This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosures.
If you are faced with a glut of plums then you will not regret turning your load into this delicious Plum and Beetroot Chutney. Gently spiced and gorgeously smooth with a few tender bites of seasonal beetroot. Perfect for sandwiches and lovely with cold cuts, quiche, sausage rolls or cheese.
If you are looking for a homemade Branston Pickle then you will love this beautifully flavoured chutney which has a similarly thick sweet and tangy sauce with bite-sized cubes of beetroot for texture.
This plum chutney is so straightforward to prepare with just a little bit of chopping. All the ingredients are cooked together in a large pan for about 1½ hours then decanted into jars. It’s not very labour intensive and you will be rewarded with six lovely jars of chutney for home use or giving away as gifts.
And if you are concerned about de-stoning the plums don’t worry I have a great tip below on the easiest way to do it without losing any of the juicy plum flesh.
Why is this recipe so brilliant?
- This is an excellent everyday chutney which is gently spiced and seasoned to accompany any cheese, cold cut or picnic.
- Not too sweet and not too vinegary.
- Makes good use of a glut of plums even the green unripe ones.
- Beautifully spiced with ground coriander, ginger and mustard powder.
- Velvety smooth sauce with tender little bites of beetroot.
- Plums – you can use any plums for this recipe. Here I used green plums which were the result of a large branch on our plum tree breaking off before the plums were ripe but you can also use any variety of ripe plums too.
- Beetroot – I used purple beetroot here. You could use another variety but purple beetroot is inexpensive and plentiful this time of year.
- Apples – Apples are used along with the plums in this recipe as they are broken down and help give the chutney a lovely thick sauce. I recommend cooking apples like Bramleys which break down beautifully.
- Onions - They are used here for little bites of texture and to give the chutney depth of flavour.
- Sugar - light brown sugar is used to help preserve the chutney, for sweetness of course, and to achieve the thick lush sauce along with the plums and apples.
- Vinegar - we used cider vinegar here to preserve the chutney along with the sugar, for its sharp tang which is such a lovely compliment to cheeses and meats, and we use cider vinegar because it has a lovely taste and is gluten free.
- Spices - we use a gentle crowd of ginger, ground coriander and mustard powder which means that the chutney is full bodied of flavour without being pigeon-holed into any specific cuisine. It makes for a glorious all-rounder chutney to go with absolutely anything.
How do you make the chutney?
- Cook the whole plums down to a pulp and remove the stones.
- Place in a large preserving pan with the beetroot, apples, onions, sugar, vinegar, spices and salt.
- Turn the heat onto low and bring to a low boil. Cook for 1½ hours until the sauce has thickened and the beetroot is tender.
- Decant into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place until ready to use.
- De-stoning the plums! The easiest way to de-stone the plums is to heat the whole plums until they have completely broken down and then manually remove the stones from the pulp.
- The beetroot! To prepare the beetroot I usually peel it over the sink to avoid red juice going all over the work surfaces. Cube the beetroot in equal sizes. If you keep them small the finished chutney can be spread nicely in a sandwich.
- Stir the chutney! Stir regularly from the bottom of the pan. Chutneys can burn very easily.
- Jars - When you are preserving you can use any clean and sterilised jars. You can use the jars more than once but you must always use fresh lids as they can deteriorate which might damage the seal on your jars and lead to unsafe preserves. You can buy new lids from Amazon for different sized jars.
- To sterilise the jars - Place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.
- Keep it a little saucy - Chutneys do thicken up slightly when cooled so bear in mind you don’t want to evaporate all your liquid away when cooking.
Let the chutney mature
This is the sort of chutney that tastes its best after at least four weeks left to mature in the jars. If impatience gets the better of you then that’s completely understandable but those few weeks will allow the flavours to full develop and mellow out.
- Le Creuset Large Casserole Dish – my favourite preserving pan. Everything cooks evenly, it’s incredibly resilient even if you accidently burn your chutney a little to the bottom (remember to stir!!) and we use it for everything.
- Jam Funnel – If you make a lot of chutneys and jams then I would definitely buy an inexpensive jam funnel. Useful for decanting pretty much anything around the kitchen too!
- Kilner jars (250g) – these are great for all kinds of preserving. You can re-use the jars again and again (just clean and sterilise them first) and buying new lids is very easy.
What can you eat with your chutney?
If you only use your chutney in your cheese sandwich then there is nothing wrong with that but you are also missing a trick.
- Perfect with a Ploughman’s salad
- On a cheese or charcuterie board
- To accompany a quiche, sausage rolls, scotch eggs or a pork pie.
- With any cold cuts like leftover ham, turkey or nut roast
- Or you can even add a tablespoon or two to curries and stews for a little sweet and savoury kick.
- You can make this chutney from frozen whole plums.
- The cider vinegar can be substituted for white wine vinegar.
- For a richer flavour substitute the light brown sugar for dark brown sugar.
- Keep the jars of chutney in a cool dark place.
- Once opened keep in the fridge and eat within 1 month.
- The unopened chutney will keep for up to 6 months.
If you like this chutney recipe then you may also like:
If you make this Plum and Beetroot Chutney then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.
Plum and Beetroot Chutney
- 1 kg plums
- 500 g beetroot - peeled and cubed
- 500 g bramley apples - peeled, cored and cubed
- 500 g onions - diced
- 500 g light soft brown sugar
- 600 ml cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- Place the whole plums in a large preserving pan with a splash of water. Place over a low heat and cook for about 20 minutes until the plums have completely reduced to pulp and the stones are floating around the pulp.
- Remove from the heat and leave until cool enough to handle before manually removing all the stones from the pulp.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the plum pulp and stir well.
- Turn the heat on and bring to a low simmer. Cook for 1.5 –2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is beautifully smooth and thick and the beetroot is tender.
- Divide the chutney into sterilised jars with lids and store in a cool, dark place until you want to use it.
- This recipe makes 6 x 250g jars of chutney.
- You can make the chutney with any variety of plums, even green ones as shown in the photos.
- The cooking time is quite generous between 1.5-2 hours as it depends how small you have cut your beetroot and the heat on which you are cooking the chutney.
- To sterilise the jars - place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.
- Leave the chutney for at least 4 weeks before eating. Once the chutney is opened, keep in the fridge and eat within a month.
- Unopened, the chutney will keep for up to 6 months.