One of my flatmates  moved out last week meaning one thing: random free food!

In some ways I have inherited my grandmother’s wartime spirit of unrelenting pennypinching. Not with regard to holidays, luxury yarns or seasonal lattes, but definitely when it comes to food waste. So an ex-housemate’s cupboard is a magical mystery tour of forgotten foodstuffs.

His abandoned jar Pataks spice paste, dried chickpeas and bag-ends of basmati became a delicious chicken and pumpkin curry that I’ll be enjoying for a while to come.

What I especially like is the inspiration to work with ingredients I wouldn’t ordinarily choose. The only Indian style curry I’ve made for the past few years has been a Jamie Oliver chicken korma. This week I have expanded my curry repertoire to something warmer than a korma, that I will likely make again.

Anyway, I digress. The subject of this particular blog post is the twelve random apples found in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Yes, I know, who keeps apples in the fridge?? I transformed them into this.

I am especially pleased because the only ingredient I paid for was the raisins. I’m really hoping I managed to do the jarring correctly as I plan to give some of the chutney away. I also hope it tastes good! There wasn’t much left to try, and anyway I understand that chutney should be left to mature before consumption.

My basic recipe is here, but I tweaked the amounts according to what I had on hand.


  • 1kg apples, chopped. This was the weight after coring etc. I didn’t peel them
  • 250g onions, chopped
  • 200g raisins
  • 15g paprika
  • 15g ground coriander
  • 15g random spices because I don’t know what ‘mixed spice’ is
  • 15g salt
  • 350g sugar. I used a combination of dark brown and granulated
  • 450ml vinegar, at least 5% acidity

Yield: 3 jars plus two small jarsh

I played fast and loose with the recipe, which may turn out to be an error when I have never made chutney before. I will update with a review of how it tastes.


  1. Put all ingredients into a very large pan.
  2. Bring to the boil slowly until the sugar dissolves

3. Simmer for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. After about an hour, begin sterilising your jars

5. Once the chutney is very thick, so that a wooden spoon drawn through it leaves a channel that doesn’t immediately fill with liquid, begin jarring

I think I overcooked mine slightly. The chutney goes from ‘nowhere near ready’ to ‘too ready’ in about a second so keep a close eye on it once it gets very thick.

I may also have been distracted as I was watching Breaking Bad while I was cooking. My feels!

I’ll be cracking my first jar open in a few weeks, so until then the jury is out.