‘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!