This recipe is ideal for the novice chutney maker, as having prepared the apples and onion, you simply throw everything into one big pot and let it bubble away. It also calls for few non-storecupboard ingredients, so it’s perfect for those times when you come in from the garden and suddenly have the urge to create something using the produce you’ve harvested.
One word of warning: be careful when stirring the hot chutney – it may be just trembling on the surface, but it can erupt like a volcano when you dig deeper. I find turning the heat off briefly helps... and wear an apron!
- Put all the ingredients into a very large pan (or divide between two slightly smaller ones).
- Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 2½ hours, or until the mixture thickens and starts to become sticky. As the mixture cooks, the liquid will rise to the surface, with the chutney thickening at the bottom of the pan.
- Continue to stir every so often until the liquid has reduced to the point that it feels and looks less like a sauce and has formed the consistency of a chutney, then ladle or pour it from a jug into warm sterilised jars and seal.
The chutney can be eaten as soon as it is cool, unlike others, which need to be left to mature. Just ensure that your first taste of it is with some fresh white bread and really strong Cheddar. The combination is wonderful!
Variation: Feisty Windfall Chutney
Add 3 large chillis, deseeded and chopped, to the pot and mix well with the rest of the ingredients/Follow the recipe above.
Jam, Jelly & Relish by Ghillie James is published by Kyle Cathie Ltd, priced £16.99. Photography: Laura Hynd.