‘Air Raid’ Apple Chutney – Recipe No 119


The Hobbits (it makes them sound so young and small but they are not) hated me today. I stunk the house out with onions and malt vinegar simmering away for an hour.  A gas mask would have been useful (having been in a gas chamber with  Chlorobenzylidene Malonitrile and a sadistic NCO I think the simmering malt vinegar, in a confined space, comes pretty close)

BUT the discomfort was worth it as now I have 6 small jars of delicious ‘Air Raid’ Apple Chutney in my cupboard and after it has matured for a week or so, it will be used frequently on my plate to liven up the sometimes samey meals.

Why ‘Air Raid’ chutney? I’ve listened to folk who lived through the war and it seems that quite often, if food hadn’t been prepared and set aside to take into the Andersen Shelter, food like bread, jam and chutney were often grabbed from the larder on the way out of the door for something to nibble on.

Here is an authentic wartime recipe for apple chutney..



Air Raid Apple Chutney

  • 8 oz onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 pint malt vinegar
  • 2 lbs of peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 teaspoon of pickling spices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds (optional)
  • 12 oz sugar
  • 2-4 oz of dried fruit


  1. Put chopped onions in a pan with a little of the vinegar and simmer gently until soft
  2. Add chopped apples, ginger, salt, mustard seeds and pickling spices in a muslin bag and some more vinegar to keep the mixture moist and stop burning
  3. Stirring time to time, cook gently until soft
  4. Add the sugar and the dried fruit, the rest of the vinegar and stir. Continue to cook gently until the mixture is quite soft and thickened
  5. Remove the bag of pickling spices and add hot mixture into clean hot jars (I wash, rinse then heat in oven on medium for 30 minutes) and immediately screw on clean hot lids.
  6. Leave to cool the store in larder for at least 1 week before trying. Matures after 14 days..

Makes 3 lb jars or 6 small jars


PS I made some good old fashioned ‘stout’ and bottled it last week. This is a piccy of the first bottle I opened. It tasted lovely and I sat by candle and computer light savouring the moment!

12 thoughts on “‘Air Raid’ Apple Chutney – Recipe No 119

  1. ooh lovely Im always making chutney with whatever is left in my VegBox, lovely with bread and cheese…no Anderson shelter required!…will deffo give this one a try….now of course what we really want is the recipe for the stout!

  2. I made this lots of times. It is great! I have also used pickling vineger and one time all I could find was cider vinegar and 5 spice powder! It worked a treat that is true rationing improvisation.

  3. I Love that smell! I went blackberrying today and although there were literally millions of berries we were a bit too short to reach most of them! So, I used some from the freezer from last week and got 1 kilo, same weight of cooking apples(straight from my tree in the garden) and same of sugar. 9 1/2 jars of lovely blackberry and apple jam spiced with cinnamon & nutmeg 🙂
    Doesn’t it make you feel warm n fuzzy inside? Just like looking at your pic with you & your stout 🙂 xxx

  4. It makes them sound like they have big, hairy feet ;0)

    I seem to remember you weren’t very impressed with your wartime curry, but I wondered at the time if that was because it was carrot and therefore too sweet?

    My point being that chutney is a key ingredient in wartime curry and I do have a bit of a warm (smug) glow when I put my homemade wartime chutney into my wartime curry.

    In fact I did just that this afternoon. I’m going to put a tin of sardines in and serve it over rice. Fingers crossed it tastes better than it sounds…!

    Cauliflower and potato work really well.

  5. Heehe- i think one has to tweak recipes according to taste- I like to cook the absolute authentic recipe the first time around then make notes as to what extras it needs next time around 😉 Am making a wartime lentil curry from the Wartime Good Fare recipe book as I type!! 🙂 I think I will plonk a spoon of air raid apple chutney it it though! xxxx

  6. Hi,
    This looks soo good. What kind of dried fruit is in it?
    I live in the Northeast US and apple season is upon us, I would like give this a try.


  7. I love the way you’re throwing yourself into all this.What makes it so good is that you need to live like this and it’s not just a hobby or novelty. Making chutney, however, is a great thing for everyone to do . I have a huge pan of apples on my kitchen worktop waiting for inspiration. I may as well use your recipe as go searching round for something else while the apples rot. It’s sunny today so I can open all the doors!

  8. I’ll have access to loads of free, unsprayed apples this Fall — definitely bookmarking this one for future reference….!

  9. Pingback: Best Apple Recipes on the Net (August 2013 Edition) | The Food Explorer

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