This chutney needs to be made at the start of October if you want to give it a few weeks to mature by 31st of October for the day of the dead and then store all the rest of the jars away to wait until the shortest day of the year, 21st December. This is the longest night and the veil to the other world is at its thinnest. This is the day to crack open a jar and celebrate your ancestors and all those you treasure who have passed to the other realm of the dead. This chutney has a great many ingredients but this is so that you honour the  dead with the various fruited jewels and drams of booze.


650g Butternut squash approx
500g Bradley apples
550g onions, finely chopped
150g dried cranberries 
50g barberries 
200g dates
200g apricots
2 oranges rind and juice
2 limes rind and juice
1 lemon rind and juice
75g Ginger, finely chopped
200ml white wine
300ml white wine vinegar 
100ml orange liqueur 
850g mango pulp
300g Demerara sugar
300g golden granulated sugar
30ml concentrated cooking tamarind 
1tbs sea salt

Spice Sack

2tsp Mace
2tsp Cumin seeds
2tsp Fennel seeds
2tsp green cardamom pods
2tsp coriander seeds
1tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp Caraway seeds
1tsp  whole cloves

Ground Spices

1tsp ground allspice
1tsp ground mixed spice
1tsp cinnamon 


New sugar skull fabric – thought I wouldn’t like it but I do rather.

Take a large heavy bottomed jam pan and finely chop all the ingredients. It is essential that you chop as uniformly as possible to ensure an even chutney once it has been jarred-up. I also like to make a whole spice sack from knotted muslin to hang n the pan. This allows the flavours into the chutney but none of the gritty whole spices. 

The spices that conjure the spirits of the dead.

Hang the sack from the handle of the pan so that it is easily removed after the cooking period. This chutney is a very sharp and acidic and does improve by allowing it to mature and mellow. I am rather late posting this recipe but it will be ready for the darkest, coldest months at the start of the new year.

Pop a lid on the pan and bring to a boil. Uncover and then simmer for 90 minutes to reduce the liquid. The finished colour should be a rich amber (not the Rudd type) studded with red cranberry jewels.

If the liquid becomes too stubborn to evaporate and the contents are in danger of becoming a mush use a slotted spoon to bottle it up. This will allow the liquid to be retained as a fruity sauce. Never like to waste good food. 

Oh the jarring-up is such fun. When bottling up remember to sterilise your jars in a low oven for at least 10 minutes. Add the waxy discs and the cellophane seal before screwing on the lid. Then finish off with a suitable fabric circle and an elastic band. Label them and remember to date them too. 

What a joy it is lining up all the jars and bottles. It makes about 10-12 jars depending on the size of your jars. 

3 Replies to “day of the dead saucy – fruity spicy winter chutney

  1. I’ll be making this lovely sounding chutney next weekend! At one point a few years ago I had my own business making small-batch chutneys, so I’m especially excited about trying yours. (one question: you have Bradley apples listed in the ingredients, but did you mean Bramley?) Be well!


    1. Yes I did mean Bramley. Apologies for the delay in replying there was a fault and I couldn’t approve your comment or reply. I trust the chutney turned out well.

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