Nigel Slater's Hot, Sweet Plum Chutney

Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin

Not much is better on a leisurely weekend afternoon than a snack of sharp cheese, good bread, and a homemade preserve or two (and maybe a glass of wine). Nigel Slater's Hot, Sweet Plum chutney from Ripe is just the thing to round out a few slices of cheddar.

Made with plums, raisins, cider and malt vinegars, and just enough muscovado sugar to sweeten and thicken the preserve, this chutney puts all of those jars languishing in fridge doors to shame. At once spicy, sweet, and tangy it plays well not only on a cheese board, but also piled on leftover roast pork and smeared on a turkey sandwich.

Why I picked this recipe: I love a good cheese platter, and this chutney seemed the perfect accompaniment to my overflowing cheese drawer.

What worked: Each ingredient in this chutney worked in perfect harmony; it's a great preserve for those tired of syrupy sweet jams and jellies.

What didn't: No complaints here.

Suggested Tweaks: As is the case with many chutneys and jams, the fruit of choice is flexible. If you're planning on processing, be sure to choose another high acid fruit.

Reprinted with permission from Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard by Nigel Slater. Copyright 2010, 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Recipe Facts



Active: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Makes: 2 pints

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  • 1 1/2 pounds plums
  • 12 ounces onions
  • a generous 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup light muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chile
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup malt vinegar
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Halve the plums and discard the pits. Peel and coarsely chop the onions. Put the fruit and onions into a large stainless steel or enameled pan with the raisins, sugar, chile, salt, mustard seeds, vinegars, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and leave to simmer for an hour, giving the occasional stir to reduce the risk of the chutney sticking.

  2. Spoon into sterilized jars and seal.