Place 650g (4cups) chopped onions, 500ml (2¼ cups) vinegar and 400g (1⅚ cup) sugar in a preserving pan or large saucepan and bring to the boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, stone the plums and chop. Peel, core and chop the apples weighing so that you have 750g (1lb 10oz) each of the prepared fruit.
After 20 minutes simmering, add the apples and plums to the pan, return to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes.
Add 300ml (½pt) ale, 2 teaspoon salt, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves and 1 teaspoon ground ginger. Bring to a gentle boil and cook uncovered 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. The chutney is ready, you will be able to draw a spoon through the mixture you can briefly see the base of the pan. Mine took about 1 hour.
Spoon into warm sterilised jars Once the jars are cold, place in the fridge for about 3 weeks before eating for the flavour to mature.
Allow a little extra fruit than stated in the ingredients list as the fruit should be weighed after preparing. Use a long-handled spoon and stir carefully as the chutney thickens it tends to spit when you stir itThe time it takes to thicken will vary mine took 1 hour but it may take longer. It will be quicker in Try not to hurry this along as it may burn on the base of the pan.