The outdoor life bekons this month.

Summer berries are waiting to be picked (blackberries, plums, apples, cherries etc) and if you have grown your own produce this is the time to pot, preserve and pickle it, so get cracking with this Green  Tomato Chutney recipe which is lovely eaten with some lovely cheese and a glass of red wine or two!! on those Autumn evenings.

Whatever your reasons for preserving – whether you need to use up your home grown produce or market stall bargains or just maybe a keen cook – its wonderful to look back on your produce in jars for later use.

Its a luxury to eat and usually simple and cheap to make as most preserves comes from foraging the hedgerows, its amazing to think that a bit of sugar, salt and vinegar can make something really tasty!


Green Tomato Chutney Recipe

4 tbsp olive oil

1k onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp mixed spice

1 heaped tsp yellow mustard seeds

1 tsp chilli flakes

2 bay leaves

2k green tomatoes, roughly chopped

500g cooking apples, peeled and diced

850ml cider vinegar

500g light soft brown sugar

200g soft pitted dates

200g sultanas

1 tbsp flaky sea salt

Heat the oil in a preserving pan, then add the onions and let them gently soften for 10 mins. Add the garlic, spices and bay and cook for 5 mins more until fragrant.                                                                                                                             Tip in the tomatoes, apples and half the vinegar, then simmer for 15 mins or until the tomatoes and apples are soft. Add the rest of the vinegar, then the sugar, dried fruit and salt, and cook gently until the sugar dissolves.                       Turn up the heat a little, then bubble the chutney for about 1 hour 30 mins or until it is thick and jam like. When ready, you will be able to drag a line across the bottom of the pan without the chutney flooding back straight away.   The timing can vary depending on the water content of the tomatoes.                                                                                        Remove the bay leaves before potting the hot chutney into hot, sterilised jars.