The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Apple Chutney recipe

an apple on the ground beneath our apple tree

Our apples make great chutney

I’m not surprised that the fruit that tempted Eve was an apple. It is such a useful fruit. From sweet apple puree to flagons of frothy cider, the apple plays a major role in our lives.

It always troubles me when I see apples left unpicked on trees. We’ve had a great cooking apple harvest this year. Danny and I have spent the morning picking apples from the old trees in our tiny orchard. We are going to make cider this year and have a go at apple wine. So we left a great pile of them on the garden table to soften in the frosts.

If you do this it’s easier to extract the juice. The ones that we pick from the tree are wrapped in newspaper and stored in cardboard boxes in the shed. The mice do nibble a few but the majority keep through the winter until we need them.

The windfalls don’t keep. Even if they look good they are bruised when they hit the ground. We have loads of windfalls, so we decided to branch out and add apple chutney to our range. As with our plum chutney we wanted a fruit rather than a vegetable taste.

This delicate chutney is the result.

Cottage Smallholder Apple Chutney recipe
Recipe Type: Chutney
Author: Fiona Nevile
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 15 mins
As with all chutneys, it’s important to chop the ingredients well (we suggest that you mince the onion for this recipe) and allow for long slow cooking, this softens the fruit and blends the flavours.
  • 1.5 k of cooking apples
  • 500g of onions
  • 500g of sultanas
  • 750g Demerara sugar
  • 500ml of white wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of two lemons
  • I small chilli
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ½ tsp of Maldon sea salt
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp of mustard seed
  1. Wash, peel, core and chop the apples fine
  2. Peel and chop and mince the onions (if you don’t have a mincer chop them very fine)
  3. Put all ingredients into a large heavy bottomed saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Then simmer very gently, bubbles barely breaking the surface, until the chutney has thickened, stiring every now and then.
  5. It is ready when drawing a spoon across the surface leaves a definite track mark. This will take at least four hours.
  6. Pot into warm sterilised jars with plastic lined lids (how do I sterilise jars and lids? See Tips and Tricks below).
  7. Don’t use cellophane lids as the vinegar will evaporate through these and your chutney will dry up.
  8. Label when cold and store in a cool, dry place.
  9. Leave to mature for a month. The longer that you leave it to mature the better it will be!

Tips and Tricks

<strong>How do I get rid of tainted smells in pots?</strong>
If your cooking pot or container is tainted with the smell of the last resident (curry, tomato sauce etc). Sprinkle with a good tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda into it and add a good splosh of boiling water. Rub the solution over all surfaces and leave for two minutes. Rinse well in cold water.

<strong>How do I sterilise jars and lids?</strong>
The sterilising method that we use is simple. When the chutney is cooked, I quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160c (140c fan assisted). When the oven has reached the right temperature I turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while. I only use plastic lined metal lids for preserves as the all-metal lids can go rusty. I boil these for five minutes in water to sterilise them. If I use Le Parfait jars, I do the same with the rubber rings.


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  1. Rosie Moran

    Hi Fiona, I have a wonderful crop of apples this year so I might have a go at your recipe, however I do have to correct your theology regarding the Eve and the apple. Apples are never mentioned in the Genesis 3:1-7 account of the Fall of Man, it just says fruit, Sorry!

  2. First time making this chutney laborious job doing all those apples and I left the onions bigger ,do I simmer with lid on.

  3. How long will it keep in unopened jars?

    • I have kept it for 6 months in a dark cupboard and it’s been fine for me.

  4. Hi,, can I use half vinegar and half apple cider,, I fancied boozing it up a little..

  5. Barbara Moore


    Does this chutney need to be processed in the hot water bath and if so for how long? I made this recipe 5 years ago, really good – so want to ensure success again and the recipe doesn’t specify. And I don’t remember!


  6. This is a great recipe. From tasting while its cooking it is vibrant spicey and tangy . Just what you need from a chutney.

  7. jack wildewood

    no way are you washing, peeling, coring and chopping so many apples in quarter of an hour. Why chop onions so fine when they give so much more texture when chunky? Lemons are a waste of time. Otherwise a good recipe.

  8. Lesley Marton

    Just finished your chutney and it tastes wonderful. I made it a couple of years ago in an aluminium pressure cooker and the taste was very different. This time I used a stainless muslin pan. Very pleasing result!

  9. Cressida Lewis

    Hi there, just want to say, I love your recipes. I have tested your crab apple jelly one, and added mint in it… next batch is roasted garlic and rosemary… and the following batch will be with vodka and maybe a plain and simple batch and last but not least, scotch bonnet batch!!!! Thanks for sharing

  10. Hi
    I am about to make chutney,can I cook it in a slow cooker


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