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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.