Bramley Apple and Onion Pickle

September brings Bramley Apple harvest time and we have a local prize winner to congratulate. Each year the Bramley Apple Information Service hold the “Brammy Awards” to reward excellence by retailers, manufacturers and foodservice companies in using and promoting Bramley apples. A special Bicentenary Chairman’s Award was awarded to Fourayes Farm of Bicknor. Fourayes is the country’s leading processor of Bramleys and has funded a range of marketing activities to support the Bramley’s 200th anniversary.

Also to celebrate the Bramley Bicentenary, The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers organised 19 Bramley tree plantings in the grounds of selected London borough primary schools and city farms. Children were invited to help plant the trees and it is hoped the activity will teach young people the growth process of fruit, as well as inspiring them to appreciate the unique qualities of the Bramley apple.

Harvest means it is time to start preserving produce for use during the winter months. Also to make all those special goodies for Christmas. This month there are two recipes that fit the bill (see also Suetless Mincemeat).

This pickle makes a pleasant accompaniment to cheese and cold meats. Made now it will be ready for Christmas. A pleasant change from pickled onions and quicker and far less fiddly to make.


1 pint (575ml) cider vinegar 1oz (25g) dried chillies
2 tablespoons salt 3lb (1.4kg) onions
8 peppercorns 3lb (1.4kg) Bramley apples
8 cloves  


  1. Put the vinegar and salt into a preserving pan.
  2. Place the spices in a piece of muslin and tie at the top. Place in the vinegar solution and leave to soak for 30 mins.
  3. Bring the liquid to the boil and simmer gently for 10 -15 mins.
  4. Remove the muslin bag and let the liquid cool slightly.
  5. Whilst the liquid is cooking and cooling, peel and finely chop the onions.
  6. Peel, core and chop the apples as quickly as possible and blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes.
  7. Drain the apples and mix with the chopped onions.
  8. Pack the apple and onion mixture into sterilised, warm jars. The mixture will need to be pushed down.
  9. Pour on the spiced vinegar, cool slightly and seal with metal lids with plastic linings.


Bramley Apples