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October 25, 2011

Cranberry Chutney

by Anne Paddock

Every Fall when the fresh cranberries are harvested, picked, bagged, and eventually distributed to the grocery stores, I start thinking about making cranberry chutney.Not quite Thanksgiving but with a chill in the air, it’s hard to beat a baked chicken served with roasted potatoes and carrots, sautéed green beans with toasted almonds, and cranberry chutney on an Autumn night.

Several years ago, my friend, Julia gave me her cranberry chutney recipe and it’s a wonderful blend of sweet and tartness with texture.  Although my husband and daughter prefer the smooth canned version of cranberry sauce (much to my dismay), I keep hoping they will come to appreciate the homemade version.

One evening, my husband and daughter explained to me “it’s a texture thing” meaning they like their cranberry sauce smooth just like their banana bread. I on the other hand, prefer a crunch in my food whether it be banana bread (with walnuts), a sandwich (avocado,cheese and potato chips come to mind) or cranberry sauce (with walnuts and/or pecans).  So, I get it..it’s a texture thing. Some like it smooth, others like it crunchy.  Just like peanut butter.  Vive la difference!

For those of us that embrace texture and love the flavor of cranberries, here is Julia’s recipe for Cranberry Chutney, slightly modified from the original version made with fresh cranberries, fruit, spices, and nuts. The recipe is simple and delicious.

Julia’s Cranberry Chutney
1 bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup sugar*
1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces
Grated rind of an Orange
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins
Juice of 1 Orange

1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped

*The original recipe called for 2-1/4 cups of sugar but I prefer less sugar. If you prefer your chutney sweeter, increase the sugar.
  • In a large saucepan, place cranberries, water and sugar. Stir to blend, bring to a soft boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the apple, orange rind, ginger, cinnamon, and raisins. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the juice and nuts. Let cool. Keep refrigerated.
The cranberry chutney keeps for several weeks refrigerated. It’s delicious served alongside any poultry:  turkey, chicken, duck, and Cornish hens. The chutney can also be served next to a wedge of brie cheese and baguette pieces.

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