Weather: 15 degrees, daylight savings
Last year about this time, I bemoaned the fact that 54% of Americans prefer cranberry sauce from a can at their holiday meals. I still can’t believe it’s true. Who would turn down something like this beautiful jewel-toned homemade Cranberry Chutney for the jiggly cylindrical stuff? Now don’t get me wrong, the canned stuff certainly has a place; it’s an American standard. I have used it several times in recipes for things like pork or chicken and I’m rather fond of it in a nostalgic sort of way. But, during the holidays, when the pretty bags of fresh cranberries show up in the produce section, I’ve just gotta make the homemade stuff, especially if the menu includes a turkey.
This chutney is a little more complex than the easy (and fantastic) Holiday Cranberry Sauce recipe I offered up last year. If you want to go traditional and simple, then that’s your recipe. If you want to mix it up a little, then try this chutney. One thing I love about this one is that you can make it well in advance. I poured the boiling hot mixture into canning jars and they are all sealed up nicely in the refrigerator waiting for the big day, with the exception of the smallest jar that I have set aside for turkey sandwiches any day of the week.
I just love all of the fruit and spices in this chutney, paired with the savoriness of the onion and the crunch of the hazelnuts. It would be marvelous on pork, perfect on turkey, and yummy as an appetizer paired with cheese and crackers.
Recipe from The Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan
Yields: About 2 quarts
- 4 cups fresh cranberries (12oz bag)
- 2-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/4 cups water
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2 firm Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
In a large pot (I used my Dutch oven) over medium heat, combine the cranberries, sugar, water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and salt. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil, and cook until the cranberries pop open, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir in the apples, pears, onions, raisins, and ginger. Continue to cook, stirring often, until thick, another 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and toss in the hazelnuts. Discard cinnamon sticks and cloves (if you can locate them). Refrigerate in tightly sealed jars.