This recipe is adapted from the chutney that Siobhan makes every autumn at the mill, depending on what ingredients we have to hand following our harvests. It’s a matter of personal opinion, but we all love this far more than anything you can buy in the shops, and eat it with all sorts, from jacket potatoes to cheese boards to sandwiches and toasties. It adds a welcome whack of flavour to liven up a variety of dishes, and saves a taste of the autumn for the cold winter days to come.
Practical tip: Make sure you sterilise your glass jars beforehand, and store the chutney in a cool, dry place. It will keep for up to one year if stored correctly. Once opened, store in the fridge.
Equipment: for bottling the chutney, you will need wax paper cover discs, cellophane pot covers (or an airtight alternative of your choice), elastic bands to secure, and sterilised glass jars (I use old jam jars).
The chutney itself is gluten-free, but please note the serving suggestion pictured here with bread is not – for a gluten-free alternative just make sure you use gluten-free bread or crackers instead.
Makes approximately 3kg chutney
Place the onions in a large saucepan with a little water and cook over a medium-low heat. Once they have softened and become translucent, add all the ingredients apart from the salt, sugar and also hold back 500ml of the apple cider vinegar. Before adding, make sure all the stones have been removed from the damsons (if you are using these). Cook the ingredients until they reduce down to a fruity pulp – you still want to keep some chunks in for texture, and stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking.
Lastly, add the sugar, salt and remaining vinegar, and stir it into the mix. Keep stirring from time to time until it has dissolved, and the chutney has taken on a thick texture.
Pour the chutney into your sterilised jars. To seal the jars, immediately place a wax paper disc on the top of the chutney, with the wax side facing down. This will help prevent any mould from forming. Next, make the jars airtight by placing a cellophane jam pot cover over a damp tea towel or clean dishcloth to wet it slightly. Place these tightly over the top of the jar, and attach them firmly using elastic bands. As the cellophane dries, it will tighten and stretch over the jar, helping to keep the chutney airtight. Store in a cool, dry place.