Jim’s acidic plums make perfect chutney

Plum chutney
Plum chutney
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It looks like this year’s plum harvest will be good judging by the trays of yellow cherry plums Jim brought in last week.

He’d asked a few days earlier if I’d like a few as his tree was laden and he didn’t want to see it wasted.

There are many varieties of plum from greengage, Victoria and damson to Mirabelle – each with different colours and tastes.

Taste before deciding what to do with them as some are sweet, others sharp. Victoria plums make beautiful sorbet with a fine texture; damsons are great for jam and cakes.

I add fresh ginger to greengages before sprinkling with sugar and roasting them in the oven before serving with vanilla cream.

We tasted Jim’s plums and they pulled in our cheeks with the high acid content – sharpness to cut the fat of pork belly or serrano ham. We decided to make chutney.

Jim said if you boil the plums in water the stones float to the surface. I tried this method and it didn’t work so stone the fruit by hand.

Plum chutney


500g plums (stoned)

230g light brown sugar (if the fruit is very tart a little more)

1 onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic finely chopped

250g bramley apple chopped

Teaspoon coriander seed

1 star anise

Bay leaf

125ml white wine

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Knob butter


1. Heat a large pan on a low heat and add the butter.

2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for three minutes.

3. Add the sugar and white wine and cook for three minutes.

4. Now add all of the rest of the ingredients and stir.

5. Cook slowly for 45 minutes or until the mixture is thick.

6. Spoon into sterile jars and seal.