Damson chutney

Damson chutney

Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook
10–12 jars
Jonathan Buckley

My sister Anna makes and sells lots of jams, jellies and chutneys. This is her favourite and most popular recipe. She recommends it for when the Spanish would serve quince jelly, with cheese, and with cold meat – the leftovers of ham, beef or game.


Quantity Ingredient
675g soft brown muscovado sugar
225g apples
900g damsons
850ml vinegar, (cider or wine vinegar, or a mixture of dark brown malt and one of these)
450g raisins
2 onions
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
a few chillies, fresh or dried
15g ground allspice
15g ground ginger


  1. Place the packets or bowl of sugar in a very low oven to warm up for about half an hour.
  2. Peel, core and chop the apples. Add to the damsons in a large pan with the vinegar and all the remaining ingredients, except the sugar, and simmer until soft. (Stir the pan regularly to prevent the chutney sticking.) Remove from the heat. After this you can don your rubber gloves and pick out the stones if you want to.
  3. Add the warmed sugar, put back on the heat and stir constantly over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer until the volume is sufficiently reduced to a thick mass. This may take some time and it will be necessary to stir it regularly to keep it from sticking. (Use a heat diffuser if necessary.) The mixture will thicken even more when it is cold, but there should not be much excess liquid at the end of the cooking time. Spoon into warm sterilised jars, seal and store for a month before use. This chutney keeps really well for up to 2 years.
Sarah Raven
Sarah Raven's Garden cookbook
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