutney is ready when the vinegar has reduced sufficiently. The way to tell is to make a channel with a wooden spoon right across the surface of the chutney. If the spoon leaves a channel imprinted for a few seconds – without it being filled with vinegar – the chutney is done!)

Fill into hot jars with hot vinegar proof lids. Mature for at least 2 months before eating.

When I made the Tomato and Apple Chutney I wanted something with a nice bite, quite spicy and a bit hot. I sort of merged up various recipes and then added whatever spices were in the cupboard. I was careful, and wrote it all down as I did it. Which was unusual but most helpful…

Tomato and Apple Chutney

400g Green Toms, sliced
400g cooking apples, peeled and chopped
150g onions peeled and chopped ( I threw these and the apples in the food processor)
2 cloves garlic (or 1tsp Very Lazy garlic)
1 tbs fresh ginger finely chopped (or Very Lazy ginger)
1tsp mixed spice
1tsp coriander
1tsp chopped chili
500g sugar
500ml vinegar

The method is the same as for the Doverhouse – I like to cook the fruit & veg first with the spices and half the vinegar and then add in the sugar and the last of the vinegar to finish off. Seems to make for a more evenly cooked chutney.

This is my very favourite, and I am so glad I wrote it all down. This will most definitely be on my autumn preserves list for next year.