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Tudor Apple Recipes: Apple Chutney

To celebrate the harvest at our Apple Days festival on 23 and 24 September, we asked the housemaids in Palmer’s Farmhouse to share their favourite Tudor apple recipes. Our first is our delicious apple chutney.

Samantha Gull

We are enjoying the fruits of our labours at Mary Arden’s Farm.

Apples on the Tree at Mary Arden's Farm

On a drizzly day back in January the team at Mary Arden’s Farm donned their wellies and went out into the orchards to bless the fruit trees, a tradition known as wassailing. The hard work has clearly paid off as now the trees are full of apples waiting to be picked. 

Preserving food for the winter months was an important part of Tudor life and a skill that all good housewives were expected to master. Apples can store well in a cool, dry environment (as long as you can keep the mice from nibbling them!) but pickling was also a popular way to preserve fruit and vegetables. This apple chutney recipe is particularly easy to follow as it does not need to be cooked; additionally, the flavour improves the longer you keep it.

No Cook Apple Chutney


1 lb apples
½ lb onions   
½ lb dates (stoned)  
½ lb sultanas
½ lb brown sugar
½ pint white wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
Pinch black pepper


Peel and core the apples and skin the onions. Finely chop the apples, onions and dates. Put all of the ingredients into a bowl, stir well and leave for 36 hours, stirring occasionally. Put the chutney into sterilised pots. This chutney will keep for months, if not years! Enjoy alone, with bread, or maybe even with cheese and crackers. 

Cutting Apples at Mary Arden's Farm
Peeling and cutting apples at Mary Arden's Farm.