The Autumn Garden, Windfalls and Old Fashioned Scottish Apple and Ginger Chutney

The Autumn Garden, 
Old Fashioned Scottish Apple and Ginger Chutney
 The Autumn garden is my favourite ~ the air heavy with the scent of exotic perfumed quince, green and golden orbs decorate the grass in and around the trees from which they fell, a tapestry of ochres and rusts adorn the branches of the fruit trees and the ruby red of late raspberries glow in the distance……the smell is redolent of childhood days, of carefree days from my youth with grandparents in cottage gardens and ancient potting sheds. It’s unsettling sometimes, especially when the wind blows……..
There are buckets and buckets of windfalls, as soon as one pie is made and devoured, or a batch of chutney or jam is sealed and stored, in comes my husband with more apples or pears……..I love preserving, it is satisfying and rewarding, but even I am beginning to tire of the constant peeling and stirring now. The last bucket of windfall apples were left in the “Jam Factory” last weekend, green and hard with hailstone damage, but no worms ~ crisp and highly flavoured; I decided to make an old family recipe with them and some of the jars will find their way into hampers for family and friends this Christmas time. 
This chutney is delightful ~ a perfect foil for cheese and cold meats, a true partner for the humble toasted cheese sandwich or the rustic ploughman’s lunch…..a dollop of this added to a curry adds a subtle sweetness and spiciness. It’s Autumn in a jar ~ my Autumn garden in a jar. 
Old fashioned it maybe in the sense of a family recipe and family tradition, but it assumes an air of modernity due to its unexpected rise to fame in magazine supplements and Sunday papers ~ home-made chutney is back in vogue and this one is definitely on the cat walk. Serve this in an old crystal or cut glass bowl for optimum dress appeal and don’t be afraid to be liberal with it when bread is in the vicinity…..tuck it into jute bags with assorted artisan cheeses for a gift or pack it into a hamper with ham, saucisson, baguette and wine for a picnic….be generous with it and make lots! Windfalls available here if needed….
See you later with more tales from the Jam Factory. I hope you enjoy this old family recipe.
My apple tree and a few windfalls!
~ This recipe is great for British Food Fortnight ~ 
Use Bramley Apples and British onions

Love British Food

Old Fashioned Scottish Apple and Ginger Chutney


 Printable Recipe Here

A delightful apple chutney with the added kick of ginger. I make this every autumn when I harvest the apples from my garden – you can use windfall apples too. Chutney is such an interesting preserve as it combines sweet and savoury flavours, making it an ideal accompaniment for a range of dishes such as cheese, sandwiches, cold meats, salami, ham, pasties, pies and is essential in a traditional Ploughman’s Lunch. I also add chutney to my curries, tagines and winter stews. The word chutney is derived from the Hindu word “chatni” meaning strongly spiced. Try to use good cooking apples with plenty of flavour and taste for the best results. This is based on an old family recipe and is a mellow and mild type of chutney
    • 1 lb (450g) onions, weight is for onions when peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 lbs (900g) Bramley apples or local cooking apples, weight is for apples when peeled, cored and roughly chopped
    • 4 ounces (100g) sultanas
    • 1 ounce (25g) fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    • 1 teaspoon dried ginger powder
    • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
    • 1 lb (450g) soft brown sugar
    • 1/2 pint (300ml) malt vinegar
    • 1/2 pint (300ml) cider apple cider vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Place all the prepared onions and apples into a large preserving pan and add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Bring slowly to the boil and then lower the heat so that chutney cooks at a rolling boil.
  3. Stir the chutney regularly and make sure it does not “catch” and burn on the base of the preserving pan.
  4. Keep on cooking until the chutney is the consistency of a thick jam and all the liquids have dissolved.
  5. (A trick to check if it is cooked is to draw your wooden spoon across the chutney, if the space that is left fills up with liquid, the chutney is not ready yet).
  6. Spoon the hot chutney into hot and sterile jars and seal immediately.
  7. Makes about 4 lbs chutney.
  8. Store in a dark and cool place and leave to mature for at least 2 weeks.
  9. Will keep in ideal storage conditions for up to 2 years+.


  1. A Trifle Rushed says

    Just reading the recipe has made me long for a cheese and chutney sandwich. I will have to use shop bought apples, and can use some of my Roscoff onions! Wonderful! Jude x

  2. Karen S Booth says

    Thanks Ren! Ooops, naughty me, as it is British Food Fortnight I posted this especially and YES Bramleys would be my TOP choice for this chutney ~ thanks for asking, I will add them to the ingredients and also add this to your Simple and in Season too!

  3. Annie says

    This does sound a perfect addition to curries (and cheese sandwiches too of course). Thank's Karen, another winner for my recipe file … which now has a whole L&L section!

  4. Janice says

    How did I miss this one? Love the sound of the ginger in the chutney. Will see how many apples I get donated by neighbours 😉

  5. Emma says

    Hi:) I only found your website yesterday and think it really is beautiful! The recipes look inspiring and the photographs spectacular.

    I made the apple and blackberry chutney yesterday. I made one and a half 500ml jars and put the full jar away for christmas and the half jar we tried today. It is divine! I’m new to chutney making (this being only my third recipe I have tried) and really impressed with how lovely it is. My only real issue is with the colour. Yours is a beautiful deep brown/red colour where as mine is grey. The taste is superb though but I would really love to achieve a nice colour to give away as christmas gifts. I wondered if it will change colour as it matures? But all the ingredients are pale anyway. I used light brown sugar and also wondering if dark brown sugar would have changed the colour.

    Could I have your thoughts on this please?

    • says

      Thanks so much for your wonderful feedback Emma and I am so pleased you like the chutney. The colour WILL darken as the chutney ages, and yes, if you use dark brown sugar then the colour will be richer and darker as you say. I hope this helps? Also, malt vinegar or red wine vinegar will make the colour richer. Karen

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