This chutney works really well with cheese too, so we like to serve some on the cheeseboard. If you don’t have any of the dried fruit we’ve suggested, simply swap for something you do have. Sultanas and dried pears work well in place of the raisins and figs, for instance. This can be made on the day it is going to be served, as it doesn’t need maturing like traditional chutney.
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 medium red onions, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger or stem ginger in syrup, drained
200g no-soak dried apricots, quartered
150g soft dried figs, quartered
150g demerara sugar
150ml white wine vinegar
¼ whole nutmeg, finely grated
1 cinnamon stick
Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and fry the onions over a low heat for about 10 mins or until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 mins, then increase the heat slightly and fry for a further 4-5 mins or until the onions begin to brown, stirring constantly.
Tip the apricots, figs and raisins into the pan and cook with the onions for 2-3 mins until the fruit is beginning to swell. Sprinkle over the sugar, add the vinegar, spices, 1 tsp sea salt flakes and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir well, bring to a gentle simmer over a low-to-medium heat and cook, uncovered, for 30 mins. Stir occasionally, especially towards the end of the cooking time when the chutney is more likely to stick.
The chutney is ready when the liquid has reduced to just 4-5 tbsp and the fruit looks plump and glossy. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the chutney to cool. The fruit will continue absorbing the liquid as it cools, so you just need to give it a quick stir before putting it into serving dishes or carefully sterilised jars. If the jars have metal lids, use greaseproof paper circles to cover the tops or the vinegar will rot them.