It’s January the time for clearing out and cleaning down and generally getting ready for the seasons to come. I will admit our freezer has been rather bulging with excess produce this year so this weekend I took everything out and made preserves, LOTS and LOTS  of preserves, Blackcurrant jam, Goosberry jam, Raspberry jam, Rhubarb and Strawberry pie (ok not so much preserving as consuming there) and last of all delicious Spicy Rhubarb and Ginger Chutney.

FIrst of the season pink rhubarb

I was scouring the store cupboard at Christmas looking for a jarof this chutney for the cheese board and there was none to be had. All eaten of gifted away. Very disappointing. So with the little rhubarb left in the freezer I made a small batch to tide us over until 2018 rhubarb season is upon us, when I will make an enormous batch once more.


NOTE: It takes at least a month to really season, 3- 6 is better.


500g onion peeled and chopped smallish – I used yellow onions you could use red too

300 ml  wine vinegar – Sarson’s pickling vinegar will do as well

500g eating apples, peeled and chopped smallish

100g peeled, grated fresh ginger

200g pitted chopped dates

200g raisins – cranberries or sultanas work as well

400g light muscovado/soft brown sugar – other sugar won’t really do, though a dark soft sugar makes the cutney darker.

700g washed chopped rhubarb

1/2 tbs curry powder – I don’t like my chutney too spicy but you can add more if you like more heat.

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds – I used 1/12 of a wholegrain mustard for this as no mustard seed to be found!

2tsp salt


Place the equivalent of 4 or 5 1lb, thoroughly clean jars in the oven to warm through.

Place onion, ginger and vinegar in a large pan and bring to boil, turn the heat down and simmer gently for about 10 mins, don’t let the onions catch on the bottom of the pan.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the rhubarb, bring to the boil again  and cook, uncovered for a further 10 mins.

Add the rhubarb and cook down until it reaches a thick jammy consistency, the mix will darken somewhat. It took a further 15 -20 mins for mine to come to the right consistency.

Allow the chutney to sit for about 10 mins then laddle into the warm jars, I use a jam funnel to stop as much mess and waste as possible. Cover immediately. Label when cool

Keep in a cool dark place for at least a month before eating, 3-6 is even better allowing flavours to really blend and develop.

First shoots of rhubabr from the crown, with crinkle green leaves

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