Spicy plum & apple chutney

Spicy plum & apple chutney

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(26 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 onions



    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 also need

  • 4-5 sterilised jars


  1. To sterilise the jars: run them with the lids and any rubber seals through the hottest cycle of your dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, give the jars a good wash, then heat them in the oven at 150C/130C fan/ gas 2 for 30 mins. Don’t bake seals – boil them in a pan of water for 10 mins. If you don’t have lids you can buy jam pot covers from cook shops which you can then cover with fabric.

  2. Prepare the ingredients: first, 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. Use our downloadable Christmas labels if you like. 

  5. 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, questions and tips

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30th Sep, 2018
This was a salvageable disaster for me! The flavours in this recipe are absolutely amazing but I wouldn't recommend this recipe for a first-time chutney-maker (this was only my second time). I would thoroughly suggest reading other comments on how much of each ingredient to put in and the process in which they did it. Flavours were great but the consistency was more like pulpy soup if you follow the recipe. I'm giving this a 1 star as it didn't work well for me, however if the amounts and processes were review and updated to give a good consistency then I'd give this recipe a 5!!
23rd Sep, 2017
I halved the ingredients and used demerara sugar. On tasting it half way through I added extra cumin seeds and some chilli flakes. On first taste it is delicious, looking forward to it in a few weeks!
1st Oct, 2015
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.
14th Sep, 2015
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!
28th Aug, 2014
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!
20th Sep, 2013
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.
14th Oct, 2012
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......
6th Aug, 2012
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.
7th Jun, 2012
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.
7th Jun, 2012
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.


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19th Sep, 2013
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.
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