So, I thought I would bring you all an early Christmas present, in the form of this lovely Autumn Chutney. Autumn is the time to make this chutney as it allows the flavours to develop in time for December for the perfect Christmas chutney.
When you have a glut of tomatoes at the end of summer, you might wonder what to do with them all. Making a tomato chutney, is definitely the way to go!
In the UK, I usually find that the weather begins to cool before all the tomatoes in the vegetable patch have had a chance to ripen, especially when you are growing an outdoor variety. The good news is that this chutney recipe is the perfect way to use them all up, save on food wastage and as a bonus you will have a delicious chutney that can be enjoyed all year long.
There are many gardening to do jobs in Autumn, to help you put your garden to bed for the winter. Harvesting what’s left of your own home grown tomatoes to make this chutney is another job to add to the list, which is one that is not only rewarding, but is fun too.
You can use any kind of tomatoes you like. Green or red ones, cherry tomatoes or the plum tomato variety, or a mixture of them all. Whatever you have left over will work.
As well as tomatoes, this recipe also uses cooking apples. If you’re lucky enough to have your own Bramley apple tree too, you’re basically all set! All the fresh ingredients used in this recipe are in season during autumn and the rest will be store cupboard ingredients that are easy to source.
Jars of chutney make great Christmas presents for your friends and family members too. You can gift a jar of chutney as part of a hamper with delicious cheese and crackers and the great news is that this chutney will improve in flavour in a couple of months, if you are prepared to wait. Just in time for you to enjoy this chutney at Christmas.
What is Chutney?
Chutney originated in India and is used to describe a variety of different condiments that can be either fresh or pickled and contain a variety of ingredients.
British style chutney is a condiment that is made using a preservative of vinegar and sugar. It can be made with a number of different ingredients but most often containing a mixture of fruit or vegetables. Often, tart apples, or another sharp tasting fruit are added and then sweetened with sugar and preserved in vinegar.
Historically, making chutney, was a way to prolong the use of these fruit and vegetables all year long, before refrigerators were commonplace in households.
As well as a number of fresh ingredients, dried fruit such as sultanas or raisins are typically added as well as various spices to deepen the flavours.
What to Serve with Tomato and Apple Based Chutney
This chutney recipe pairs well with:
- Cured Meats
- Savoury Biscuits
- Fresh Bread
Serve it as part of a charcuterie board or with a buffet. You can add it to sandwiches too. I also like to serve it with flatbread or pittas and even savoury scones. It makes a delicious accompaniment to a ploughman’s lunch too.
How to Make Chutney
Chutney is cooked over a low to medium heat on a stovetop for at least an hour.
You will need a food processor to blend your ingredients and a large pan for cooking as well as some storage jars for canning.
Blend your ingredients to your desired texture but I recommend stopping before the chutney ingredients are completely smooth. This will taste better with a bit of texture.
It’s important to observe your chutney regularly and stir it often to ensure it doesn’t burn. It will ruin the flavour throughout, if it burns. Additionally, don’t be tempted to turn up the heat too much, allow the chutney the time to reduce and thicken slowly. This will help the flavours to develop.
Have your sterilised jars at the ready. There’s no need to go out and buy new jars, you can reuse old jars providing you sterilise them properly. For more detailed instructions on the canning process and how to sterilised jars follow the recipe guidance and tips on this caramelised onion chutney recipe.
Autumn Chutney FAQ’s
It’s actually better to make ahead to allow the flavours to mature. Store in a cool dark place for 2 months ideally before opening.
Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 4 weeks.
Once made, chutney will last up to a year when stored in a cool, dark place, in sterilised jars.
Vinegar is the pickling agent used in chutney. It helps to preserve the ingredients, giving the chutney a longer shelf life.
- 1 kg Mixed Red and Green Tomatoes
- 200 g Sweet Red Peppers
- 300 g White Onions
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Chilli
- 1 Thumb Size Piece of Fresh Ginger
- 2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 200 g Sultanas
- 500 g Cooking Apples
- 1 tsp Flaked Sea Salt
- 0.5 tsp Allspice
- 575 ml Malt Vinegar
- 450 g Dark Brown Soft Sugar
- Place tomatoes and peppers into a food processor and blend. Place into a large pan.
- Blend the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger and add to the pan.
- Add the mustard seeds and Sultanas.
- Blend the cooking apples and add.
- Add the salt and allspice.
- Pour over the malt vinegar and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
- Continue to cook over a medium heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chutney from sticking to the pan. The liquid will dissolve and the chutney will become thicker.
- Add the sugar and mix through, continue to cook for another hour, still stirring.
- Once the mixture is thickened, pour into sterilised jars.
- Once the chutney is cooled you can eat it straight away but for best results leave the chutney in the jars to mature for a couple of months.
- Be sure to stir your chutney regularly to stop it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Keep the heat a low/medium, don’t attempt to cook it too fast as it may burn and ruin the flavour.
- For best results, store in sterilised jars and allow the flavour to mature for at least 2 months before opening.
- If stored correctly in sterilised jars, this chutney will last up to a year.
- Once opened, store the chutney in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.