I just love making chutneys of all kinds, so much so that I’ve recently added “chutneys” as a category in my recipe drop-down here on my site. They are healthy, delicious and perfect to give to friends and family during the holidays. Instead of the usual bottle of wine next time you drop in on folks, offer a jar of chutney. Sometimes, I include a recipe to pair with the chutney and explain that chutney is kind of a savory jam that generally goes well with grilled meats or roasted poultry.
I made my first batch of this Christmas cranberry chutney just before Thanksgiving, and we sampled it with our turkey dinner. The tart flavor of fresh cranberries is both softened and sweetened by the addition of dried fruits – and you can play with your favorites here, just keeping the proportions of dried versus fresh fruit the same. The jars are pretty, festive and I plan to serve some both with our Christmas beef and New Year’s Day pork.
Because the cranberries don’t release as much juice as some other fruits I use in chutneys, such as mangos and rhubarb, I increased the amount of orange juice in my recipe.
I was happy to make a chutney that reduced the amount of tedious chopping frequently involved in the prep. No need to chop either the fresh cranberries or most of the dried fruit, except for the apricots.
TIP: If you don’t wish to can your chutney, it can be kept in the fridge for several weeks. For a review of safe canning procedures, here’s my favorite link.
- 3 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 3 twelve-ounce bags fresh cranberries
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 eight-ounce package dried cranberries
- 1 eight-ounce package either dried cherries or “golden Berry Blend” from Trader Joe’s
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 2 cups fresh orange juice
- ¼ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- Using a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a Dutch oven, combine the sugar and vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add all remaining ingredients. Stir to mix well, bring chutney to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
- Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 2 hours, stirring every 10-15 minutes or so.
- Ladle into sterile jars and cook jars in a water bath for 10 minutes, according to safe canning procedures.