Homemade Plum Chutney Recipe

Plum chutney can be made with plums or damsons and it’s a good way of using up damaged or misshapen sweet plums. If a plum is bruised, still put it all in – it makes no difference once it’s cooked.

Stoning the Plums:
The easy way to do this is to simmer them in a covered pot with some vinegar at the bottom for about 20 minutes, then leave them overnight. Use some of the white wine vinegar from the ingredients list for this and remember to subtract the amount of vinegar used to help stone the plums from the amount that you add to the cooking pot.


Note: all the main ingredients should be chopped fine, but some people prefer their apricot & raisins to be a bit chunky.

  • 1350g of plums or damsons with the stones removed.
  • 450g of cored apples. Ideally use cooking apples or cooking crabapples. If you can only get eating apples, the more tart, acidic tasting ones are best.
  • 450g onions.
  • 300g dried apricots.
  • 200g raisins.
  • 220g-450g of sugar. Brown sugar is best. Use less sugar for sweet plums, more for damsons or really tart cooking plums and somewhere in the middle if it’s a mixture.
  • 2 cloves of garlic.
  • 750 ml of white wine vinegar.

Spices & Seasoning:

  • Half tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 hot chilli
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of allspice powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 10 black peppercorns

Now for the fun bit – just dump all the spices & seasoning into the vinegar, stir and then pour it over all the ingredients in a pot or saucepan for slow cooking and give it a another good stir.
bring it to the boil and then immediately turn the heat right down so that the mixture is barely simmering. Leave it for about 5 hours, stirring occasionally. When it is ready, it will be thick enough so that when you stir it, you will leave a little valley in your trail.
Pour it into sterilised jars for storage in a cool place or the fridge. Chutneys are at their best when they have been left to settle for a couple of weeks.

By Ashridge Support

Ashridge Nurseries has been in the business of delivering plants since 1949.


  1. lynn says:

    Lovely chutney… just made it, if the jars are left unopened do you know how long they would last?

    1. Edward says:

      Hi Lynn,

      Assuming that the jars and lids were properly sterilised, the chutney should be fine for a long time, a year at least, if stored in a cool place.
      Chutney’s really a pickled food, so there is no risk of anything nasty like botulism, which is found very rarely* in canned foods that weren’t sterilised & cooked properly.

      *According to the NHS, there have been 33 cases of food-bourne botulism in England and Wales since 1989 and only 5 of those were from homemade products. The rest were from a batch of commercially sold hazelnut yoghurt. No one died in any of the cases.

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