From the Autumn Preserves Pantry – Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

From the Autumn Preserves Pantry - Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

From the Autumn Preserves Pantry – Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

From the Autumn Preserves Pantry

– Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom –

Still Life Figs

Still Life Figs

I am well into my preserving season now, and all sorts of jams, jellies, cheeses, chutney, bottled fruits, liqueurs, pickles and relishes have already been made and are sitting with their paper mob caps and labels in the pantry…….waiting for Christmas, gift-giving and enjoyment at the family table. I will be sharing lots of new recipes with you and also revisiting some old favourites too……such as my Quince and Ginger Marmalade with Rosewater…….

……..I had some apples and pears left from my Fruitdrop fruit delivery the other day, you can read all about it here: Fresh Fruit for the Office with Fruitdrop, The Quince Tree and Baked Orchard Fruits with Vanilla and Honeyand with the last of my fresh figs I decided to make a fruity chutney, a new Lavender and Lovage creation, Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom, and although chutney needs a month or two to “mature” and mellow in flavour, this chutney tasted pretty amazing just after making it. It’s a sweet and fruity chutney, with warm, spicy cardamom seeds added for extra depth of flavour; I tested it just after making it, on a slice of bread with some cheese, and I was delighted with the spiced flavours that come through, really complimenting the apples, pears and figs.

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

The colour of this chutney is glorious, a russet-cum-Bordeaux colour……and, although I used fresh figs, I am sure that dried figs will also work, but you may have to soak them first, and the colour won’t be such a pretty pink. I plan to serve this chutney as part of my winter cheeseboard, as well as offering it as a condiment with cold cuts of meat and charcuterie. I am sure that it will be absolutely brilliant with casseroles and stews, and would make a delicious glaze or marinade for guinea fowl, pork or chicken.

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

Tea Time Treats, a monthly blog challenge that I host with my friend Kate, is always very popular with bakers in particular; but, this month Kate and I have decided to offer Preserves as our monthly theme, either making preserves or baking with them….so, I am entering this fruity autumn chutney into October’s Tea Time Treats, which is being hosted by Kate this month…..if you have baked (or cooked) with any preserves this month, or made jams, jellies, chutney etc….do enter, it’s a great way to share your blog and recipes, and there is a round-up of ALL the entries at the end of the month! You can see all the past round-ups here: Tea Time Treats round-up of Tea Time Recipes.

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

The recipe for my Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom is below, and please do ask me if you need any tips about substitutions for fresh figs, if they are hard to obtain…..I have subsequently made a second batch of this chutney, and added some walnuts (from my tree in the garden) towards to end of cooking the chutney……..I cannot wait to try that version too! That’s all for now…….I will be back later today or this evening with a new 5:2 diet recipe, as part of my Mid-Week Meal Plan, see you later, Karen

Fresh Walnuts from the Garden

Fresh Walnuts from the Garden

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 2 hours
Total time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Condiment, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Gourmet, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Barbecue, Christmas, Easter, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
A delectable chutney with figs, apples and pears, the stars of the autumn fruit basket; this chutney is fragrantly spiced with cardamom and mace, and makes a wonderful accompaniment to cheese, cold meats and salads. Fabulous when served alongside roast guinea fowl or duck and also perfect in sandwiches. Makes a great gift for the festive hamper.


  • 750g apples (peeled, cored and very finely chopped into small cubes)
  • 1 kg pears (peeled, cored and very finely chopped into small cubes)
  • 500g fresh figs (trimmed with stem cut off and chopped into quarters)
  • 375g onions (peeled and diced)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds (from freshly crushed pods)
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 500g soft brown sugar
  • 450ml cider vinegar


A delectable chutney with figs, apples and pears, the stars of the autumn fruit basket; this chutney is fragrantly spiced with cardamom and mace, and makes a wonderful accompaniment to cheese, cold meats and salads. Fabulous when served alongside roast guinea fowl or duck and also perfect in sandwiches. Makes a great gift for the festive hamper.


Step 1 Place the onions, apples, pears and figs into a large preserving pan with the orange juice and bring to a gentle simmer, allow to simmer until the onions and fruit are cooked and the fruit has broken down.
Step 2 Add the spices, orange zest, vinegar and sugar and bring to a brisk boil, then reduce the heat to a good simmer and cook until the chutney is done, stirring occasionally.
Step 3 When the chutney is almost done and is at the desired consistency, after about an hour, stir it regularly to stop it "catching" or sticking. The chutney is ready when a spoon leaves a trail when drawn through the mixture.
Step 4 Ladle the hot chutney into hot, clean and sterile jars, them seal with a new screw top lid. Store in a cool, dark place for at least one month to mature, and keep in the fridge once opened,
Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom

Apple, Fig and Pear Chutney with Cardamom has been entered into October’s Tea Time Treats:

Tea Time Treats Blogging Challenge

What are your favourite preserves……..Jam, Jelly, Pickles or Chutney?

Do you make preserves when you have a glut of fruit or vegetables?


    • says

      Thanks Kathryn, I was really pleased with this chutney, not only is the colour just amazing, but the taste is wonderfully fruity with warm spicy notes! Karen :-)

    • says

      I made myself make chutney Jac! I had so much fruit hanging around, that I put aside a few days for chutney, as well as jam and jelly! I am sure your jams will be delicious and well received though……there’s always next year for chutney! Karen

  1. says

    I’m in a frenzy of preserving at the moment too and I really love it – it sort of makes me feel creative and frugal at the same time! But I hadn’t thought of using figs, so thank you for the tip – I’ve got some green tomatoes to use up and I think the figs will do the trick!

    • says

      Thanks! I understand the frenzy you mention Rachel! It’s been like that here too, in order to make sure all my lovely fruits don’t go to waste……I still have about 25 kilos of quince to deal with, I kid you not! Green tomatoes always make a nice preserve………I love green tomato jam! Karen

  2. says

    wow, fig jam, beautiful… I must get my jamming on this weekend but I need to be inspired by a fruit i’ve not used before… must go searching at the market perhaps… great tips on jamming sweetie x

    • says

      Thanks Dom! This was one of these creations that sometimes happen in the kitchen that just blew me away……..great taste and super colour too! Karen

  3. says

    This is gorgeous Karen, all my favourite things and a perfect way for me to use up my apple and pear glut! The chutney looks wonderful, lovely texture and such a beautiful colour. Stunning photos too.

    • says

      Thanks Katherine, I was very pleased with this chutney, as you may have seen from my previous comments! It is a glorious colour and the cardamom adds a wonderful flavour to the overall taste. Karen

    • says

      Thanks Laura! You know when something just comes together? Well, this was one of those recipes and I now need to eke it out for us, as well as gift giving! Karen

  4. says

    I definitely would like to go deeper in the subject of chutneys and relishes. So far I have tried only two things. Something with apple sounds good, because I have quite a few at home.

  5. says

    This reminds me of a chutney my mum used to make with apples and sultanas. It was soooo good and I am sure your version is too. I must try it when I get the time. Sadly my TTT entry is to be a rather rushed affair this month :-(

    • says

      Thanks! Yes, I also have a Scottish chutney recipe that has apples and sultanas in it too……this one is so fruity and with a lovely subtle spicy flavour…..never mind about TTT being rushed, I still have a free blog challenges to bake and cook yet myself. Karen

  6. says

    Sounds like a great collection of flavours – wish I’d had this recipe sooner, it’s taken me years to convince my husband that not all chutneys are evil tasting! I think this one would have converted him much quicker!

    • says

      Thanks Sarah! The flavours are mild and fruity with wonderful warm tones of the cardamom……it’s one of the best chutneys I have made recently. Karen

    • says

      Thanks Vivien, I took your advice and cooked the fruit before adding the sugar and vinegar too… was a lovely fusion of flavours and the colour is so pretty! Karen

  7. says

    A lovely idea. I love cardamom and can imagine the scent and flavour of these lovely fruits. I wonder how dried figs would work. I imagine quite well as they are so intensely sweet. Maybe soaking them first?

    • says

      Thanks Nazima! Yes, I have suggested soaking them first and only using about 350g to 400g of dried figs BEFORE soaking and then proceed as before as for the fresh figs!

  8. says

    At the end of August for the first time in my life I made jam and chutney. It took me a lot of time, because I did not exactly what to do. I’ve just opened a jar and with my great surprise the jam is good!!! Now I really believe I can do it. I love your figs/pears/apple combination: wonderful colour. I’will follow treat and treats to have more inspiring ideas!!!

    • says

      GOOD for you Rita! I bet you are a convert to good home-made preserves now! I adore all the preserves I make at home, as I know what has gone into them and they have all been made with love! Karen

  9. says

    The flavours just sound gorgeous together, I’m such a big fan of cardamom especially so can’t imagine not liking anythign with it. Also great that this uses the best of what’s available in fall, I feel so embarassed now that I’ve only been sharing applesauce recipes instead of something that’s a lot more imaginative and inspired. Ok, next up when I next do my groceries, this chutney!!

    • says

      Apple sauce also rocks Shuhan!! I love apple sauce, so will be over to see what you have been doing with your apple sauce as soon as I have replied! Thanks so much for your lovely comments, I can’t wait to see if you make this chutney! Karen :-)

  10. says

    Your chutney looks great Karen – another good recipe I can use our surplus apples in. A friend has some pears that need picking and we have a few figs that need grabbing before the birds get to them. And I’d just decided that I need to make some different chutneys this year, rather than my usual, bung-it- all- in glutney. Thanks for inspiring me. Andrea

    • says

      Thanks Andrea, I am sure you will love it if you manage to make it. I know what you mean about bung-it-all-in! Sometimes I just throw any fruit and veg into my chutney and although it’s always lovely, this recipe was just a Mitch above my usual one! Karen

  11. Laura C. Martin says

    This Chutney sounds lovely and a great way to use Figs which I can pick from a neighbour’s tree in abundance when in Greece. I particularly like the use of Cardamon and Cinnamon, two of my most favourite spices

  12. Charlotte says

    Hey there! I am going to make this as i have tons of figs and pears from my parents orchard. I was wondering though, how much does this yield? I am just wondering how many jars to sterilize? Cheers! Charlotte

  13. Nicky Stevens says

    I think this deserves a nudge for 2013 :)

    I had some figs, pears and apples to use today and guess what google found me!

    Thanks, it’s totally delicious!

  14. Mary KE says

    Oh my word. I made this after my garden produced an absolute glut of figs, pears, and apples. I made a double batch even though I’m not a huge chutney fan and don’t particularly like anything cooked with an orange flavour – the cardamom appealed. I thought I’d give it away for Christmas. Then I took a little taste, just to see what it was like. Oh my goodness me. I could eat a bowl of this with a spoon. NO ONE is getting any for Christmas because I’m going to have to keep it all!

  15. Michele says

    I made a double batch of this chutney this afternoon and am sampling it now with crackers and cheese and it is AMAZING!! I didn’t have mace but substituted with allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Will try to leave it to mature for a couple of months before sampling again! Thanks for a great recipe.

  16. Lisa says

    Hi Karen, I am looking forward to trying this recipe and am wondering if the jars need to be processed for safe keeping? thanks very much. Lisa

  17. jaki morris says

    Hi Karen,
    so there I was in Lidl and figs were on offer. I whipped out my phone and searched for ‘Fig & chutney’ and up popped this recipe. It’s bubbling away at the moment and smells divine. My son says it smells like Christmas!
    Thanks again for all your wonderful recipes

  18. says

    Nice recipe and lovely photography. I am living outside Perigueux and we have a Fig Tree with hundreds of Figs and two Pear Trees with lots of Pears! No Apple Tree though. If leaving out Apples, would I just add more Pears in place of? Or substitute Apples 50/50 with more Figs and Pears? Any ideas for a glut of Walnuts as well? We have two of those and sprinkling a few over a Salad does not get through them. The only other people eating the Walnuts must be the Mice as I find shells everywhere!!! With regards to the Walnuts, do I let them fall to the ground and peel them or do I wait for the green outer skin to come/rot off itself?

    • says

      Hi Jean-Elise, I DO have some walnut recipes coming soon, as I also have a walnut tree that is VERY prolific! So watch this space for that and also here: Walnut Recipes
      I always pick my walnuts up from the ground when the green skin is just starting to peel off…..usually that is!
      As for the chutney, pears are JUST fine in place of apples, as it is not a jam, their pectin is not needed for a set, so pears are fine.


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