"The Queen
of Condiments"
Kirstie Allsopp
"The finest jams, chutneys and pickles I have ever eaten"
Clarissa Dickson Wright
"It's just me and a slotted spoon love"
Victoria Cranfield

Kirsties Boxing Day Chutney Recipe

Boxing Day Chutney as seen on Kirsties Homemade Christmas

2lb/900g onions sliced

2lb cooking apples chopped

1 pkt/340g cranberries

2pints cider vinegar

2oz/50g fresh root ginger(before pealing) finely diced

1tbsp coarse sea salt

tsp mixed spice

zest of 2 oranges


2lb naturally dried apricots chopped

1 pkt dates (175g/60z)pitted and chopped

1lb raisins

Juice of 8 oranges/1 pint orange juice


2lb white sugar.


Place all the first ingredients in a saucepan gently bring to the boil.

The object is to let the onions go transparent, the cranberries start to pop and the apple break down.  You don't want to lose all texture so a 5min simmer once at boiling point should do.  Remember to stir.

In a seperate bowl mix the dried fruit and pour over the orange juice. Stir well. The mixture should absorb all the orange juice in approx 20mins

The dried fruit can be done before the ingredients for cooking to save time.

Add the marinated fruit to the saucepan with the  sugar.

Stir well and bring back to  boiling point, stirring all the time.  Don't leave the saucepan at this time or the contents will catch and taint the chutney.  The free liquid will start to thicken quite quickly and the chutney can then be bottled.  Lid immediately.

For the sizes of fruit/technique see Kirsties video .

Please add comments it you need further info and I will post with the response.

Older Post / Newer Post


Gwynneth Syme

Gwynneth Syme said:

Success! i am a first timer at chutneys and this was a first time recipe, tastes fabulous, looks good and i cant wait to tuck in with a bit of cheeses later. Thank you for the recipe. Brilliant treat for christmas.

Gwynneth Syme. Happy eating everyone


cranfields said:

I’m sorry it isn’t working for you, did you use quality cider vinegar? If not you will need to give it maturation time.

laura p

laura p said:

Sorry if this has already been asked, or if I missed it on the recipe, but what is the yield of this recipe? Thanks.

Kerry Kenny

Kerry Kenny said:

Thrilled with the batch i’ve just made! Have been wanting to make it for a year and I finally have. Had to use orange (sulpher) apricots which taste fine to the inexperience taste buds but I will try harder to source naturally dried next time to compare. Just need to write some fancy labels now…


cranfields said:

Hi Kate, unfortunately I got my pots from a discount warehouse that then stopped stocking them, irritatingly they had cut off the manufacturers label so I can’t get more. If I find any others I will let you know :)


margherita said:

i saw the chutney on television and made it for chrismas and it tasted very well with pate and also with the turkey.

Sam bradbury

Sam bradbury said:

I’ve made this past 2 years and give to teachers and neighbours and it is always appreciated, I even get asked for it now


cranfields said:

Delighted it is being enjoyed, thank you for letting me know!


cranfields said:

So sorry for the delay in response Ffion but I am rushed off my feet at the moment. You are right, and comments most constructive, I will revisit the recipe and amend as soon as I draw breath……..I am so pleased that you have enjoyed making the chutney and I hope all your friends and family enjoy eating it!


Anita said:

I just want to share my delight in making this chutney. It has a lovely fresh flavour. I could only find sun-dried apricots with sulphur and dried cranberries instead of fresh but that didn’t deter me. I popped the cranberries in with the dried fruit and let the whole thing steep in the juice overnight in the fridge, just to make sure of lovely plump fruit. This morning I started bright and early and have produced many jars to give away. Being very greedy, I’ve just had a chicken sandwich with some slightly warm chutney and the verdict is delicious. I’m so glad I saw this on Kirstie’s show and thank you for sharing this recipe. Cheers Anita
Melbourne Australia

Claire Mayers

Claire Mayers said:

Fantastic chutney really quick and easy to make and really beautiful tastes and textures ! My family and friends loved this as a gift ! Thank you x


Kate said:

I am a keen chutney maker and hope to make yours (if I can get some cranberries where I live in France). However, my question is really about the cooking pot I saw you using in Kirstie’s programme. It looked like a really gorgeous big pot and I liked the fact it had two side handles. Where can I get one like it?


cranfields said:

Hi Dawn
Fresh or frozen really, dried are too flat in flavour but if you can’t get fresh soak the dried ones in extra orange juice……….but you can eat Boxing Day Chutney the next day so it’s best to wait until cranberries are available nearer Christmas. Good cooking!


Samantha said:

Hi, I made this chutney last year and we ate it all during shearing, the shearers loved it with their sandwiches and also with roast meats at night. Going to make it again this year to give as Christmas gifts etc.


cranfields said:

Really pleased you all enjoyed it and intend to make more.

F George

F George said:

Thank you for the recipe. I found it very easy to follow and it tastes divine!! I have made tonnes and intend to give it as Christmas gifts to all and sundry this year!

My only request is that you put all your measurements in the same denomination/value. ie. all grammes or all ounces. It was quite confusing having to chop and change between Imperial and Metric – but I managed it all the same :)

Also, it would be good to know how much it makes (approximatly) in advance as I didn’t know what size pan to use and ended up decanting into a second to fit it all in! Also, it would assist one in purchasing the correct number of jars.

These are simply things I would find helpful and want you to know how delicious it is and how easy your instructions were to follow! I thoroughly enjoyed making it and will be doing it again next year!!

Ffion, a greatful chutney lover :)


Dawn said:

silly question for you, can you use dried cranberries or do they have to be fresh?


cranfields said:

Hi Vicky
The chutney will happily keep for a year depending on the vacuum seal on your jar. I will start making my chutney next week, I’m a little behind due to a large order so you should be fine…………..I hope everyone enjoys it!


Vicky said:

Just watched Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas… again and i’ve started planning my christmas gift hampers. Once jared – How long can i keep the chutney in storage for? The christmas cakes are being made next weekend so wondered if i can do them the same day or delay it for a few more weeks. Thanks :-)


cranfields said:

Hi Nicola and sorry for the delayed response, it’s difficult to get my head around Boxing Day chutney when we’re making loganberry jam! I’ve checked my recipe and make sure you have enough jars for 9-10 lbs of chutney (4 and a half kilos) it will vary depending on the ingredients and how long its cooked. I hope you have fun with it.
Best Wishes Victoria


nicola said:

can i just ask, how much does this receipe make so i can make sure i have enough jars!!!! thanks


Debbie said:

Just made the chutney with my 17year old son had a wonderful afternoon ,it turned out great and the xbox was not even touched x x


cranfields said:

Leave it for a week, the longer you leave it the more the flavours will meld and soften


cranfields said:

It should keep for 6 weeks in a cool cupboard otherwise refrigeration will extend its life.
Few bacteria will have survived the boiling chutney quickly sealed in a sterilised jar . The ones that did will be inhibited by the vinegar, sugar and salt the chutney contains.
Once opened it’s all about inhibiting bacterial growth by temperature bacteria in the air will settle on the surface and will inspite of the ingredients start to multiply. Hope this helps


Louise said:

Hi, just made the chutney and it looks fab! It taste just slightly too vinegary, I just wondered if there is anything I can do to make it more balanced? Thanks x


Debbie said:

You mentioned that on an earlier post that the chutney should last 6months – is this when unopened? How long would it last once the jar is opened and is there a way of preserving it for longer once it’s been opened?
Many thanks


cranfields said:

Good luck, just follow the recipe in the order given and you should be fine. Hope you enjoy it!


ema said:

hi,i want to cook but cant cook and find everything difficult to take in ..when it comes to the kitchen!!!
going to give this a go tomorrow…snowed in ..so it will be nice to do something interesting!!!
already have made so many salt dough decorations…chutney next xx


cranfields said:

So glad it has worked for you, have a very happy munching Christmas!


Dan said:

Just made the chutney….its lovely! Thanks!


cranfields said:

Hi Heather
Ordinary granulated sugar, I use silver spoon beet sugar as it is grown in this country but any granulated sugar would do.
Hope you enjoy the chutney!

Heather Adams

Heather Adams said:

Looking forward to making this – just one question !
When you say English Sugar do you mean brown or white sugar ? castor, granulated or preserving sugar ?

Sue Smith

Sue Smith said:

Hi. I have been out today & purchased the ingredients for the chutney. The lady in the shop said that unsulphured apricots are the same as naturally dried apricots. Can you confirm if this is right please. Thanks


cranfields said:

Hi Sue, sun drying is a natural process so she is probably right, check the side of the packet to be doubly sure, if they use sulphur in the preserving process it has to be listed. I hope you enjoy the chutney!


jan said:

Absolutely gorgeous! Ended up making 2 batches as gifts for friends. I used up some white wine vinegar for the second lot and it was just as nice. and found the normal dried apricots perfectly fine to use. I also reduced the amount of salt and put the cranberries in towards the end so I could see them whole in the jar – made it look very festive. Finished the jars with Christmas material, crimson cord and wired Christmas ribbon – so much better as a present than supermarket wine (also made sloe gin, cranberry and brandy truffles, and cranberry and almond cookies in hampers as presents!)


cranfields said:

If you sterilised the jars and lids and potted the chutney while hot it should easily last 6mths-a year.
Using new lids and obtaining a vacumn seal as I do (same process, the vacumn arises when the air cools and contracts within the jar as the chutney cools) the chutney will last a couple of years. Keep it out of strong light and in a dry place. A cupboard is fine.
If a chutney is mouldy when you open it, discard. If it looks and smells good try it.
The 2 year date I put on mine is a ‘best before date’ after that time the quality of flavour/colour will deteriorate, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat it , it just means it is past its best.
Hope this helps.


Kylie said:

How long will the chutney last? Never made it before! How should it be stored to last the longest?


cranfields said:

So pleased it has worked for you……..tasty Christmas greetings!

David and Lauren

David and Lauren said:

We have just had a superb afternoon making this chutney, and our verdict is that it’s extremely tasty! Just had it with roast chicken and warm crusty bread. Mmmmm…….


cranfields said:

Hi Abby
If you didn’t have sufficient apricots they won’t have been able to soak up the vinegar as well as the orange juice hence it is runny and tastes vinegary.
The way to retrieve this is to chop up the apricots you were missing and add them directly to the chutney stir them in and leave for half an hour before bringing the chutney back up to the boil and potting off.
The sugars in the apricots should balance the vinegar to bring the chutney back to balance.

Good luck!


cranfields said:

Hi, it is quite a chunky chutney but if it is too thick for you return it to the pan and add more orange juice and just bring back to the boil before re potting.
The apricots may have absorbed more of the orange juice than the ones I used. Kirsties chutney was shown at the end of the sweating off of the cooked fruit before the dried was added.It did thicken quite rapidly once all the ingredients where added but should go into the jar without large visible air pockets.


Maggie said:

Thank you so much Victoria for all your help on saving my chutney! Your service was above and beyond the call of duty and I am so grateful. Thank you again.

Abby Popplestone

Abby Popplestone said:

Hi Victoria,

I really enjoyed watching you on Kirsties homemade christmas and really wanted to give your chutney a go!

However, I am also finding that it is very runny. I used naturally dried apricots but only have the amount specified as it was only when i got home that i realised that i didnt have enough!

The dried fruit did not absorb all of the orange juice so I drained the excess. Is it too liquidy because I havent used enough apricots?

It is also tasting quite vinegary aswell. Where am I going wrong?




cranfields said:

Thanks, glad so many are having a go!

Christopher C

Christopher C said:

I have had some problems with this recipe. There seems to be far too much liquid and it took a long time for the mixture to anythingn like resemble chutney – as I would have expected.
I would suggest half the liquid – or have I gone wrong somewhere?


cranfields said:

I’m sorry you are having problems, the orange juice should be totally absorbed by the dried fruit before being added to the cooked mixture of onions, apples etc. The cider vinegar should be somewhat thickened by the breakdown of the apples and reduced by the cooking of the onions, when the sugar is added it will create some additional liquid which should quite rapidly thicken to the consistancy of a pouring custard while you constantly stir (otherwise liquid comes to the top as the solids drop and catch on the bottom). Stir as you fill the jars so that the liquid is well distributed (continuing the analogy custard packed with bananas). As you are using quite dry fruit it will continue to absorb liquid and thicken as it cools.
Where your apricots ready to eat moist ones as they won’t absorb liquid in the same way


Elaine said:

Hi I too am making this and have had problems with it being too thick – or at least it is in comparison to the Kirsty’s which looks almost liquid. Mine is chunky and you can clearly identify the apricots and other fruit. I couldn’t get the naturally dried apricots so had to get the ‘orange’ ones instead. Any advice? Should I add more vinegar or anything? or is this how it should be? Thanks

claire hosler

claire hosler said:

Thank you so much for this recipe! x


cranfields said:

I hope you enjoy it!


laura said:

Great, I am looking forward to trying this out, it looks really good! Thanks

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