This chutney is yummy with cheese or cold meats. I first made it the year I grew tomatoes from seed and because I couldn't bear to be ruthless and discard the weakest seedlings I ended up with 26 tomato plants. They were totally organic and tasted amazing. We ate an awful lot of tomatoes that summer and had quite a few green ones left at the end of the season. I originally found this recipe on The Foody Uk & Ireland, although my version is now slightly different.

I love making jams and chutneys because it puts my jar collection to good use. I am a compulsive collector washing out all shapes and sizes of jar and saving them for future use. I can't bear to throw them away, but sometimes it gets a bit ridiculous when you can't actually close the cupboard door and I have to give in and put some in the recycling bin. Happily making jams and chutneys means some of my many jars eventually do get reused!

Ingredients - organic and local where possible which is not too difficult with this ingredients list although you might struggle to find organic root ginger and organic chillies:

  • 1.8kg (4lb) Green Tomatoes

  • 675g (1½ lb) Onions

  • 450g (1lb) Cooking Apples

  • 450g (1lb) Soft Brown Sugar

  • 600ml (1 pint) White Vinegar

  • 225g (8oz) Sultanas (or other dried fruit, you could use a mixture of what's to hand such as apricots, dates and raisins too)

  • 25g (1oz) Root Ginger

  • 8 Red Chillies

  • 2 tsp Salt

 What to do:

  1. Prepare your jars by washing and rinsing them thoroughly. Allow them to drain but don't dry them and then stand them in a baking tin. Put them into the oven on a very low heat 70 to 100°c which will dry them out and sterilise them. I put the lids in the tray too, but it depends which ones you're using if they have any plastic on them, leave them out of the oven!

  2. Wash the tomatoes and chop them, not too small, you probably want a medium sized tomato to make about 8 pieces.

  3. Peel and chop the onion and apples to about the same size.

  4. Put the tomatoes, onions, apple and ½ the vinegar into a big heavy bottomed saucepan, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook until tender. Probably about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.

  5. Peel the ginger and cut into a few large pieces, split the chillies lengthways and place inside a muslin bag. If you don't have one you can always use a square of muslin and tie it all into a bundle but make sure the chilli and ginger don't escape into the mixture, they'll make the chutney to hot if you do.

  6. Add the sultanas or other dried fruit.

  7. Continue to cook gently until the mixture starts to thicken stirring every now and then. This might take up to an hour

  8. Add the sugar, the rest of the vinegar and the salt. Stir until completely dissolved.

  9. Continue to simmer until the mixture becomes thick pressing the muslin bag occasionally with the spoon.

  10. The mixture is ready when it is thick enough that when you draw a line through it with the spoon it stays for a while.

  11. Remove the bag

  12. Fill your warm jars with the chutney. Do this carefully it can be messy if you miss and will burn you. I have a jam funnel for filling jars which makes things much easier, they are not expensive so if you intend to make jams and chutneys more than once it's worth getting one.

  13. Leave the jars to cool before applying labels, they won't stick otherwise

  14. Leave for 4-6 weeks before eating to allow the flavour to mature, but this will keep for many months (I have some that I kept for a couple of years and it was lovely when I opened it)

  15. Remember to write the date you made it and the date from which it can be eaten on the label. You will forget otherwise.