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Tomato, Apple and Onion Chutney

This is a great way to use up end of season tomatoes and windfall apples. I don’t stick rigidly to the weight of the fruit so long as it’s roughly in these proportions overall with the amounts of sugar and vinegar.

If you don’t have apples you can add anything – more tomatoes, courgette, peppers, cucumber… this is a really versatile recipe 😊

On occasion I have added chopped nuts – interesting texture – or as a seasonal variation for Christmas, I’ve added whiskey – but add this at the end of cooking.

For those using an AGA or similar, I would make this in the baking oven and allow extra time for the mixture to thicken. On the plus side, you won’t need to stir it so frequently.

Ingredients (metric and imperial)

  • 1Kg / 2lb tomatoes (can be any colour), roughly chopped
  • 500g / 1lb apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 500g / 1lb onions, roughly diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 15 ml salt / 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 25g / 1oz root ginger, grated
  • 1 chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 225g / 8oz sultanas
  • 500g / 1lb sugar – brown or white
  • 600ml / 1 pint vinegar

Put tomatoes, apples and onions into a large pan with garlic, sultanas and salt. Tie the spice, ginger and chilli in a muslin bag and place in the pan – in this way the spices can infuse the chutney but be removed later. My preference is to add these spices to the chutney and leave them there. In 40 years of making this recipe, no one has ever complained!

Add about half the vinegar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer for about an hour, stirring regularly until the fruit is soft and pulpy and the mixture thickened.

Add the sugar and the rest of the vinegar and continue to simmer for about a further one to two hours, continuing to stir frequently, until the chutney has thickened. By now it should be a lovely, rich dark colour.

Remove the muslin bag, if you used it. Use a pouring spoon or jug to fill the warm jars (see below) with the chutney making sure you fill to the brim to eliminate any air, cover with a waxed disc, waxed side to the chutney, add the lid or airtight cover.  Allow to cool, tighten the lids, clean any residue from the outside of the jars and label them.

Store in a cool place; the chutney improves with age and will keep for some years. It makes a great gift for those who enjoy their cheese and biscuits. (One of my children has been known to get through a whole jar in one sitting!)

Jars. I recycle my jars and their lids. The lids do tend to deteriorate over time but you can buy new lids or else use jam pot covers. I do buy waxed circles.

This recipe makes around 6lb/3Kg chutney. I prepare more jars than I think I need. After washing and rinsing the jars and lids, I then put them on a tray on the oven on a low heat to dry them thoroughly and warm them.

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