Northwest Purple Plum Chutney

by Hilary Gauntt on September 11, 2011

My mother, Virginia Tedrow, has been making this chutney for years, and giving small jars away to lucky friends at holidays. It is the most delicious I have ever tasted, and such a hit with the Thanksgiving turkey. We have a plum tree with round purple plums, and they work fine also. I consider this recipe a family heirloom. Make this once, and you will never go back to Major Grey’s!

2 quarts halved and seeded purple Italian plums (prune type,oval)

2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

2 cups granualted sugar

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

4 tsp. salt

4 tsp. mustard seed

4 fat cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups sweet Spanish onions sliced on the bias and then cut in half

1 cup preserved ginger (4 oz.) cut in small slices (Buy this by the bag in places like Trader Joes, rather than spice jars…much less expensive)

2 cups golden raisins (dark also works)

Halve the plums. Mix together the sugars and vinegar in a heavy 3 quart pot or Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Add the crushed red pepper along with the salt, mustard seed, garlic, onions, ginger and raisins, mixing well.  Stir in the plums, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook uncovered about 50 minutes.  Stir frequently. Test by placing a small amount in a saucer in the refrigerator to cool…when ready it should appear like good preserves. Fill hot sterilized pint or half pint jars with the chutney and seal. Cool, then store in a cool dark place. I keep the jars in my garage refrigerator and the flavor improves with age.  Delightful with curry, poultry, lamb, pork and seafood.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Roberta July 29, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I absolutely LOVE Major Grey’s Chutney! Does this recipe taste LIKE Major Grey’s, or just BETTER than Major Grey’s Chutney? I have an Italian Plum tree, so this will be great to try!

I have a couple of questions:
1. What do you mean by cutting the onion on the bias
2. how many pints does this make?
3. What is ‘preserved’ ginger?


Hilary Gauntt July 29, 2014 at 9:00 pm

If you have an Italian plum tree and you love chutney, then this is your recipe ! To answer your questions, cutting the onions on the bias just means not into rings, but more like chucks which will separate into small pieces -vertical slices rather than horizontal. I couldn’t tell you how many pints it makes…but plenty to last a year and to share with friends. Preserved ginger are slices of ginger preserved in sugar that can be found in jars in the spice rack at the grocery store or (cheaper) in plastic bags in stores like Trader Joes. I hope you make and enjoy this Roberta – your artwork is lovely!


Hilary Gauntt July 29, 2014 at 9:04 pm

And I didn’t answer your first and most important question – YES! I think this is definitely more delicious than Major Grey’s…much fresher tasting and more flavorful.


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