Make Your Own Apple and Fennel Chutney & Fennel Tea

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Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds

The stems from the fennel are reaching for the sky, each upturned umbrella laden with seeds. It’s October and the fennel seeds are ready to be harvested, and although these can be left on the plant to dry, I do like to gather them before the birds strip them clean. I reckon there are enough for us to all share!

We’ve just opened the last jar of the apple and fennel chutney, made last year, so time to make some more, especially as we’re knee-deep in apples. What a bumper year it’s been for those!

This is top of the list of favourite chutneys here at Bridge Cottage, and when the ‘kids’ come home and raid the larder, this is one they all plump for, but one I try and hide and the back! It goes especially well with a strong cheddar and makes a great lunch with cheese on toast.

Here’s the recipe:


Apple and Fennel Chutney

Ingredients for apple and fennel chutney

Ingredients for apple and fennel chutney


500g fennel bulbs

500g onions

1 kg cooking apples

2 tbsp fresh fennel seeds or 1 tbsp dried.

500ml apple cider vinegar

600g granulated or light soft brown sugar.



Finely chop the fennel bulbs and onion, or blitz in a food processor. Add to a deep preserving pan. Peel, core and chop the cooking apples into small chunks. Add fennel seeds, apple cider vinegar and sugar and bring to the boil.

Boil fairly rapidly, stirring often and reducing the temperature to a simmer at the end, to prevent sticking.

The chutney is cooked when it has darkened slightly and is thick and sticky, and a wooden spoon leaves the bottom of the pan momentarily clean when stirred across.

Apple and Fennel Chutney

Apple and Fennel Chutney

Place into clean, warmed jars and cover.

Label and store.

Apple and Fennel Chutney

Apple and Fennel Chutney

Best left a month before eating if you can bear it!

Fennel Tea

Fennel seeds also make a delicious tea, rich in vitamin A, great for the digestion and to reduce water retention.

Simply crush a teaspoon of dried fennel seeds lightly in a pestle and mortar, and then pour on boiling water in a small teapot. Leave to steep for five minutes before straining and drinking.

For more information about making your own herbal teas follow this link:

Fennel Seeds

Fennel Seeds

Make Your Own Herbal Tea




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You might enjoy some of the writing and ideas in other sections of this website, as we look towards leading more sustainable lives by growing our own food and creating dishes in line with seasonal eating, or head to our handy ‘Month by Month’ guides to find out what we have been doing here at Bridge Cottage as the months go by:

Many thanks for reading.

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Tim & Sue in the Bridge Cottage Way garden

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