This quick pear and walnut chutney recipe is easy to make, and can be eaten immediately. It's ideal if you've got a few pears to use up and goes perfectly with cheeses and cooked meats.
What you'll love about the recipe
- Pear and walnut relish is ready to eat in 40 minutes
- Everyday ingredients, no special equipment required
- Many condiments are very high in sugar. This recipe is much lower in sugar than conventional chutney, but still fruity and tangy. (You might also like this easy sugar free mango chutney.)
- Homemade chutney makes a cheeseboard a little more special, and also makes a lovely homemade gift!
Onions. These are essential in this pear and walnut chutney in order to give a lovely savoury flavour. They are browned at the start of the recipe to add a rich caramel note. (If you love the flavour of caramelized onions, try this easy onion gravy!)
Olive oil. If you prefer, use another healthy cooking oil.
Cooking apple will cook down easily into a soft puree, making a lovely, naturally thick chutney.
Pears. You can use whichever variety of dessert pear which you like. Even if the pears are a bit on the hard side, they'll cook down with the other ingredients. I don't peel the pears as the skin softens during the cooking process.
Spices. I like to use cinnamon and allspice, both of which are quite sweet. But you could also use other ground spices if you prefer - both ginger and cardamom go very well with pears. Or alternatively, just add a rounded teaspoonful of mixed spice. For a more strongly spiced pear chutney, use ground coriander or cumin.
Honey, vinegar and soy sauce make for the perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty. If you want gluten free chutney, check the soy sauce label. Many soy sauces contain gluten, but tamari is usually gluten free. You could also use maple syrup instead of honey if you want a vegan pear chutney. I used apple cider vinegar, but you could also use white wine vinegar. If you use balsamic vinegar, you might want to add a squeeze of lemon juice as balsamic is much sweeter.
Walnuts add a lovely crunch and extra flavour.
You can also add a handful of sultanas or dried cranberries to your pear and walnut chutney for an extra burst of sweetness.
How to make pear and walnut chutney
Heat a large lidded pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and fry for about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure they don't catch on the bottom of the pan. The onions should be starting to turn brown, but don't let them go black as they'll taste bitter.
Add the spices and mix in well.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, apple and pears, plus a tablespoon of water. Mix well and cover the pan with a lid.
Simmer for 30 - 40 minutes until the fruit has softened and the sauce in the bottom of the pan has thickened.
Heat a small dry pan over a low heat. Add the walnuts and toast them on the stove for a couple of minutes. Watch them constantly as they'll burn very easily. The walnuts will start to brown slightly, sizzle and smell of toasted nuts. Remove the walnuts from the hot pan to stop them scorching.
Stir the walnuts into the chutney. Leave to cool.
Cut the onions, apple and pear into smallish, neat pieces so that your chutney is not too chunky.
Serving and storage
Pear and walnut chutney is perfect on a cheeseboard with some lovely sharp Cheddar and homemade oatcakes.
You can also use homemade chutney in your cooking. Add a couple of tablespoons to curries and casseroles.
As this pear and walnut chutney is made with less sugar than a conventional recipe, you'll need to store it in the fridge and eat it up within a couple of weeks. You can also freeze it if you want to keep it for longer.
Frequently asked questions
If pears are kept cool in the fridge, they'll keep well for a few weeks. As well as making this pear and walnut chutney, you could also try a pear crumble, or pear flapjacks. And simple stewed pears for breakfast or dessert are also delicious too.
It's usual to serve chutney at room temperature. If it's too cold it'll lose some of it's flavour, so if you remember, take it out of the fridge before you plan to eat it.
With a conventional recipe, it is often recommended that you leave chutney for a month or so for the flavours to mature and develop. However, with this quick chutney recipe, it is ready to eat straight away.
This pear and walnut chutney is a healthy addition to your diet. It's made largely from fruit and onions. Whereas a bought chutney can be high in sugar and salt, this recipe has just a tablespoon of honey and soy sauce for a whole jar. The spices are also a good source of antioxidants, and cinnamon can help with blood sugar control.
Other healthy sauces you might like
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Quick Pear and Walnut Chutney
- large saucepan
- small pan
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 pears cored and cut into 1 cm cubes
- 1 cooking apple cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or use white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 60 g walnuts roughly chopped
- Heat a large pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and chopped onions. Fry the onions for about 8 minutes until they are starting to soften and turn golden.
- Add the cinnamon and allspice and mix in well.
- Add the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, chopped pear and cooking apple. Add a tablespoon of water. Cover the pan and simmer gently for around 30 minutes until the chutney is soft and the sauce thickened. Stir occasionally to ensure the mixture doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.
- Place a small pan on a low heat. Add the chopped walnuts. Toast for 2 or 3 minutes until they start to brown slightly and smell toasted. Watch them constantly as they burnt easily. Remove from the pan as soon as they are toasted so they don't scorch.
- Stir the walnuts onto the chutney.
- Store in a lidded jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Serve at room temperature.
- Cut the onions, apple and pear into small neat pieces so that your chutney is not too chunky.
- If liked, add a handful of sultanas. You can also vary the spices to suit - try cardamom or ginger which both go well with pear.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only