This is a really great recipe for Christmas. Strongly flavoured, sweet, sticky and rich, this chutney is best served with room-temperature blue cheese or overripe brie, served on crackers or oatcakes. Also great with pork or a roasted ham.
Scatter onion into a hot pan, using just enough golden sugar to coat the onion well, and cook for just a few minutes. Do not allow to stick or burn.
Add the dates and figs and stir regularly, turning down to a medium heat. Add just a little vinegar to prevent sticking.
This chutney will absorb the vinegar and dry out quite quickly, so keep a watchful eye on it; stir gently, and continuously, topping up with vinegar as required, and add a little sugar if it becomes too moist. Once you have approximately double the depth in the pan that you had when it contained just the fruit and onion, and it is moist enough to not risk sticking to the pan, leave to cook.
After about 15 minutes, the chutney should be thick and bubbling. Remove from the heat and pour into clean, pre-heated glass jars.
Store for 1 month or more before using; ripens and improves with age.