Tutorial: Red Tomato Chutney

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone – trying out a vintage recipe and creating some goodies for my Christmas hampers.

I got this red tomato chutney recipe from a retro cookery book, The Dairy Book of Home Management, which I currently have for sale in my etsy shop. It takes a lot of prep but is really straight forward, just remember that once it is cooked you need to place the hot chutney into hot sterilised jars.


  • 1lb Red tomatoes
  • 1lb Cooking apples
  • 1lb Onions (I used white onions)
  • 1lb Brown sugar
  • 1pint Malt vinegar
  • 1tsp Mustard powder
  • 1tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp Mixed spice


  • Head proof bowl
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Large lidded saucepan
  • Spoon
  • 3 x 12oz Jam jars (sterilised)
  • Ladle
  • Oven mitts/tea towels


1. The first thing is to peel the tomatoes. I have never peeled a tomato before, and it is fiddly but it will give you a nice smooth chutney so is worth the preparation. Boil the kettle and place your tomatoes in a heat proof bowl. Pour the boiled water over the tomatoes so that they are covered and leave for a few minutes.

2. The tomatoes are ready to peel once the skins start to split (you should be able to see a crack in the skin). Take the tomatoes out of the water – being careful in case the water is hot – and peel by hand. It is easier to peel larger tomatoes, I chose a mix of sizes and colours so it was a bit fiddly.

3. Chop the tomatoes into large sections and place in a large lidded saucepan. Chop up the apples, remove the core and cut into small chunks. Remove the root, tip and skins of the onions and finely chop. Add the apples and onions into the saucepan with the tomatoes.

4. Pour the malt vinegar over the tomatoes, apples and onions and add the spices. Give everything a good stir.
5. Heat the saucepan over a medium heat un-covered. Once the liquid is heated and simmering turn the heat up slightly until the liquid is gently boiling. Give everything a good stir and cover.

6. I left mine gently boiling for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. You may need to leave them a little longer, but you will know it is ready when it is a dark red colour and all the liquid has been absorbed. You should be left with a chutney that parts and reveals the bottom of the pan when you run a spoon through it.
7. Whilst the chutney is cooking you can sterilise your jam jars. I cleaned mine in water and placed in an oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 20 mins.
8. Once the chutney is thick, sticky and hot, spoon into your jam jars. For me, the recipe yielded three 12oz jam jars. Be sure to protect your hands when handling the hot jam jars and hot chutney. Place the lids on tight using a tea towel so you don’t burn your hands.

This chutney gets better with age, so make a couple of months in advance and keep in a cool dark place until you want to consume it. They would make lovely presents and go great with cheeses and cold meats. Mine will be stored away and added to my Cheese Board hampers come Christmas. I thought this recipe was really simple to follow and all the ingredients are cheap and easily available. The dark colour did worry me slightly but I used dark brown sugar so you may get a nicer colour with a light brown sugar instead. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

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