River Cottage Autumn

Medlar and apple chutney recipe

Hugh: "This chutney uses a host of spices to give it a really 'Eastern tang'. We use the discarded pulp from the medlar jelly in this recipe, but if you can't find medlars you can certainly use pears instead. It's perfect with a slab of good, strong Cheddar or a slab of pork pie."


  • 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 5-7cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2kg Bramley apples, cored and chopped
  • 500g dark Muscovado sugar
  • 500ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • The left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or about 700g pears, peeled, cored and chopped


How to make medlar and apple chutney

1. Warm the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and add the spices, stirring well and frying until the mustard seeds just begin to pop. This will only take a minute or so - be careful not to scorch the spices. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies, stir well, and fry gently for few minutes.

2. Tip the chopped apples into a large preserving pan and pour over the spices.

3. Add the sugar, vinegar and salt, along with the left over pulp from the medlar jelly, or the pears if you are using them instead.

4. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for about 2 hours until thickened, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if you think it's beginning to look too thick.

5. Bottle in warm, sterilised jars, filling the jars really full as the mixture will shrink slightly as it cools. Seal with vinegar-proof lids.

© River Cottage


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