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Making Christmas Presents - Chutney

I am feeling rather chuffed with myself that, to date, I have not bought one commercial present - and I am trying hard to keep it that way this year.  We have had a general concensus that no bought presents are to to given or recieved this year.  Only home made ones, or the present of the persons presence!

I don't trust that people want my presense so much, so tonight, I am making chutney as gifts.  The recipe is from the man I secretly want to run away with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall but only as far as River Cottage.

Here is the link to the original recipe ...


Makes 2-4 jars


  • 500g onions, chopped
  • Scrap of oil
  • 1kg diced apples, any will do but try to include some Bramleys
  • 500ml cider vinegar (I will use verjuice)
  • 400g demerara sugar
  • 200g dried figs, diced
  • 125g dried cranberries
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Generous glass of port
  • 5cm piece root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves (will leave these out as I hate them)
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Start by sweating the onion in a scrap of oil then add the apple. Pour over the vinegar and sugar and and once it's had a good stir and the sugar has dissolved then fun can start.
  2. Add the fruits to the pot then after that the orange zest and juice, followed by the port.
  3. Next it's time to put together your spices. Tie the ginger, cloves, cardamom pods and coriander seeds in a clean square of muslin and secure with string. Immerse the pouch deep in the simmering chutney and let it bubble away for an hour or so, making sure to stir it regularly so it doesn't catch on the bottom.
  4. Add the walnuts and cook for a final 30 minutes. If you can part your chutney and see a little bit of pan on the bottom you are done.
  5. Decant the warm chutney into sterlised jars, seal with vinegar-proof lids and allow to cool.

I will post back and show how it went.

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