Saturday, 6 October 2012

The quest for the perfect carrot chutney

My favourite Marks and Spencer sandwich is the Wensleydale and Carrot Chutney.  I could eat it every day.  I decided many, many months ago that I really wanted to try and recreate that carrot chutney for myself, so I could include it in mini hampers for my friends at Christmas.

Fast forward several months and I still hadn't given it a go, so last weekend I bit the bullet, found a recipe to tweak and off I went.

I used this recipe as the basis for my chutney but made some alterations:

600g carrots, peeled and grated
Squeeze of lazy chilli
half an onion, chopped very finely
2 bay leaves
200g demerera sugar
100ml white balsamic vinegar
100ml rice wine vinegar

I sauteed the carrots and onion in with a squeeze of lazy chilli for 30 mins - I added a splash of water to keep everything moist because it was sticking to the pan, then added the sugar and both the vinegars.  I let the liquid all cook off, simmering until it was sticky.

Whilst all of that was going on I sterilised my jars, washing them in soapy water and then putting them in the oven at 150 for 20 mins to dry out.

When the liquid had evaporated from the mixture I spooned it into the warm jars, popped the lids on and then turned them upside down - as the recipe I was following stated to do.

I managed to fill 5 of my small jars (Lakeland), I've had one jar for testing, given another jar to my boss at work for testing and will give another to my parents.

Upon tasting it I wasn't fully happy with the results - for a start it's too vinegary, and then I didn't reduce the sugar accordingly - so it's far too sweet.  Lastly, using the brown sugar made my carrots look murky, which doesn't make them look very appetising.

My next batch will use one full onion, have only 100ml of vinegar, with 200ml of water and use caster sugar.  I'll also use a finer grater for the carrots - the feedback I had was that it's too chunky.


  1. I love those sandwiches too! Yum! My chutneys never turn out as good as store bought either, they are often to runny or not quite sweet enough. Hmm.

  2. Ah this with less vinegar might be good for you then, I found it too sweet - my boss said it was more like the Sainsburys version which is sweeter... We like our sandwiches....


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