A Cook's Plot

Preserves & Condiments

Apple and onion chutney

Fabulous on a cheeseboard, or in a sandwich

I’ve had a huge crop of Grenadier cooking apples in my garden this year, and chutney has proved to be a great way to use some of them. The trick with chutney is to hit the perfect balance between sweet and sour and I’ve tried all sorts of different flavour combinations to try and get it just right. With this recipe, I think I’ve cracked it!

The chutney is beautifully versatile - it’s great with cheese on toast or in a sandwich, but tastes special enough to serve on a cheeseboard when friends come to dinner.

I called round to see my friend Sophie across the other side of the village today - I gave her a jar of the chutney last week and was pleased to see that it was nearly empty. She and her family really like it, apparently! There was just enough left for us both to have some crackers, Cheddar and chutney for lunch - and the addition of a slice of cucumber was an unexpectedly successful (see photo below)! Thank you, Sophie.

The spices I’ve chosen for this recipe make all the difference to its flavour - change just one of them, and it would be a very different chutney. I’ve been asked about the spices I use most often by several people recently so I’ll be writing about that in my next post. Watch this space…


Makes about 7 jars

  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 1kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 600g onions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 lemons, finely sliced
  • 275g raisins
  • 400g soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander


Put the vinegar in a large pan (ideally a preserving pan) with the apples, onions, garlic, lemon slices and raisins and bring to the boil. Then simmer for about 20 mins until the onions are soft (the apple pieces should still hold their shape).

Stir in the sugar and keep stirring until it has completely dissolved, then simmer for around 40 mins until most of the liquid has disappeared and the chutney is fairly thick. Stir in the salt and spices.

Spoon into sterilised jars, then seal. Keep in the fridge (for up to 6 months, unopened. Once opened, eat within 2 weeks.)

A Cook's Plot Tip

The chutney matures over time and if you can bear not to open it straightaway, it's at its absolute best after a month.

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