Holiday Cooking with Herbs: Classic Christmas Chutney

holidaycooking with herbs

Kalyn invites us to Holyday Cooking with Herbs**06.10.2019. In keeping with the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging 26.09.2023 **, foodbloggers can submit any posts with a holiday recipe using herbs, plants, veggies and flowers. For me there is no Christmas cooking without raisins, currants or sultanas, but I never thought of the difference between them. I used them last year for the Make-ahead mulled wine cake, this year I already prepared Deep-filled Mince Pies with Mincemeat.

Raisin is the generic term for dried grapes. Raisins come in many varieties, depending on the type or varietal of grape that is dried.

Sultana is a type of white, seedless grape of Turkish or Persian origin, the sultana grape. Sultanas are light and golden coloured. They are grown in Turkey, Australia and South Afrika. In the United States the sultana grape is cultivated under the name Thompson Seedless. Virtually all California raisins are produced from the sultana (or Thompson Seedless) grape, even those which, because of different drying processes, do not resemble the traditional sultana raisin. The term sultana is not commonly used to refer to any type of raisin in American English; as most American raisins are from sultana grapes, they are called simply raisins or golden raisins, according to colour. What cultural differences between the Old and the New World ;-).

Currants are a type of red, seedless grape, with black-brown to black-blue colour, the „Black Corinth/Currant“, lat. Vitis vinifera apyre. Its named after the Greek town Corinthia. They are not related to the currant berry in the ribes family.

And did you now, that dried grapes on the grape-vine are called in German Zibebe?

I used sultanas for the

Classic Christmas Chutney

Classic Christmas chutney

A perfect gift and we’ll enjoy it with a festive meal.

For more pictures go to the German entry.

Classic Christmas chutney Button German

Yield:1 recipe

Classic Christmas chutney

Classic Christmas chutney is not the most obviously festive, seasonally indulgent, must-have foodstuff, but it is the cornerstone of Christmas pantry.


  • 1.85 kg Cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped, 4 lb 2oz
  • 250 grams Sultanas, 9 oz
  • 100 grams Crystallised ginger, 4 oz
  • 7 Garlic cloves, roughly sliced
  • 1/2 teasp. Cayenne pepper
  • >1/2 teasp. Salt
  • 1/2 teasp. Ground coriander
  • 600 ml Malt vinegar, 1 pt
  • 750 grams Light muscovado sugar, 1 lb 10 oz


inspired by:
BBC Good Food Magazine, November 2006, p. 84


  1. Tip the apples, sultanas, ginger and garlic into a food processor and pulse until roughly minced, but still quite chunky. Tip the fruit into a saucepan with 100 ml water, cover, then cook over a high heat for 10 mins.
  2. Stir in the spices and half the vinegar, then cook, uncovered, for 45 mins.
  3. While the chutney is cooking, stir the sugar and remaining vinegar together. When the apples have had the allotted time, pour over the sugar solution and simmer everything, very slowly, for 2-2 1/2 hrs. Stir occasionally at the beginning, then more at the end until the required consistency is reached – this is when a wooden spoon drawn through the mixture leaves a clean path and no trace of unabsorbed liquid. Leave to cool, then fill hot sterilised jars to the brim. Seal with a lid and stick on the labels. (See Know-how, below, for tips on storing chutneys.)


  • Ideally, use jars with new rubber seals and spring-clip or screwband fastenings. If you are using jam jars, use ones with plasticcoated lids as vinegar will corrode metal.
  • Store the chutneys for at least one month before using. This will give enough time for the flavours to develop.
  • The chutney will keep for at least 6 months in a sealed jar. After opening, keep in the fridge and eat within 1 month.

total time: 4 hours
preparation time: 15 minutes
cooking/baking time: 3 h 30 minutes


more recipes and entries in English

** 06.10.2019 not longer available
** 26.09.2023 no longer available

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