Green tomato chutney in jars
Food, Making stuff

Making stuff 20: Chutneys

As well as all the other culinary efforts producing stuff in jars this year (gin and jam, and mincemeat), I’ve also been in the chutney production business. This isn’t unusual. In 2019 it was courgette chutney after a glut. I’ve done normal chutneys before as well in previous (pre-blogging years).

I hadn’t really planned on making any this year, but as usual the veggie harvest had a deviating influence.

Spiced apple chutney

This year, I had a large quantity of apples provides by one of himself’s colleagues. I put loads of them in the mincemeat and the jam. However, there were still loads left. So I dug out my well-stained copy of Marguerite Patten’s “Jams, Preserves and Chutneys Handbook”, to figure out what else I could do with them.

The recipe is from pages 161-162 (in my edition at least). It’s just the apply chutney recipe with added mixed spice and adapted according to what my cupboards contained.

  • 1kg apples (cooking ones in this case, weighed when peeled and cored) chopped into little pieces
  • 500g onions, finely chopped
  • 330ml vinegar (I just used what I had in the cupboard, a mixture of red wine, cider and malt)
  • 400g soft light brown sugar
  • 120g sultanas
  • 1 and a bit teaspoons mixed spice, then a touch more just because

Chutney is pretty much the easiest preserve you can make. Essentially, you chop everything up, put the onions and half the vinegar in to cook for 10 minutes and then add everything else and cook until the sugar dissolves and it all thickens up nicely.

Then, just sterilise some jars, spoon in the chutney and get some cling film on before it cools so it forms a nice vacuum and you’re all done. It only took me about an hour.

Green tomato chutney

When we got back from our holiday to Lincolnshire and Scotland in August (2021), the tomato plants were really doing very well indeed. There were still plenty of red tomatoes ripening for harvest.

However, by the beginning of October the green tomatoes were no longer changing colour. With the threat of frost looming large (falsely as it turned out as I sit here a month later and we still haven’t had a frost), I decided it was time to give up on the tomatoes, pick the green ones and say good bye to the plants.

There were rather more green tomatoes hiding under the leaves and between the stems than I had thought.

So I found myself with a good pound and a half (I think, I can’t be bothered to do the maths) of green cherry tomatoes. Making chutney was the obvious use, but I’m afraid I simply cannot be arse peeling the skins from 100s (well it looked like 100s) of small green tomatoes. So anyone who gets a jar will just have to live with the little bits of skin.

Page 176 of the inimitable Marguerite Patten for this one, again adjusted quantities for the tomatoes I had.

  • 660g green, some red, small tomatoes
  • 330g chopped onions
  • 330g apples, chopped finely (by this point I’d run out of himself’s colleague’s windfalls, so it was a mix of galas and golden delicious because that’s what was in the fruit bowl)
  • 330ml white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 260g sugar
  • 220g sultanas

The method is the same as before.

Are you preserving anything this year?

Tell me about your attempts to keep the fruit and veggies from wasting when there are too many to eat fresh?

Love from Smell xxx

16 thoughts on “Making stuff 20: Chutneys”

  1. I came across your blog when searching for entries on loss and then spied this piece on chutneys. It so happens that I’d just had a conversation with my best friend about how cooking has been one of the ways that I’ve learned to cope with the loss of my husband of twenty-two years. You’ve inspired me to try making ginger pear jam in my new bread maker. Love your breezy, conversational writing style. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thanks so much, that’s an absolutely lovely comment and I’m so pleased your inspired. I’m so sorry for your loss, sending hugs and hope.
      Please have a read of my lessons in loss series. I’ve had some wonderful people contributing their thoughts on all sorts of different loss.


  2. Persimmon is seasonal and is one of my favorite fall fruits. Last year i made Persimmon preserves and loved it. Your tomato 🍅 chutney is very unique. Thanks for sharing.
    I am curious to know the story behind your blog name “smellysocks and garden peas?”It is so interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This us a fantastic blog. Really enjoyed it, I love a good chutney recipe and iI’ll give these a go. Look forward to your next post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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