Thursday, 27 August 2015


Amongst all the daily chores, getting the business up and going and keeping Monkeychild amused over the summer hols, I managed to find time to do something I haven't done for years: make some chutney.

As we're now experiencing our first year's glut of apples in the orchard, I reckoned that a batch of chutney would be ideal and would make some thoughtful Christmas presents, as it'll have matured by then.

As the orchard's got a mix of cooking and eating apples, I decided to use some cookers - and you can see the size of these bad boys from the photo above. We've also got a couple of damson trees, so I thought I'd add these to the mix too and also a couple of courgettes that had growth spurted into marrows.

For you home preservers out there, the recipe that I always use is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's 'Glutney' as its a good one to tweak to add your own mods.

find the whole process of peeling and chopping everything into small pieces very relaxing, especially when its all tipped into the pan. Afterwards comes the best bit of the prep: mixing the fruit and veg together with my hands - I don't bother with a spoon!

Next, the pan is popped onto the stove to come to a boil then as the heat is dropped down, its left on a steady simmer for the next 3 hours; with a regular stir to make sure the bottom of the pan isn't starting to burn. 

The pan I use is a Victorian brass one that Mum used when I was little, to make jams and chutneys; so the whole process is one that's very familiar to me and reminds me of being a kid and hassling Mum in the kitchen!

To sterilise my jars I wash them on the highest setting in the dishwasher and just before bottling, I place them in a warmed oven for a few minutes and...

...voilĂ  - the August 2015 batch of damson chutney, cooled off and ready to be placed in the dark recesses of the pantry ready for autumn and winter.

My next plan is to make damson gin - 1.5 litre bottle of own-brand supermarket booze already brought and waiting...


  1. Wow you have been busy. I love the smell of chutney cooking.
    Julie xxxxxxx

  2. Yummy yummy! You have been very busy and organised. Homemade chutney is a lovely thing to make, eat or receive!

  3. Ooh damson gin sounds fab; I've got blackberry whisky and vodka on the go at the moment, and am determined to make sloe gin this year.

    How lovely to have your mum's proper preserves pan to use, I hope it lasts long enough for Monkeychild to continue the tradition :)

  4. I haven't made any this year - yet! I've been picking blackberries and freezing them in readiness for chutney making in a couple of weeks time.
    Damson gin sounds ace. I made blackberry vinegar last year which is bloody gorgeous, not alcoholic but amazing with cheese and tomatoes. xxx

  5. I'm not big on chutney, but the gin sounds good!

  6. I never seem to eat chutney. Gin, on the other hand, would be quite useful ;-)

  7. Now, I like the sound of the chutney. But I LOVE the sound of the damson gin! xxx


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