Apple chutney recipe [using eating apples]

Apples are my favourite autumn fruit, and we’re lucky to have a little apple tree that gives us a great harvest of delicious Cox apples, which means a flurry of apple-based cooking and baking at this time of year. Yum.

Making an apple chutney is a great way to use a fair chunk of the harvest, and making it in early November means it is beautifully matured by the time the cheese platters roll into our house in December. Jars of homemade apple chutney also make great gifts for the festive season.


Credit for this scrummy chutney goes to The Cottage Smallholder whose recipe I used almost exactly. The only difference is that their original recipe uses cooking apples, while I use eating apples which are sweeter, so I have amended the recipe to use about half the sugar which I think works great. If you’re using cooking apples (e.g. Bramley apples), please click on the link to follow their recipe. If you want to use eating apples, here’s the recipe for you (a printable-friendly PDF version is attached at the end):


Preparation time: depends on whether you’re doing all the chopping by hand or have helpful machines/staff. If it is the former, it’ll also depend on how fast you can chop. So let’s say between 15 and 60 minutes. Don’t let that put you off though; once the chopping is done and everything is in the pan, it’ll be so worth it!

Cooking time: about 4 hours of occasional stirring and enjoying the gorgeous aroma filling your home


  • 1.5 kg of eating apples (weighed before chopping)
  • 500g of onions (weighed before chopping)
  • 500g of sultanas
  • 400g demerara sugar
  • 500ml of white wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice of two lemons
  • 1 small chilli
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • ½ tsp of sea salt
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp of mustard seed


  1. Wash, peel, core and chop the apples finely.
  2. Peel, chop and mince the onions (if you don’t have a mincer, chop them very fine).
  3. Deseed and finely chop the chilli.
  4. Put all ingredients into a large heavy bottomed saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Then simmer very gently on very low heat, bubbles barely breaking the surface, until the chutney has thickened, stirring every now and then. Don’t cover the pan.
  6. It is ready when drawing a spoon across the surface leaves a definite track mark. This should take about four hours.
  7. Pot into warm sterilised jars with plastic lined lids. (How to sterilise jars and lids: See Tips and Tricks below)
  8. Label when cold and store in a cool, dry place.
  9. Leave to mature for a month. The longer that you leave it to mature the better it will be!

Tips and Tricks

How do I sterilise jars and lids? Why do I need to use plastic-lined jars? 

Here is a simple sterilising method: When the chutney is cooked, quickly wash and rinse the jars and place them upside down in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 160°C (140°C fan assisted). When the oven has reached the right temperature, turn off the heat. The jars will stay warm for quite a while.

It is best to use plastic lined metal lids for preserves as the all-metal lids can go rusty. Boil the lids for five minutes in water to sterilise them. If using Le Parfait jars, do the same with the rubber rings.

Don’t use cellophane lids as the vinegar will evaporate through these and your chutney will dry up.

This chutney, once sealed in sterilised jars, should last for about a year, so you can enjoy it for a long time. I love using this chutney with cheese and biscuits, in a ploughman’s sandwich, in a grilled cheese on toast, with roast dinner, with deli meats, and even just as a dip with crisps or pitta bread… it’s so versatile! How do you like your chutney? Do let me know if you make this one!

For your convenience, below is the link to a printable PDF version of this recipe. Enjoy!

Apple Chutney Recipe: click here for a printer-friendly PDF version of the recipe


  1. 7 November 2016 / 8:40 am

    Meera, this is so well timed. I have a pile of apples sitting and I’be been wondering what to do with them. Too much crumble is so bad for the waistline! I’ve been bamboozled before by the sterilising but you make it sound straightforward. x

    • Meera
      8 November 2016 / 3:19 pm

      So happy to hear that this recipe will be of use to you, Fiona! Agree, too many apple cakes and crumbles at this time of year won’t help the waistline so turning the apples into a yummy chutney that can be enjoyed for many months is ideal! x

  2. Dorothy McMillan
    11 October 2017 / 6:09 pm

    Any idea what volume this makes or how many jars are required?

    • Meera
      11 October 2017 / 10:15 pm

      Hi Dorothy, this recipe made over a litre in volume for me, enough for 3 regular sized jars (by regular, I mean the size of a standard jam jar).

  3. joanne
    5 November 2017 / 11:16 am

    Hi Meera i have just used your recipe to make your Apple Chutney. i am delighted its turned out so well and looks yummy. Just a quick question tho as this is the first time I have ever made chutney. I used Kilner jars and I sterilised them in the oven and put piping hot chutney into them and quickly closed and sealed the lids. I now can see condensation on the inside of the lids which is inevitable I guess but will it disappear eventually? Many thanks and I love your blog . Jo

    • Meera
      6 November 2017 / 12:53 pm

      Hi Joanne, thank you for dropping me a comment! I’m so glad the recipe turned out well for you! Did you fill them right to the top? I wouldn’t worry about a little condensation, it shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂

      • Joanne Agar
        7 November 2017 / 9:03 am

        Hi Meera, thanks for your reply. I filled them to the top of the jar but when the lid is put down there is some space. Hope thats ok. Youre right the condensation is starting to dissapear already.
        Many thanks. Joanne

        • Meera
          8 November 2017 / 9:34 am

          Sounds like it’s all good! Enjoy the chutney 🙂 xx

  4. Freddie
    19 September 2018 / 1:48 pm

    Can this be frozen?

    • Meera
      19 September 2018 / 4:52 pm

      Hi Freddie, given the vinegar and sugar content (preservatives), this would last a long time – perhaps a year – in unopened jars in a dark cupboard, so I don’t see the need to freeze. It probably wouldn’t do any harm if you did put it in the freezer.

  5. Clive Pritchard
    15 November 2019 / 3:55 pm

    How do I print this off?

    • Meera
      17 November 2019 / 7:34 pm

      Hi Clive, click on the last line in the post where it says “Apple Chutney Recipe: click here for a printer-friendly PDF version of the recipe”. This will open as a pdf in another tab, and you can save or print that.

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