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Oct 20, 2007 11:24 AM

Quince Date Chutney - what to substitute for the dates?

I'm thinking about making this chutney as I just bought exactly 3 large quince (is the plural really quinces?) at the farmer's market. But, I really dislike apple cider vinegar and am not a huge fan of dates. So - what do you think would be the best things to substitute in - I think I'll probably just use a white wine vinegar, but am not sure about the dates. Cranberries - too tart? Prunes? Dried cherries if I can find them? Apricots? I'm also not a big fan of dried figs, though I do like fresh ones.


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large quinces (about 21 ounces), peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 large Granny Smith apples (about 24 ounces), peeled, quartered, cored, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 teaspoon minced serrano chile with seeds
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted Medjool dates (about 7 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

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  1. There's enough in the recipe, so I think it would be fine without the dates or any substitute. Still, I'd be inclined to used raisins. Other small dried fruits would work similarly. Apricots might work also, but in my opinion they are too assertive.


      1. re: Ferdzy

        Thanks to you both - don't know why it didn't occur to me! Raisins it is.

      2. I think I'd lean towards the prunes, the texture would be closer to the original recipe. Cider vinegar has a softer flavor to me than white vinegar, so I would probably use a fruit vinegar rather than the white. The recipe looks promising! Let us know how you liked it please.

        1. Report:

          Well, things didn't start off well when I realized ten minutes into the simmering of the quince in the sugar/vinegar that in fact I'd put the water in instead of the vinegar. Decided to proceed anyway, adding the vinegar when I was supposed to add the water (i.e., after quince softened in sugar liquid - with all the other ingredients other than the lime juice and dates). Used 1/2 large jalapeno instead of the serrano. Had planned to use fresh cranberries and to add them with the apples (you then simmer for 10 minutes), but both bags (must be from last Thanksgiving) looked pathetic. I had already included an extra T of sugar at the beginning to compensate for the cranberries. Looked for prunes, couldn't find them. So, ended up adding raisins (of course, fifteen minutes later, found the prunes). I added just a little more than 1/2 cup of raisins - more seemed too much. Cooled and tasted - quite good, a little sweet for my taste - reminded me somewhat of mince meat pie filling! We'll see how it "ages", but I think I'll give it another try as well, following the instructions (sans dates) properly!