Apple-Onion Chutney

This apple-onion chutney makes use of all those peak-season garden goodies that some of us have piles and piles of come late summer. Apples, onions, tomatoes, chili peppers, raisins, and a handful of warming, earthy spices make it a perfect pairing for strong cheeses.

A Mason jar filled with apple-onion chutney along white crostini toped with goat cheese and more chutney

This recipe, also known as Gardener’s Windfall Chutney, is ideal for the novice chutney maker. Having prepared the apples and onion, you simply throw everything into one big pot and let it simmer away. It’s perfect for those times when you come in from the garden and suddenly have the urge to create something using the produce you’ve harvested. Feel free to halve the quantities if preferred. Just be sure that your first taste of it is with some fresh white bread and really strong Cheddar. The combination is wonderful! It’s also quite lovely with Sausage Puffs.–Ghillie James

LC Woah, What a Windfall! Note

Ghillie wasn’t kidding when she dubbed this recipe Windfall Chutney given how she seems to have gotten a little carried away with the amounts, as this makes several quarts. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to make a fraction of the recipe, so just brush up on those second-grade math skills or take a peek at that calculator on your computer.

☞ Contents

Apple-Onion Chutney

A Mason jar filled with apple-onion chutney along white crostini toped with goat cheese and more chutney
This recipe for apple-onion chutney makes a lovely accompaniment on a charcuterie board. If you don't have a surplus of apples and onions, the recipe can easily be halved or quartered.

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 2 hours
Total 2 hours 15 minutes
96 servings
42 kcal
5 / 2 votes
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  • 3 pounds fallen cooking apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • Four cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/3 cups golden raisins
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups malt vinegar
  • 3 large, relatively mild red chili peppers seeded and chopped (optional; use only if you wish to make a fiesty windfall chutney)


  • Place all the ingredients in a very large pan or in 2 slightly smaller pots. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and starts to become sticky, about 2 hours. As the mixture cooks, the liquid will rise to the surface, with the chutney thickening at the bottom of the pan, so continue to stir every so often. (One word of warning: Be careful when stirring the hot chutney—it may be just trembling on the surface, but it can erupt like a volcano when you dig deeper. I find turning off the heat briefly helps . . . as does wearing an apron and standing at a distance!) The chutney is done when the liquid has reduced to the point that it feels and looks less like a sauce and more like, well, a chutney.
  • Ladle or pour the hot chutney into warm sterilized jars and seal according to manufacturer’s directions.

  • The chutney can be eaten as soon as it is cool—unlike other chutneys, which need to be left to mature.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 42kcal (2%)Carbohydrates: 11g (4%)Protein: 0.3g (1%)Fat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.02gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 29mg (1%)Potassium: 66mg (2%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 9g (10%)Vitamin A: 29IU (1%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 8mg (1%)Iron: 0.2mg (1%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

How much simpler can this recipe be? I imagine untold potential for future chutneys of my own creation, using this recipe as a starter. I’d done many chutney recipes in the past, some certainly more complex and time-consuming than this one. I must say, this was a surprise for me. It’s the perfect marriage for breakfast sausage, and something tells me it’ll go extremely well with a grilled pork chop or a broiled loin, too. I made two variations — spicy and non-spicy. I loved the taste, which was sweet (yet not overly so), full of flavor (you could still make out what some of the ingredients were), and an amazing condiment (for all your future cooking).

I thought this was an easy recipe and the flavor profile worked wonderfully with the Picnic Puffs. Some may want to reduce the amount of vinegar used, but I personally enjoy the tang that it provides to the chutney.

I made a quarter batch of this chutney, but would make a half batch next time. I had no trouble dividing the recipe; everything worked perfectly, so long as I kept a careful watch on the timing. My small volume needed just over half the specified two-hour cooking time. At one hour and five minutes, it was ready! I had no trouble determining when it crossed over from a sauce to a chutney. This is a keeper for home use and entertaining, and a great gift idea at any time of year! I made it and spooned it into a glass canning jar and into the fridge, bypassing the formal canning process since I knew it wouldn’t last long in my house. The aroma while cooking was so wonderful that I didn’t wait till it cooled to try it. Then I did eat it, with a sharp white cheddar and a fresh loaf of crusty white bread. As stated, the combination was wonderful! But this would also be wonderful as a complement to eggs, vegetables, or as an hors d’oeuvre, either as a dip with crackers or as part of a cheese plate. And what a great use for apples just passing their prime — a batch of chutney seems much more interesting than another batch of applesauce, which is generally my go-to when I need to use up some apples! Though the recipe calls for few non-pantry ingredients, malt vinegar was a new one for my pantry: I’d gamble with apple cider vinegar on the next batch if I didn’t already have the malt vinegar on hand. And heed the word of warning! I wore an apron as I usually do, and I stirred likely more than the “every so often” described, plus, after I turned the heat off briefly, I placed a flame tamer between my pot and the burner, which seemed to solve the bubbling volcano problem noted. Would I make the Feisty version with the addition of chili peppers? Absolutely, yes! Since mild peppers are specified, I’ll unhesitatingly include them in my next batch.

I didn’t think that I wanted three quarts of chutney, so I quartered the recipe. But I almost wished that I had made the full recipe. This was my first attempt at making chutney, and it won’t be my last. This recipe is so good that I’ve put it on my Christmas to-make list. I used a medium pot and it took about one and one-half, rather than two, hours to complete. The apples didn’t fall apart as I thought they would. I put in one minced Thai chili, and it added just enough heat, not overpowering. Excellent!

I would definitely make this again with the chilis. It worked very well, although I think I would reduce the sugar to two cups. But overall, it had a great flavor.

Originally published August 27, 2011


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  1. 5 stars
    I made this chutney about four years ago for the first time and it has been our all time favurite since then! Our years are split into pre- and post the last jar being used up. 🙂 Great recipe, thank you very much!

    1. Klara, I cannot love this enough, you’re welcome and thank you for taking the time to write this lovely note!

  2. I used to make something like this, but much faster and much less exotic:

    2 or 3 tart apples and an onion, chopped, some butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice, salt, and just enough honey to bring up the sweetness a little… saute everything and serve over a breaded & fried pork cutlet, using the same spices in the breading. If a little crumbled bacon falls into the pan, don’t kill yourself fishing it out. Perfect fall/winter food.

  3. Oh my goodness, I can just taste this grilled with some cheddar. What an incredible sweet/savory/hot/tangy combo.

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