Grandad Fred's Plums, Spiced Chutney Recipe

Grandad Fred

There is no love greater than that Grandad Fred and Grandma Audrey have for their grandchildren. They have been there, rain or shine, to drop off, pick up, wait in for parcels, feed, and encourage their grand daughters. This chutney is made with autumn-ripe plums from their garden, and named as a homage to the kindest people you would ever hope to meet

I am not very scientific with my chutney recipes. Maybe I should be, the first attempt at winging a pot of plum chutney resulted in a brew so spicy it stripped the lining of my lungs just breathing in the cooking vapour. Sadly, that batch was doomed for the bin. This mix is a lot more subtle and doesn't remove the top coat of your lips as you consume it

There are many methods of sterilising jars available to peruse on t'interweb, but the easiest one I find is to put the jars and lids in the dishwasher on a steam cycle. If you aim to fill the jars whilst red hot still, and whilst the chutney is literally still plopping away in the pan, you should hear that satisfying chorus of "pops" coming from the kitchen as your sip your evening tipple watching Great British Bake Off

Store in a cool dark place and the chutney will last about 12 months, wait at least a month before opening though to let the flavour develop. If you manage to sneak away a couple of your partner's older shirts to cut into lid covers with pinking shears and tie nicely with string, it makes great little gifting pieces for Christmas (did I just say the C word???....oh my!!)


750g ripe plums, stoned and chopped into small pieces

1 small onion finely chopped

1 tbsp finely chopped or grated fresh ginger

125g dates, chopped into small pieces

175g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp salt

200ml red wine vinegar


Quite literally plonk all the prepared ingredients into a large pan. Bring to the boil, then barely simmering allow to gently bubble away uncovered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan

When the mix is nice and thick and pulpy, spoon into hot sterilised jars and get the lid on as quickly as possibly, it might help to hold the jar with a tea towel or oven glove to avoid removing your fingerprints in the process. Unless you are a spy or international villian of course, in which case this could be quite useful.....

Label your jars with whatever you want to call your creation, Fred's Plums will probably not be particularly relevant in anybody else's household


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