Roughly chop the tomatoes, apples and onions and put them in a preserving pan or large, heavy-based, stainless steel saucepan with the garlic and vinegar. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the fruit and vegetables are tender, stirring the mixture occasionally.
Add all the remaining ingredients, including the pickling spices, if using, and heat gently, stirring frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring back to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring often towards the end of the cooking time, to prevent sticking. By this time the chutney should be well-reduced and very thick – if necessary, cook for a few more minutes.
Spoon the chutney into warm, sterilised jars. Cover the chutney with discs of waxed paper, waxed-side down to cover the surface completely. Cover the jars with cellophane or plastic screw-topped lids (not metal lids, as they will corrode). Tighten the lids when the chutney is completely cold, and label.
Store in a cool dark place and leave to mature for at least 1 month, before eating. Use within 1 year of making. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 month.
*Pears or plums may be substituted for some of the apples. They'll make a sweeter chutney, but don't be tempted to reduce the amount of sugar, or the chutney won't keep well. *To sterilise jars, first wash, rinse and drain them, then place in a warm oven at 110°C (gas 1/4) for 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to fill.
An easy recipie to follow did as pjo66 suggested and used sweet and cooking apples and also half malt and half cider vinegar. From the teaspoon remaining that couldn't fit in a jar, it tasted great. Does take awhile to make but worth it. - 29 Sep 2015