Gran’s Green Tomato Pickles

This is a new pickle recipe that I found on the tinternet. I made a batch and had it taste tested by a team of experts consisting of Angus, Dave and Jo and it was voted the best yet, better than the Ball Blue Book recipe I have mentioned previously. This recipe is more savoury and not as sweet as the Ball recipe and more like what I remember my Nanas tasting like.

I think what makes this recipe is the pepper. Pepper is an under used spice these days being relegated to history by the chilli. But it is a great way to add heat and flavour to a dish that is much more appropriate in British and European food than chilli is I think.

The recipe is from Jayefuu on Instructables. The pics are his also, just because they are better than mine. I use apple cider vinegar because it is what I had and it is easier to get in large volumes.


    • 2.5kg green tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • 0.5kg onions, finely sliced
    • 4 tsp / 30g salt
    • 1L malt vinegar
    • 0.5kg soft light brown sugar
    • 250g sultanas, roughly chopped
    • 3 tsp / 20g ground pepper


  • Preserving pan or other large lidless pan
  • 7 – 10 jars with lids
  • Food wrap / cling film
  • Sticky label

Finely slice your onions and washed green tomatoes, cutting out any bad bits. Add to a large bowl and stir. Add the 4 teaspoons of salt, stir again and then cover with food wrap or a large plate and leave overnight.

This will draw out lots of the tomato juices and help enhance the flavours. This step can be skipped if you don’t want to leave it overnight, just reduce the salt by half.


Place the litre of vinegar into a large pan. Add the 500g of light brown soft sugar and stir over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil.


Remove the cover from the tomatoes and onions that you’ve left overnight. Drain well but do not rinse. Rinsing will add more water and the goal of leaving overnight with salt was to remove as much water as possible without pulping them.
Add to the chutney and stir in well. Add the 3 teaspoons / 15g white pepper.
Bring to a gentle boil.


Once all the ingredients have been added they need to be boiled gently for 1.5 to 2 hours until thick and golden. The goal of this cooking time is to reduce the liquid down so the chutney’s thick and to soften the tomatoes and onions until they take on the sugar and turn brown.


When your chutney has reduced by almost half and is thick and golden brown, it is almost ready. Boil it a little longer, A good gauge of it being thick enough was when you can drag a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and see the bottom for a little while after it had passed. When that happens, it’s ready.

Place in jars and bottle in boiling water bottler for 10min.



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