Christmas Chutney

It never ceases to amaze me how much people appreciate a hamper. Most of our friends and relatives don’t have any idea of what they want for Christmas. in fact most now say “I don’t need anything”. So putting together a few hand-made gifts is appreciated as it shows you have poured your time and thought into the hamper.

You can make the hampers up in different ways. For example why not purchase an empty hanging basket and fill them with chutneys, bags of pot pourri etc.

The following chutney recipe is one that I get requests for each year, and is very easy to make and fills the kitchen with the smell of Christmas.

Ingredients - makes 4lb

2lb (900g) bramley cooking apples 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
15fl oz (425ml) malt vinegar 1 tsp crushed juniper berries
5oz (150g) fresh dates, stoned and chopped 1 tsp ground cinnamon
5oz (150g) sultanas 8 cloves
1lb (450g) soft brown sugar 2 oranges, grated zest and juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed Dash of angostura bitters (optional)
2oz (50g) preserved ginger, chopped  


  1. Peel, core and dice the cooking apples.
  2. Place the apples and half the vinegar into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, until the apples have softened.
  3. Add the rest of the vinegar and all of the other ingredients.
  4. Return to the boil and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. It should be nice and thick.
  5. Pop into your sterilised jars and seal securely. It has to be airtight and non-metallic lids are the best.
  6. Make up your own labels and secure a circle of Christmas paper or tissue over the lid with a narrow ribbon or raffia for that country-kitchen look.

Not surprisingly I find that adult recipients like to try out the alcoholic Christmas tipple. This recipe is very easy and if you make it in early November it will be ready for Christmas.



Bramley Apples
Christmas spices