Simple to make this lightly spiced easy tomato chutney is delicious with cold meats and cheese. It's also fabulous on burgers and with chips.
Chutneys and pickles are easier to make
I've dipped in and out of making my own preserves over the years. I made them a lot as a student living on a shoestring and studying Home Economics many years ago, always happy to be gifted spare produce from bumper crops in home gardens to make them from.
And again, much later, when testing recipes and food styling a couple of food preserving books during my career as a food writer and stylist.
Most recently, I got my urban mini allotment with a prolific rhubarb patch. Since then I have made lots of batches of Mr.B award winning rhubarb chutney, as well as lots of jam now that I am beginning to get a good soft fruit crop each year.
Whenever I have got fallen out of the habit of making them and started again, I am always pleasantly surprised to remember just how easy they are to make. Which makes me wonder why I stopped. In the end it's usually just been down to "life" getting in the way as happens from time to time.
If you are just getting into making your own preserves, I've come to the conclusion that chutneys and pickles are easier to make than jam so they are a good place to start.
I'm not saying that jams are hard to make but sometimes judging when setting point has been reached can be a little tricky. There's none of that when making many pickles. You often just boil until you have the right consistency which is usually pretty easy to judge visually.
To test if this tomato chutney is ready simply pull a spoon through the mixture and it will leave a trail that does not immediately fill up with liquid.
A seasonal preserve
I would love to say this chutney came about as a result of having lots of tomatoes I had grown. Sadly not, so far I have not had much success growing them. But many people do, so this is a great chutney to make if you have a glut of tomatoes on your hands.
I decided to develop this one because I love tomato pickle, particularly on burgers or with chips, and usually buy it, so it seemed a shame not to have a go at making my own.
If like me, you do not grow your own it is still worth making in the summer when tomatoes are plentiful and at their most flavourful as well as their cheapest. You will be rewarded with a delicious tasting pickle.
You can use just one variety or a mixture the choice is up to you.
Easy tomato chutney step by step
Easy tomato chutney
- 4 x 250g (9oz) jam jars
- Large heavy based pan
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 750 g tomatoes chopped
- 2 small eating apples cored and chopped (skin left on)
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 125 g light muscovado sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 25 0 ml cider vinegar
- Put 750g (5 cups) chopped tomatoes, 1 chopped red onion, 2 chopped eating apples, 4 chopped garlic cloves in a large heavy based pan with 125g (½ cup) light muscovado sugar.
- Add 1 teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground allspice and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves and stir in 250ml (1 cup) cider viengar.
- Heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a gentle boil (just a little more than simmering )and cook uncovered for about 1½ hours until the chutney has reduced and thickened. Stir occasionally to begin with and then more frequently as the cooking time goes on to prevent the mixture from burning on the base of the pan.
- When the chutney is ready, you will be able to draw a spoon through the mixture and it will leave a trail that does not immediately fill up with vinegar. Spoon into warm sterilized jars and seal.
- Once the jars are cold, place in the fridge for about 3 weeks before eating for the flavour to mature.