I made two batches of chutney a week ago, one with tomato, apple and raisins, the other one with plum and cranberries. Making the chutney I added all the usual spices, sugar, vinegar etc. but I tried one of the jars and it is way too thick. Could I take the chutneys out of the jars and put them in a pot with some apple juice to heat up? Would this lighten it and would it be okay? As you may have guessed I have never made chutney before. I hope someone can help.
Cranberries (and to a lesser extent, apples) have a great deal of natural pectin, which will make your chutney gel when it is cool or refrigerated.
If you want a thinner consistency, you can reheat it and add any complimentary liquid that you desire: apple juice would be fine, but remember, you are diluting the flavor of your chutney with the additional juice, so you will want to find balance between texture and flavor that you like the best.
The other thing you can do is warm the chutney for service, which will make it more liquid.
When I make cranberry chutney, chilled, it is as stiff as a good commercial jam. This might even be desirable.
Note: I am assuming these are refrigerated chutneys. If they have been home canned, you should not change the recipe, as the acid balance is essential for safety in canning.