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No-Cook Apple, Date and Onion Chutney Recipe

ingredients for no-cook chutneyOur old friend, Kate Auty, makes this excellent chutney every year. It does not have to be cooked at all. In fact all you do is mince, mix and leave to mature. If you can leave the chutney longer than three months it will continue to improve. We let a jar mature for a year, it is treasured and strictly for family consumption.

It’s great for children to make, under supervision. By the time it has matured for three months the daily bleat of, “Is it ready yet?” has died down completely and they have forgotten that it is lurking in the larder. Then you will discover their tasty chutney and they will be stars.

Katey gave me a jar of this chutney a couple of years ago. It was so good that we hinted heavily for more and eventually the recipe. We couldn’t believe that a chutney this good is not simmered for hours.

Recipe for Kate Auty’s No-Cook Apple, Date and Onion Chutney


  • 1 lb/454g of cooking apples
  • 1 lb/454g of dates (stoned)
  • 1 lb/454g of onions
  • 1 lb/454g of soft brown sugar
  • 1 pt/570 ml of malt vinegar (we use cider vinegar)


  1. Wash, peel and core the apples and skin the onions.
  2. Mince the apples, dates and onions using the coarse profile.
  3. Put the minced fruit and onions in a large glass or china bowl.
  4. Add the sugar and vinegar.
  5. Stir very well and stir once a day for three days, keeping it covered closely with a clean tea towel against flies.
  6. On the fourth day bottle the chutney in sterilised jars with plastic lined screw top lids and label. (How do I sterilise jars and lids? Why do the lids have to be plastic lined? See Tricks and tips below).

Tips and tricks:

  • Katey says that she tried chopping (instead of mincing) the ingredients one year and the onion didn’t break down as much as the apple and date and remained crunchy which spoilt the chutney.
  • Why do I have to use plastic lined lids for chutney?

The vinegar eats into metal lids that are not lined. If you use cellophane jam pot covers the vinegar evaporates through these and you are left with a dried up mess in your jars.

  • How do I sterilise jars and lids?

The sterilising method that we use is simple. Just before making the chutney, I quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160c/140c for fan assisted. When the oven has reached the right temperature I turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while so use oven gloves to take them out of the oven. I only use plastic lined 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.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Lozzer plastic lined metal lids are perfect. It’s the totally metal lids that yoiu should avoid.

  2. i brought some jars and lids to put the chutney in but have read some miss leading tips, some people say never use metal lids, some say you can but use wax disc’s aswell. I have the lids which are plastic lined are these alright to use.

  3. booklegger

    Thank you! I have this bottled and am hopeful for good results in 3 months! I appreciate your blog and your efforts.

  4. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Booklegger

    Yes this is how it will be. This chutney takes at least 3 months to mature after bottling up.

  5. booklegger

    Really strong smell of vinegar from mine on day 3, is this normal and will it go away?

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Colin

    The dates give it a nice texture. Why not experiment and add sultanas and raisins (minced) they should work, I reckon.

    I’d be interested to hear how it turns out.

  7. Hi, I’ve been chutney making this last week and still have onions and apples left to use up. This recipe looks brilliant especially since i dont have to cook it! Do you think it could be possible to change the dates for sultanas or raisins? love to hear what you think before i make some horrible mistake! Thanks.

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Tracy

    Eventually everything goes dark brown.

  9. I have just made a no-cook chutney very similar to this, and am a bit concerned that the apple has remained apple-coloured. Does the apple change colour over time as the chutney matures?

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Norfly

    Good to hear that you can make this in the food processor. Hand mincing can be such a slog.

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