Apple Ginger Chutney

My mother-in-law, Jean, was an excellent cook, especially when it came to roast meals accompanied by relishes and chutneys. The best sandwich I ever had was the first time I tried a “cheese and pickle” sandwich made by Jean in her English kitchen with Welsh cheddar and some of her homemade apple and ginger chutney. It was a divine combination of aged cheddar with sweet yet sharp and gingery chutney, and I just had to have the recipe. Jean wrote it out for me, and I’ve been making the chutney each fall during Ontario apple season for almost 20 years now (you can see by the photo further down how worn the page is, and with my own measurement translations scrawled on it).

I usually use Cortlands, but have also made this with Macintosh apples and it works well–any crips, somewhat tart apple will do. This chutney is not only great in a cheese sandwich but is amazing with roast chicken, pork or lamb, and especially as an accompaniment to curries.

Crisp Cortland apple from Ontario

Adding the rest of the ingredients to the softened apples and onion.


  • 3 lbs. cooking apples, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup apricots, diced
  • 1 cup dates, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups demerara or turbinado sugar
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • A sprinkle of chili powder and ground cloves

Boil the apples and onion in the vinegar in a large saucepan until soft. Add all of the other ingredients; stir well. Simmer on low heat, covered, for about an hour, stirring occasionally. When chutney is thick and brown, spoon into mason jars.

My mother-in-law’s tried and true recipe.

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