Chutneys are such a unique condiment, and they’re so easy to make. If you’ve never had a chutney before, you really need to make one and try it. They’re similar to a cooked cranberry sauce or fruit compote, but they’re not as sweet because of savory components. A chutney is a perfect complement to meat; I love it especially served with pork and turkey, but it’s tasty with all meat, poultry, and game.
Besides cheese, I seem to live for condiments, so chutney is just heaven to me. There’s sweet, savory, sour, spicy, salty, you name it. And the layers of flavor can be endless.
If you’ve had Major Grey’s chutney, don’t worry. Home-made chutneys do not compare. Major Grey’s is fine to cook with, but I would never eat it as a condiment.
As it is fall, and I’m thinking ahead to the holidays, I decided to make a cranberry apple chutney. I never use a recipe when I make chutney because it’s one of those things where you can just use about anything you like and it will work. So I’ll tell you what I did exactly, and then in my next post give you my “guide” to making any kind of chutney you would like to make. After that, you won’t need a recipe either. Substitutions are a must to make a chutney your own.
Here’s what I did today for this specific recipe:
Cranberry Apple Chutney
1 – 12 ounce bag of cranberries, sorted and rinsed
1 large green apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
1 cup golden raisins*
1 small onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of cayenne powder
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Place every ingredient in a large, enamel pot. Cover the pot and bring the chutney ingredients to a simmer over medium heat; this should take about five minutes or so. Then remove the lid and cook gently for about 20 minutes, making sure the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Stir occasionally, but gently. We are not trying to make mush.
When everything has cooked through (the apples are tender and all of the cranberries have burst), let the mixture cool down.
Remove the cinnamon stick, and then fill two half-pint jars with the pretty chutney. Let cool completely, put on the lids, and then freeze. Alternatively, the jars of chutney can also be canned using a water bath.
* If the raisins are really hard and dry, plump them first, using hot water or even some sherry or port, then add them to the other ingredients. Or, add some water to the pot, maybe about 3 tablespoons, so that the raisins can absorb it while everything is cooking.
note: This chutney makes a beautiful gift!