preserving autumn

We have an excellent farm shop nearby and because my Saturday morning routine invariably involves a visit, I have got to know the owner very well. In his shop at the moment is the most wonderful selection of apples and pears, a huge assortment in fact and even a couple from quite rare varieties. But, aside from their genus, the one thing they have in common is the fact they have all been grown on English soil. Many of the pears are over-sized, yet full of juicy flavour and the children are relishing these home grown fruits. It's beyond me that the supermarkets are crammed with apples and pears from far-away lands when the very best is available right here in our own.

I absolutely LOVE chutney. So much so, I will gladly eat it with most any meal and sometimes I even incorporate it into my cooking if something needs a bit of a 'lift'.

This simple chutney, which I can't recommend highly enough, has been adapted from Marguerite Pattens' excellent Jams, Preserves and Chutneys Handbook, which is chock full of good, honest, no-nonsense recipes. Ours was made one rainy afternoon during the Half Term holiday, filling the house with the delicious scent of an English Autumn and, what's more, it tastes so good. If you dislike ginger, then simply leave it out.

Pear, Apple and Ginger Chutney

1 1/4kg firm pears (weight when prepared)
1 1/4kg cooking apples (weight when prepared)
675g onions
750ml cider vinegar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp pickling spices (mace, cloves, allspice berries, etc) -
tied into a small square of muslin
450g muscovado sugar
450g raisins

Wash, peel (if desired) and core the apples and pears. Chop the fruits and onion into smallish chunks and put into a preserving pan. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook till the chutney is the consistency of thick jam, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking, approx 1 1/2 hours.

Ladle into hot, sterilised jars and seal immediately.
Makes 6 x 1pt jars

As I sit in my kitchen, with the morning cold and grey outside, I can see five glistening jars of English Autumn on the counter top and am lamenting the fact I'm one down already!

Wishing you a happy, fruitful week ahead!


  1. The supermarkets are silly in their approach to fruit and veg, do we really care if the items are a little oddly shaped! My hubby loves his chutney, will send him your recipe, thanks for sharing

  2. I'm a big chutney fan too, and that recipe sounds delicious! We also have a farm shop in the village selling lots of UK grown produce, including pears from their own orchards. I think I might have to pop over there later. Thank you for sharing this :D

  3. I love chutney Kate and I love making it too. The smell just takes me back to being a child in my mother's kitchen all over again x

  4. Good morning Kate!

    Thank you for bringing back those childhood memories of fragrant chutney in my mother's kitchen.

    You have totally inspired me into making some of my own. You have a way with words..... most seductive ;-)

    Have a beautiful week.

  5. Mmmm that sounds delicious, in fact I can almost smell it!!
    Happy week Kate,
    Vivienne x

  6. yummy x I've made some courgette and green tomato chutney and am waiting impatiently for it to mature. I wish we had a decent farm shop near here, there is nothing for miles and miles. I've just planted a pear tree though, so maybe in a few years time....

  7. Mmm looks and sounds delicious!

  8. You have made some wonderful looking chutney and described it so beautifully too, Kate. There's nowhere quite like a farm shop for buying delicious produce to preserve for winter, is there?
    Have a happy week.
    Helen x

  9. That sounds scrummy and easily made :) Just printed that off and shall have a make this weekend once i've sent MrVV shopping ;)

  10. sounds gorgeous and what a great christmas gifts!

  11. Mr T and I have made several batches of chutney with what ever fruits we have to hand, every year the results are slightly different depending with what we have the most of. Chutney is great to make as it not an exact science, just simmer what you have until it is the right consistency! Your recipe is very similar to ours. MMMmm delicious.

  12. I'm a chutney fan too but have not made any this year. Your recipe sounds fab. x

  13. I think Marguerite Patten's book is the best - I don't think she has missed out a single fruit or preserve!

    Pomona x


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