Oh no, not another marrow! A marrow & ale chutney recipe for when you’re not expecting a marrow.


It happens to us all, we go away on holiday, forget to pick a courgette or discover a hidden monster of a marrow under a forest of leaves, that’s not to say many of us grow marrows on purpose. We fall into the first category, preferring a nice courgette or zucchini over a hefty marrow. We try to avoid having a marrow monster on our hands, but sometimes you just can’t avoid the odd marrow. Of course that’s not to mention those ‘gifted’ to you. We’re a generous bunch us allotmenteers, and I bet a fair few of use have been offered a marrow from a plot neighbour at some time or other, offered with look of marrow induced panic in their eyes (please take the marrow PLEASE!). And so that’s what we did accepting a marrow from Con, one of the loveliest, gentlest of the old-timer allotment holders at our site, you just can’t say no to Con, he’s such a quiet man and it must have taken a lot to think of us and offer up one of his marrows. It was delicious, we made a lovely stuffed marrow with wild rice and made the mistake of telling someone down the plots. Since then we keep finding flipping marrows left for us on our shed step!

Now there’s only so much marrow you can take before you’re all marrowed out. So what can you do when you are suddenly gifted with an unexpected marrow? Well chutney or a pickle is a classic option, but what if you’ve not got much in at home? Well this marrow chutney recipe is a good option as it doesn’t involve any spice bags or Green tomatoes and the like. Made using ingredients you may well have in your cupboards any way.

My unexpected marrow & ale chutney recipe

1kg of chopped, deseeded and peeled marrow
500g apples peeled and chopped
500g onions peeled and diced
4 or 5 cloves of garlic minced
400g sultanas
100g stoned dates
500g light brown sugar
600 ml cider vinegar
2 heaped tbsp English mustard powder
2 heaped tbsp of ground ginger
1 heaped teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
500 ml ale, bitter or stout (what ever you’ve got in the cupboard, I raided my other half’s stash!)

1. place all your ingredients into a preserving pan and bringing slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally. take your time, there’s no hurry a good chutney doesn’t like to be rushed.

2. let the mixture simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 hours or however long it takes. you don’t have to hover over the pots every bubble, have it simmering in the background. Read a book, do a spot of crochet whatever pastimes floats your boat, popping over to the pan to stir gently from time to time to ensure it doesn’t  burn to the bottom of the pan.

3. the chutney is ready when it has thickened and has a shiny consistency. Rich in colour and well reduced, with some chunks of veg still visible for texture. The trick in judging when your chutney is ready is to draw a wooden spoon through the mix, when it takes the liquid a few seconds to backfill the space your ready.

4. with the chutney still hot fill your hot sterilised jars with the chutney packing down with the back of a spoon as you go to exclude any air. Seal with vinegar proof lids. Store in a cool dark place for a couple of months to mature before using. I always find I have a small quantity that is never quite enough to fill a jar so I like to put this in a clean teacup and keep in the fridge to use within a couple of weeks.

The result is a warm and sweet ale chutney, lovely with a ploughman’s or a top a lovely slice of cheese on toast. Use within 2 years.

The only problem is we still have three more of the flipping things in the shed!

Author: Crafty Garden Hoe

For me it’s all about the simple things in life. Pottering around my allotment, growing things indoors and out, baking a good cake, being outside, pretty things, vintage finds and a good pot of tea. It’s all the small things that make me tick, noticing the beauty in everyday things. Although this blog initially was intended to be a blog about all these things its evolved into being basically a blog about our allotment. Our adventures, highs and lows, wins and loses. So join me & Mr Wilson as we learn from our mistakes and successes down plot 18a.

13 thoughts on “Oh no, not another marrow! A marrow & ale chutney recipe for when you’re not expecting a marrow.”

  1. Ah your recipe sounds great! I’m eating so much ratatouille it’s unbelievable! Funny about the marrows – it’s sooo true! I randomly bumped into my friend on the bus in the morning a few weeks ago and she asked how my allotment was, she then said “oh we have so many marrows, in fact I have one in my bag now if you want it?” It was hilarious!!!! Very amusing start to my day 🙂

    1. Hi Anna
      Aw thanks. Heehee that’s really funny about your friend on the bus! The desperation of people to shift their marrows! We keep having to try and avoid certain people down the plots incase they try and give us a marrow! At least the plants are slowing down now, phew.
      Emma x

  2. Great Stuff!! I may have made a fatal mistake as I have actually asked somebody at work for a marrow so that I can make chutney. But I shall try your recipe with a bottle of Old Peculiar.

  3. I’ve just been given a 3 stone marrow! I’m going to make kasundi which is a hot Indian style chutney. Recipe is on the net just Google kasundi. It’s good on its own, you can add it to curry or add it to mayo to make a dip.

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