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Making Chutney

How to Make Chutney

An excellent way to preserve a mix of vegetables and fruit is to make chutney and sauces. The addition of vinegar, salt and spices helps to preserve these delicious condiments. They also usually have a relatively long storage life and should last very well and even improve with age until the following season’s glut demands more preserving.
Chutneys are vegetables cooked in salt, vinegar, sugar and herbs until they become soft and smooth in texture. They are best cooked slowly for a long time, then put into sterilised jars or bottles and immediately sealed.  Do not use metal saucepans as contact with metal can reduce the keeping quality; use Pyrex or enamel saucepans instead.

Vinegar used in making chutney must be good quality and have at least 5% acetic acid content. Any good brand white, malt, wine or cider vinegar should possess the correct qualities.

Brown sugar is used for darker coloured chutney but where a lighter colour is required granulated sugar is recommended. The later you add the sugar the lighter the finished product.

Spices should be fresh and ground to impart the best flavours. Whole spices are usually bruised and placed in a small muslin bag that is removed at the end of the cooking process.

Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

Makes about 4 litres.
  • 5kg of green tomatoes (they should be very green without any hint of red) wash fruit, remove stems and chop coarsely.
  • 3 tart cooking apples peeled cored and finely chopped or grated.
  • 600ml of cider vinegar.
  • 3 cups of sugar.
  • 2 cups of dark brown sugar firmly packed down.
  • 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of curry powder.
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered English mustard.
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric.
  • ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger.
  • ½ kg of raisins.

You will need about 16 - 250ml clean and sterilised jars with lids.

Place all ingredients into a large heavy stainless steel pan (preserves tend to burn to the bottom of light grade stainless steel) Place lid on pan and bring slowly to the boil. Once the mixture is boiling remove lid and simmer for 1 – 1 ½ hours stirring occasionally until thick.

Ladle into warm jars leaving 3mm head room.  Wipe the rims and place lids on tightly. Store in a cool dark place and let it mature for two weeks before use.

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