I’ve evolved this recipe from a combination of several and it makes use of three things I always have plenty of this time of year. There are always unripe tomatoes at the end of the summer, I have a Bramley apple tree in the garden and my precautions against allium leaf miner mean I have a good pile of onions drying underneath my hawthorn tree.
Chutney is pretty easy to make, it just requires some patience. You can adjust the quantities of fruit and veg, but keep the overall proportions of fruit/veg to sugar and vinegar the same. Last year, I made a red tomato version with less apple and extra spice and gave it away as Christmas presents. It proved very popular, one particular jar didn’t even make it as far as New Year before it was polished off. How small you chop everything is up to you and how chunky you like your chutney.
You need a wide heavy pan, but do not use cast iron as it will react with the vinegar. Cast iron pans that are enamelled such as Le Crueset are fine - that’s what I’ve used in the picture. I also have some lovely old enamel saucepans that belonged to Mr Greedy Gardener’s grandfather that are lovely to use.
This recipe uses whole spices - I add them as they are to the mix and leave them in - just make sure you fish them out before you bite into your sandwich. If you prefer, you can wrap the peppercorns, allspice and ginger in a muslin bag and take it out before it’s bottled.
I made this yesterday and it made four and a bit large 500ml preserving jars.
Green Tomato and Apple Chutney
- 2lb/1 kilo green tomatoes, chopped
- 2lb/1 kilo cooking apples, peeled and chopped
- 12oz/375g onions, peeled and chopped
- 8oz/500g sultanas
- 12oz/375g Demerara sugar
- 1 1/2 pints/800ml cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 2 thumb size pieces of fresh ginger, sliced
Put everything into the pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until reduced in volume by about a third and has thickened. Keep stirring regularly so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. As it gets thicker, it will splutter and spit so be careful.
While it’s cooking, sterilise your jars. If you have a dishwasher, put them on a hot wash wash and let them dry naturally, don’t use a cloth, making sure they’re still warm when it’s time to fill them. If you don’t have a dishwasher, wash them thoroughly and and put them in a low oven for ten minutes to warm up. Don’t stand the jars on a cold ceramic or metal work surface or they will crack when you add the hot chutney.
When the chutney is ready, spoon it carefully into the jars and cover straight away. It’s ready to eat as soon as it’s cool but improves if it’s kept for a month or two before you tuck in.