Granny’s Apple Chutney

27 Oct

All the apples ready to go!

We’ve been making apple chutney in our family for as long as I can remember—when I was little we had an apple tree right out front, so we used the many surplus apples to make it. When we moved to New York, a fall apple-picking trip would always mean time to make chutney. It is the perfect accompaniment to a good old lunch of bread and cheese. The recipe comes from our grandmother, and once again the English measurements baffled me slightly, but hopefully the conversions are fairly accurate.

I like trying to get the whole apple peel off in one

I was at home in New York a few weekends ago, and the weather was absolutely perfect the whole time—sunny, warm, with just a little bite in the air. My parents and I drove up to Rhinebeck to enjoy the fall colors and have a mosey around, and happened to be there on the day of their farmer’s market! It was a great market… we found venison and a blackcurrant bush, neither of which you see in America very often. But we also bought a ton of apples and pears to make this chutney. We hadn’t done an apple-pear version before, but since we still had some all-apple left in the basement from last year, decided to make a variation. We ended up doing about four pounds of apples to two pounds of pears, and upped the other ingredients (except for the sugar) approximately in proportion.

This recipe really is super easy once you’ve peeled and chopped up the fruit and onions. Just throw everything in the biggest pot you have (or two pots, if you don’t have a huge one), and let it cook until you think it’s ready! You definitely want it to be thick and starting to look jelly-like, but when it’s hot it will still be pretty runny. The fruit will mainly disintegrate, but there should still be some chunks. It thickens up in the fridge somewhat, but it’s a pretty runny spread, so don’t be worried! There are plenty of instructions for jarring all over the internet, but don’t get put off by them, it is really not scary. We just run the jars through a hot dishwasher before pouring the chutney in while still hot.

Oh, and no, I did not mistype the amount of sugar. Three pounds does seem a little obscene… but granny knows best!

The finished product

Apple Chutney

Equipment: Very large pot, peeler, knife, mason jars.


4 lbs apples

3 lbs sugar

2 oz (3 ½ tablespoons) salt

¼ oz (½ tbsp) whole allspice

¼ oz (½ tbsp) cayenne pepper

1 lb (3 cups) raisins

½ oz ginger

2 large onions

1 pint (2 ½ cups) apple cider vinegar


Peel the apples and cut into quarters and then chunks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Put all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil and then turn down heat and simmer for three to five hours, until mixture has thickened but some apple chunks remain.

Let cool slightly, but while still hot pour mixture into sterilized mason jars and seal. When you open a jar, the lid should have to be popped off. Refrigerate after opening.


2 Responses to “Granny’s Apple Chutney”

  1. Mum October 27, 2010 at 10:14 pm #

    Our kitchen has never looked as good as in these photos!

  2. Tamsin October 28, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    Yum!! I’ll have to try the recipe out sometime! I can trade you a plum chutney recipe, once I get it off my mum if you’re interested.

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