Spicy plum & apple chutney

Spicy plum & apple chutney

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(22 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins

More effort

Makes 4-5 jars
This multi-purpose chutney can add zing to sandwiches or makes a great dip for poppadums

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal38
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre1g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.22g
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  • 1 garlic bulb



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • thumb-size piece fresh root ginger



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 large onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1kg Bramley apples



    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

  • 3 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500ml bottle cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1kg plums



    The juiciest fruit in the stone fruit family, plums come in many different varieties, some sweet…

  • 450g golden caster sugar
  • you will need: 4-5 sterilised jars (see tip box at the bottom of page)


  1. Start by getting the ingredients ready. Peel the garlic cloves and cut them into slivers. Peel and thinly shred the ginger. Halve, peel and thinly slice the onions, then put them in a large, wide saucepan or a preserving pan with the garlic and ginger. Peel, core and chop the apples, then add to the pan with the spices, vinegar and salt.

  2. Bring the pan to the boil over a gentle heat, give everything a good stir, then turn down the heat and cover the pan (if you don’t have a lid use foil). Simmer for 30 mins until the apples are cooked and pulpy.

  3. While the apples are simmering, stone and quarter the plums, then add them to the cooked apples with the sugar. Stir well and leave to bubble away, this time uncovered, for another 40 mins stirring regularly until the plums are cooked but still retain some of their shape. Ladle into the sterilised jars, seal and label. This chutney is best kept for about a month before eating as the vinegar needs a bit of time to mellow. If you don’t want the flavour of the spices to develop any more, then take out the cinnamon and star anise before potting. It will keep for 1 year in a cool place but once opened store in the fridge and use within a month.

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Comments (51)

Barb64's picture

From experience, be patient! Chutneys take as long as they take to get to the stage where you can put your spoon through the mixture and no liquid comes through. I made half quantity with windfalls. Worked well. Can't wait to taste it next month! Tip - don't double these sorts of recipes. Best done in small batches.

katyyoungs's picture

A very delicious chutney - my first ever and think its yummy. It worked really well but did need to bubble longer and I did take some plums out to add back in at the end to make it a bit chunkier!

juliebird2004's picture

Very very tasty recipe. Stuck to the above apart from forgetting the salt and using dark muscovado sugar for a deeper colour and flavour. Took longer to cook down than the recipe stated, but I have found this with every chutney recipe I have ever used. Stick to the amounts given, but allow around 2 hours for cooking & bottling to get the desired consistency. Your patience will be rewarded!

HanniB's picture

I used about 425ml of vinegar and it did need 20mins rapid boiling and constant stirring at the end to get it to the correct consistency but the flavour is absolutely delicious!
I also removed and set aside some of the plums once they were cooked, while I reduced the liquid, and then added them back in again at the end so I could still get quarter sized pieces of plum and a more varied texture for when I serve the chutney!
But overall I would really recommend this chutney. Very moreish indeed.

jdibden's picture

Using a huge flat jam- making pan is hard on small gas hobs so I have just done the obvious; made it all in a deep pan up to last boil of 40 mins. and ladled out half into another sausepan, thus doubling the evaporation surface and speeding up that process. It is a GLORIOUS ruby colour, sludgy consistency and smells delicious.Cant find the 3 star anise or stick of cinnamon anywhere--help......

annahorvath's picture

Did it yesterday, and after having read the comments made a few changes, halved the vinegar, and put in less sugar (I'm not fond of over-sweet things and my apples from the garden are already sweet), cooked for much much longer though on very slow fire. I think it will be a success in winter. I give it four stars because of the changes, but for the taste I'd give 5.
And, almost forgotten, began cooking with the plums, and peeled the apples while the plums were already cooking, and put them in when it was definitely bubbling, so the apples remained nicely chunky.

sammi_kt's picture

I made a batch of this about a month before Christmas to put in hampers and got great feedback but at the time of bottling I felt it was too runny, but I have just opened a jar that I had left over and it tastes amazing and is a perfect consistency, so I think the key is to let this mature for at least a couple of months.

sds_84's picture

Having read the recomendations of others who have made this - less vinegar was used and more ginger. The bottom line its seriously tasty and if you were to buy it in a deli withe pretentions, it would cost a bob or two for something this good.
If you are to make it, a very large amount of ginger would not be a bad thing.

annbishop's picture

I made 2 batches of this at the end of last year using plums from my sisters garden and apples from ours. the rest of the fruit was frozen for other purposes but as there was such a lot of it I have just made another batch of this delicious chutney with the frozen fruit!! I was worried that it wouldn't be as good or work as well but it is EXCELLENT!! my family and friends will be very happy to be taking away their little treasures from my pantry!! I always follow the recipes on here to the letter and I have NEVER been disappointed! well done

bridgefordf's picture

This was my first ever chutney and it tastes a bit too sweet for me, however I'm pleased with the result. Made it in August and started using it in November....it's not going to last long...nice with some Roast Duck!

bodgingbiker's picture

When making chutneys, I expect to end up with something both rich and thick. I cooked this for way longer than suggested, but it still wouldn't thicken; in the end I gave in and used cornflour. However, the flavour was the biggest disappointment, as all that come through is the garlic, even after maturing for a few months. I'll not use this recipe in future.

annbishop's picture

I loved this !! followed the recipe to the letter BUT! I will say that at the point where the plums and sugar are added the instruction should be to bring back to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave to "bubble away" for a further 40 minutes uncovered. Chutney is not meant to set!! only to thicken. Despite the instruction to leave for one month before eating I could not resist trying a little!! very moreish and I am sure will be even better in a months time!! well done tis a good recipe

jeddie's picture

Oh my - 2hrs later - quantities double checked - made twice as much as stated - far too runny will now have to empty jars and try to thicken and reduce. Agree with Winks - was the recipe tested ?

The fruit was not overripe - and all ingrediens checked and double checked. Fingers crossed for a 'miracle' .

Q. - were the plum stones to be added to the pot for added pectin ? mine were not


roisin2012's picture

Hmm, I've just finished making this chutney. I wanted something a bit different from Delia's classic chutney. I took note of the comments here, and used half the amount vinegar, but I still felt that the taste was quite sweet and sour. I added a bit more sugar, and I think it could have done with more apple. I also put a chili into it, to give it a little extra something. It did take about an hour to simmer down, but I think chutneys do take a while. I also used an assortment of different kinds of sugars, so that probably had a bearing on the time. Mine wasn't that chunky (although it probably would have been if I'd been a bit quicker in my prep), but it has a nice pink colour, and I'm hoping the spice flavours will develop over time.

feetforlife's picture

Made the chutney this morning, first time for cooking it, perfect!!

bizzie47's picture

Oops meant used HALF the vinegar.

bizzie47's picture

Made two separate batches of this yesterday so not able to comment on taste yet. Used have the vinegar but first batch still took nearly two hours to thicken. Second batch I boiled more quickly and it took just over an hour. Lovely colour. Looking forward to trying in a month or so. 2kg plums and same of cooking apples made nine standard jam jars full.

foodie64mum's picture

This delicious and versatile chutney goes equally well with cheese or curry and poppadums. I followed the recipe exactly and it's perfect!

lillou89's picture

Does anyone know how long this chutney keeps cupboard fresh? I'm making some for Christmas presents and would like to start making this weekend.

alisonhawes's picture

Don't be put off by the mixed reviews for this recipe. As a novice chutney maker I found the recipe very easy to follow. As others have commented, it does need to simmer for longer than the suggested 40 minutes to get the right consistency but the result is delicious.


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Tips (1)

donnamulley's picture

After reading the various comments - and aiming for a flavour similar to the EPC brand Ploughman's Plum Chutney I decided to tweak the recipe accordingly...

5 cloves garlic - crushed
3 to 4 'thumbs' fresh finely chopped ginger
6 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
700g sultanas
350ml white wine vinegar
350ml red wine vinegar
1.5 level tablespoons sea salt
1kg light muscavado sugar
5 red onions (chopped)
2kg peeled and chopped bramley apples
2kg plums (washed, stoned, quartered)

Wrap star anise and cinnamon in a muslin bag so it's easy to remove later. Combine everything except the plums and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or so, then add the plums.
Allow plenty of simmer reduction time - I simmered for a couple of hours before it reached the desired consistency but I guess this could change if the pan was wider, or fruit varieties different. (Delia says its ready when a channel drawn through it with a wooden spoon can be seen for a short time without filling up with vinegar !)
I started off by using 750g sugar but gradually added the rest at the tasting stage.
First impressions are good - perhaps not quite as sweet and 'plumy' as the EPC version ... but I'm keeping fingers crossed while it matures and mellows.

Makes about a dozen jars.