Aug 292011

Blackberry Apple Chilli Chutney

This produces a chutney that has a rich, intense and complex flavour: blackberry plus. And the colour is a deep vermilion that is striking on the plate.

I first used it as a condiment with a cheese platter and the sweet-sour-chilli flavours complemented the cheese and sourdough bread spectacularly.

I next used it to deglaze a frying pan after flash frying some sirloin steak. I then added a little creme fraiche, seasoning and the meat juices to make a rich fruity sauce for the steak.

I wanted to produce something with blackberries that wasn’t in the usual jam or jelly area and that could be used happily as a savoury accompaniment. I found some blackberry chutney recipes but none had the complexity of flavour I was looking for. So I made up my own recipe.

If you are really lucky you can forage and grow most of the ingredients, so it could truly be your chutney.

Like to have a go and treat your taste buds? Read on…

Blackberry, apple & chilli chutney recipe


This made about 1500ml of chutney. You can scale the recipe to suit the amounts you have available.

700g freshly picked blackberries, stalks removed and washed
700g apples washed and roughly chopped, including skin, cores and pips*
1 tbsp vegetable or rape seed oil
2 tbsp brown mustard seeds
2 or 3 (or more) fresh chillies, finely chopped (you could use dried too)**
2 red onions (about 150g) peeled and finely chopped
2 or 3 (or more) garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or grated with a medium microplane
30g fresh root ginger, scraped and finely chopped or grated with a medium microplane
300ml best quality cider vinegar (I’ll do a post soon on how to make this – so easy)
300g sugar (I used golden caster sugar)
1 tbsp ground mace

*I used some windfalls from a cooking apple tree, crab apples would be good too. Use what you have available.

**A tip prompted by feedback from an early maker of this recipe. You need to judge the heat of the actual chillies you are using to make sure you don’t overheat the chutney. Have a little taste of the chillies first and make a judgement about the total quantity. Chilli heat varies so much that it’s impossible for me to give a precise quantity.


Put the blackberries and chopped apples in a pan and bring gently to a simmer. You shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid, the blackberries will produce enough juice. Simmer the mixture until the apples are soft.

Put the pulp through a food mill or coarse sieve to get rid of the pips, skin and core. It’s a nightmare trying to push this through a fine sieve.

In a clean pan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry until they pop. Then add the chillies, onions, garlic and ginger and sweat gently until the onion is soft & transluscent.

Add the vinegar and sugar and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

Then add back the fruit pulp & mace and bring back gently to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the chutney thickens slightly.

Blackberry Apple Chilli Chutney Finished

Pour while warm into warm, sterilised jars and seal.

Store in a cool, dry dark place.

  46 Responses to “Blackberry Apple & Chilli Chutney Recipe”

  1. Only just found your blog. So glad I have! Am wondering how purply plums would go, in place of blackberries?? Only one way to find out…..!

  2. Just found your Blackberry, Apple, Cilli chutney recipe will give it a try tomorrow if Im not to late for the blackberries.


  3. Made this with my usual few variations on a recipe (eg: didn’t have mace so used ground cloves and nutmeg instead); instead of sieving the chutney (didn’t have a suitable sieve) I peeled and cored the apples then cooked them up with the blackberries – when soft I whizzed the hand blender around (tend to do this with blackberry jam too) and it’s made a lovely consistency. Tastes great – intending to leave for 2 months but have kept a sneaky pot in the fridge for immediate use…..thanks Carl πŸ™‚

    • Sound really good Sian, very wise to keep a sneaky pot. You will notice a change as it matures though.

      Great stuff


  4. Thanks for this fab recipe! I just made it with a few alterations/substitutions as didn’t have everything to hand and was itching to get cooking after a successful afternoon foraging!

    So, I didn’t sieve as wanted it chunky. I replaced red onions with white. Mace with allspice and used red wine vinegar. I also used about 8 cherry bomb chillies in addition to 3 long hot chillies as they needed using up. The result was good – packs a punch! Tastes a little vinegary for my liking but I’m sure it will mellow as it matures πŸ˜‰

  5. I have just been on your page and guess what I am going to make next?
    Vanillas extract and courgette cake.
    I,ll never get out of the kitchen ,but Thanks .

  6. Inspired by your recipe and all the comments. We are overun with sloes this year so going to swap some of the blackberrys and add some sloes. Let you know the outcome.

  7. this is one I need to try loads of blackberrys and I dont want Jam just need to find some apples and then this one will be in the pot love your site just found you while searching for a recipe I live in Nottingham

    • Hi Kathryn

      Thanks so much for your kind words, so glad you like my site.

      Hope the recipe works well for you. I like NOttingham and surrounds, I used to visit it quite often when I had a proper job πŸ˜‰

      Let me know how you get on.


      • not as spicy as I thought but still tastes good, perhaps need more chillies played it carfully today didnt strain the fruit wish I had will need to make it again when I have more blackberies ripe another batch in a day or so I reckon also I think might do blackberries first strain them and then add to apples as I do like it chunky

        • Hi Kathyrn

          Brilliant stuff, good to have a go at different ways of doing things and make the recipe your own. So I’d love to know how next batch goes.

          There’s plenty of blackberries around this year, so enough to experiment with.


      • Any suggestions for tomatoes.we have loads in the greenhouse,also some green ones .
        I took some of my blackberry ,apple and chilli to our golf club to put on the raffle table and have been inundated with requests for the is really lovely.
        Cheers Betty x

        • Hi Betty

          Great news about your golf club result – warms my heart πŸ˜€

          Re tomatoes: roast with garlic/herbs & strain to make passata – freeze or can it. Slice & dehydrate them. I have a lovely green tomato & orange jam recipe if you fancy something more unusual than the normal chutney. Let me know & I’ll email you. Also green tomatoes great floured or coated in polenta and fried ‘southern style’.

          Hope that helps


          • I would love your recipe for tomato chutney .i am really into making it now also I will try the roasted toms.with garlic tonight .cheers Betty xx

          • Hi Betty

            Email with chutney recipe on its way to you πŸ™‚

            Hope the roasted tomatoes go well, let me know.


          • Hi Carl you are always so speedy at getting it xx

          • Carl can Please have the recipe for tomato and orange sounds delicious
            Cheers Betty x

          • Hi Betty

            Jam recipe on its way to you by email: let me know they’ve arrived OK.

            I try to be quick, but don’t always succeed πŸ˜‰


  8. My chutney looks more like jam.will it thicken up when cold.tastes goog.

    • Hi Betty, I’d describe the texture as ‘loose’ & ‘spreadable’. It’ll firm up a bit when it cools but not loads. Glad you like the taste πŸ™‚


      • Thankyou Carl,that was a speedy reply.i have just got up and went straight to the chutney and it has thickened up this morning and it tastes lovely even at 7am.i threw a packet of dried cranberries in when I thought it needed a it more bulk,but happy now that its a success.thankyou,
        Betty x

        • Hi Betty

          Woohoo! That’s a result, so pleased you like it. Enjoy and have a great weekend


  9. Never made chutney before but this sounded too delicious not to try. Not many blackberries left so I made half the amount (got 3 jam jars & mustard jar full + ramekin for snacking!)

    Made some changes out of laziness, not because I thought I could improve: didn’t have time to get mustard seeds, so used pickling spices. It may be necessary to fish cloves out when it’s eaten! I also didn’t fancy the straining (too boring) so I cored apples, skinned most of them & chopped them into about 2cm cubes. Resulting chutney is quite chunky.

    It tastes delicious already! How long should I let it mature? I don’t think it’s going to be allowed to unless I hide it!

    • That’s just fab Joanna, you’ve done a great job. And the changes make it your own. Thanks so much for letting me know how it went πŸ™‚

  10. HI Geraint

    That sounds like a fabulous combination of flavours, will give them a go. It's a very addictive flavour – you'll need to make lots πŸ™‚

    Thanks for letting me know how it went.


  11. This is amazing! I would never have thought of using blackberry & apple in this way. Many thanks for the inspiration Carl.

    I made half the amount of your recipe & used 1 chipotle & 1 fresh habanero chilli, and used cumin & coriander seeds rather than mustard seeds, and left out the ginger & mace.

    This won't last long! I think I must have eaten about a 1/5th of it straight out of the pan! And I want to make enough to keep me going for a while & to give to some fellow chilli lovers, so I better get back out there and pick some more blackberries before they're over…

  12. Do think that's wise Chef? I need someone to invent the 36 hour day for all the cooking, writing, gardening *and* guest tabling to happen πŸ™‚

    Thanks for your encouragement once again.


  13. And so Carl, can you tell us when you're opening your own restaurant or guest table?

    Can't get any more authentic than that – I love it!

    Well done!

  14. This looks fantastic! I'm overrun this year with hot chilis and fresh garlic from the garden. Think I'll have to give this recipe a go myself. Thanks!

  15. Hi Jane – good luck with that. The seasoning in this one is a little more simple – you'll be fine. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

    Hi Emily – it'll be good to have a forage anyway and no bravery needed, it's a very easy recipe. I'm sure A will love it πŸ™‚

    Hi Mark – thanks for popping by. Chilli damson chutney sounds good too. I have 10kg in the freezer so will devote some to that cause. Good to swap recipes, let me know how yours goes πŸ™‚

    Hi Jane – thank for coming by again and for the feedback. Hope all well with you.

    Hi Mo & Steve – I think it's a very versatile recipe which you could use in all sorts of ways. Go for it and let me know how it goes πŸ™‚

    Thanks all


  16. Interesting. I made a Blackberry Pickle last year which was quite nice, but this sounds yummy so might try it instead this year πŸ™‚ Mo

  17. blackberry and apple is such a lovely and seasonal combination..but i would never have thought of using them as a chutney..brilliant stuff..

  18. Made a chilli damson chutney the other day…sounds like thisd be a top combo, will give it a try

  19. A lovely use for blackberries! There are still a few around out here…maybe I will be brave and try making your chutney. πŸ™‚

    Emily x

  20. Thankyou, I have been waiting for this, I am picking blackberries and freezing as I go along. My last chutney was ok but a bit on the mulled wine spectrum.

  21. Hi H

    Crikey you got here quick. It's very addictive. I can & do eat it just by itself πŸ™‚

    Let me know how it goes.

    Carl x

  22. Sounds and looks delish, especially as I have a weakness for anything with mustard seeds… Going on my list of things to try with my blackberry haul.

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