Cherry Ginger Chutney (updated 6/6/15)

By Ann M. Evans

I developed this with Jamie Buffington in 2012 and modified in 2015. It’s delicious. You can make it with a friend and split the jars if 12 pints seems to much. You may find you can eat that much in a year though. This chutney is best served with duck or pork; it can also be used as a base for marinade of wild game, such as wild duck, wild boar and elk or deer. It is also delicious on a cheese platter. Of course it is delicious with an Indian Curry. Note: There are about 2 ½ cups pitted cherries per pound.

15 cups fresh, pitted cherries (2 cups reserve for later) – about 8 pounds

2 cups currants

1 cup cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups white vinegar

6 cups chopped red onion (about 3 red onions)

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

1 3/4 cups white sugar

5 tablespoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger

4 tablespoons whole juniper berries

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon kosher salt

rind of 3 medium lemons, chopped

1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 dried red chile, with seeds, chopped

*3 teaspoons yellow mustard seed

*1 inch piece of cinnamon stick

*1 tablespoon green cardamom, pods removed and seeds crushed

*1 tablespoon whole cloves

*these items in cheesecloth pouch



Jam pot

Mortar and pestle

Cherry pitter (or two, have a friend help you pit)

If canning using a water bath, fill the canner with water and put on low to bring to a boil by the time your chutney is ready. Place a sauce pan with water and about 7 new lids.

Prepare an 8 inch by 8 inch cheesecloth square, put *items in the center of the cheesecloth and tie the four corners together to make a pouch.

In a very large jam pot or soup pot, combine all other ingredients, reserving 2 cups of fresh pitted cherries for later. Add the cheesecloth bundle to the pot. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Turn the heat down, simmer for about 80-90 minutes until the mixture is thick and gloppy. Add reserved 2 cups fresh cherries and simmer for 15 more minutes, until the liquid is mostly gone and gooey. Remove cheesecloth bundle.

If not canning chutney, cool and spoon into containers and refrigerate. If canning, ensure your canning pot has boiling water. Turn on pan with lids to bring that water to a boil for a few minutes, then turn off. Fill sterilized pint jars with hot chutney, leaving about ½ inch head space. Wipe rim of jar clean with paper towel. Place lid from sauce pan on rim of jar, and screw on the ring tight, but not too tight. Place jars in rack in canner, bring water to a boil again if necessary.

Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove jars from water onto a clean cotton towel, spaced about 4 inches from one another. Ensure that each jar is sealed. You should hear a “pop” sound from each jar. When cool, the lid should not press in.

Label with date and name of product. Store in cool dry pantry for up to a year.

Recipe makes 6 pints.


  • cherry pits will float to the surface as chutney cooks, remove
  • if you don’t remember when you last purchased your spices, you may want to get new ones; spices can go rancid and will ruin your chutney
  • you can make your own canning labels, order at, or download free ones at:


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