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    Plum and Apple Chutney

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    Plum and Apple Chutney

    Chutney is the best way to use up a glut of plums and if you have a neighbour who has a Bramley apple tree, it's a good time to trade. Enjoy this with coarse pâtés and hunks of Cheddar on picnics, or serve alongside some baked goat's cheese.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes
    • Cooking time: 90 minutes to 120 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 55 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 25 minutes

    Makes: 1–1¼kg

    Ingredients

    • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 3 onions, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • 1 tbsp root ginger, grated
    • 1 dried chilli
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp allspice
    • 1.2kg plums, or a 2:1 mix of plums and damsons, halved and stoned (though you can leave the stones in, as long as you don't mind dodging them later)
    • 1 large cooking apple, cored, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 350g light muscavado sugar
    • 400ml cider vinegar

    Method

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan (not made of aluminium or copper) and add the onion, garlic, ginger, chillies and spices. Sauté gently for 10 minutes, stirring until the onions are softened and beginning to look lightly golden.
    2. Add the plums, apples and any juices to the onions. Add a generous amount of seasoning, the sugar and the vinegar and cook for 1½–2 hours until thick, stirring regularly to prevent it catching on the bottom of the pan. When it is ready you should be able to draw your spoon across the bottom of the pan and see a definite line being drawn.
    3. Allow to cool slightly and then spoon into 6–8 x 175ml sterilised jars, cover with plastic discs to prevent the metal lids reacting with the vinegar, and seal them while the chutney is still warm. Store for at least 2 weeks before delving into the first one.

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